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Loaded with veggies and goodness, this Halloween Mac and Cheese recipe is a spooky twist on your favorite comfort food! Perfect for an easy dinner during Halloween week or your next Halloween party, this macaroni and cheese may just become a year-round staple.

Overhead shot of 4 halloween mac and cheese jack o lanterns, one facing the camera.

🧡 Why you will love this recipe

  • Easy: This is just like making regular macaroni with 2 extra steps: steamed and pureed veggies, and jack-o-lantern peppers to stuff the pasta in. It is so simple!
  • Healthy: This mac and cheese recipe is loaded with extra vegetables to boost nutrition. It is one of my favorite ways to sneak extra vegetables into my kid’s diet.
  • No dye: Many Halloween mac and cheese recipes call for green food coloring. I skipped it entirely because the mac and cheese turned out green enough for me without needing to add the extra ingredient.
  • Delicious: This fun Halloween dinner is so tasty. I think I prefer it to the typical mac and cheese!

🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Broccoli & spinach: Broccoli and spinach are steamed and blended to make the mac and cheese green. I used frozen spinach, however, fresh would work too. On the other hand, I used fresh broccoli but frozen would also be fine.
  • Macaroni noodles: Macaroni is the perfect pasta shape for this recipe. I used gluten-free macaroni noodles, however normal macaroni noodles are great for this recipe too.
  • Cheese: A mixture of mild cheddar and gouda make the cheese sauce creamy and cheesy. Sharp cheddar is also a good option instead of mild.
  • Butter: You can substitute regular butter for a plant-based alternative.
  • Flour: I used gluten-free plain flour to make the cheese sauce (bechamel) and it works just like regular flour, possibly even better! Regular flour can be substituted 1:1.
  • Milk: Any kind of unflavored milk can be added. I prefer either whole milk or unsweetened almond milk.
  • Bacon: Bacon adds a whole lot of flavor. Be sure to mix any excess grease into the pasta as well. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, try veggie bacon or skip this ingredient entirely.
  • Bell Pepper: If you want to make it really look like a carved pumpkin, use orange bell peppers. Red, yellow, or even green bell peppers will work too, they will just look less like traditional jack-o-lanterns.
  • Seasoning: Salt, black pepper, and a little garlic powder round off this recipe perfectly. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

🎃 How to make Toxic Waste Mac and Cheese

1. Steam the greens: Cut and steam the broccoli with the spinach for about 10 minutes, until fork-tender.

2. Cook the pasta: Prepare the macaroni pasta according to the package directions. You want the pasta to be al dente when it’s ready. Strain the cooked pasta and set aside.

3. Cook the bacon: Dice and cook the bacon in a large pan over medium heat until it is crispy (about 5 minutes).

4. Melt butter and add flour: To prepare the cheese sauce, melt butter in a large saucepan and then gradually stir in the flour.

5. Stir in milk: Little by little, add in the milk stirring as you go. Stirring in a little at a time helps to avoid lumps. Add in the garlic powder once all the milk is mixed in.

6. Boil and thicken: To thicken, bring the white sauce to a boil and reduce the heat, stirring often.

7. Shred or slice cheese: While the sauce is thickening, shred or thinly slice the gouda and cheddar cheese.

8. Add cheese: Once thickened, remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the sliced or shredded cheddar cheese and gouda until it is melted.

9. Blend the greens: Puree the broccoli and spinach with a blender, immersion blender, or food processor until it is a smooth consistency. Add it to the cheese mixture and mix well.

10. Add pasta and bacon: Add the prepared macaroni to the green creamy cheese sauce along with the bacon and mix well.

Pasta and bacon added to the green cheese sauce.

11. Make the face: Remove the top of the bell pepper and scoop out the membrane and slice off the seeds sticking to the top. Cut out a jack-o-lantern face in each bell pepper using a small sharp knife.

12. Stuff the bell peppers: Spoon the macaroni mixture into the bell peppers and place the lid on top.

13. Bake! Bake the mac-o-lanterns in a preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until the bell peppers are softer.

Halloween mac and cheese mac o lanterns on a baking tray in front of a white wall.

🫙 Storage Instructions

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or oven until piping hot.

🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Avoid kraft: Kraft macaroni and cheese will not work for this recipe! It’s also full of some strange ingredients. Avoid it if you can!
  • Mac and cheese cups: Try making mac and cheese muffin cups by baking the macaroni mixture in a large muffin baking dish or two.
  • Without the bell peppers: This recipe makes a delicious homemade macaroni and cheese dinner with or without the bell peppers. In my house, we eat it year-round. Nothing beats mac and cheese or broccoli and cheese in my opinion, and this is the perfect marriage of the two.
  • Half of the bell peppers: Sometimes I just make 4 mac and cheese stuffed bell peppers and save the rest of the pasta for later. I also like to make the leftovers into mac and cheese cups.
Halloween mac and cheese mac o lanterns on a baking tray in front of a white wall.

😋 More Halloween recipes you will love

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📖 Recipe

A stuffed bell pepper with jack-o-lantern faces, perfect for Halloween.

Halloween Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Bethany Galloway
Loaded with veggies and goodness, this Halloween Mac and Cheese recipe is a spooky twist on your favorite comfort food! Perfect for an easy dinner during Halloween week or your next Halloween party, this macaroni and cheese may just become a year-round staple.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Halloween
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 552 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium head of broccoli diced/cut into florets
  • 120 g frozen spinach 4.25 oz
  • 500 g macaroni pasta gluten-free or regular
  • 8 strips of bacon diced (regular or vegetarian)
  • 4.5 tbsp butter
  • 42 g 1/3 cup all purpose flour (gluten free or regular)
  • 710 ml 3 cups milk of choice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 120 g 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, mild, medium or sharp
  • 250 g 2 heaped cups, 8.5oz gouda cheese, sliced or grated
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 orange bell peppers

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
  • Steam the diced broccoli and spinach for 10 minutes, or until fork-tender.
    Broccoli and spinach steaming in a bamboo basket.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the macaroni according to the package directions.
    Macaroni pasta cooking in a pot with a teal and wooden slotted spoon.
  • While the vegetables and pasta are cooking, pan-fry the diced bacon in a medium skillet until it is crispy, and then turn off the heat.
    Bacon cooking in a black skillet.
  • In a large saucepan or pot, melt the butter.
  • Next, add in the gluten-free flour and stir until it makes a paste.
    Melted butter with gluten-free flour.
  • Little by little, slowly pour in the milk, whisking as you go to avoid any lumps.
    Milk pouring over paste in a pot with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in the garlic powder and bring the white sauce to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Continue to cook until it has thickened up, stirring occasionally.
    Garlic powder added to white sauce in a pot with a teal and wood whisk.
  • Turn off the heat and add in the cheese and mix until the cheese melts.
    Cheese added to white sauce in a pot with a teal and wood whisk.
  • Blend the broccoli and spinach with an immersion blender or food processor until it is smooth, and then mix it in with the cheese sauce.
    Broccoli and spinach being pureed with a immersion blender.
  • Add in the cooked pasta and bacon and mix until everything had mixed together.
    Pasta and bacon added to the green cheese sauce.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Using a small sharp knife, cut the tops off of the orange bell peppers, scoop out the white membrane, and cut off the seeds to make the top a little flatter.
  • Carefully cut out a jack-o-lantern face: two eyes, a nose, and a mouth.
    Knife cutting a jack-o-lantern face into an orange bell pepper.
  • Stuff the bell peppers with the green mac and cheese, place the pepper lid on top and stand the bell pepper up in a baking dish. Repeat for the other 7 bell peppers.
    Stuffing green mac and cheese into an orange jack-o-lantern bell pepper.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.
  • Serve!

Notes

  1. Avoid kraft: Kraft macaroni and cheese will not work for this recipe!
  2. Mac and cheese cups: Try making mac and cheese muffin cups by baking the macaroni mixture in a large muffin baking dish or two.
  3. Without the bell peppers: This recipe makes a delicious homemade macaroni and cheese dinner with or without the bell peppers. We eat it year-round. Nothing beats mac and cheese or broccoli and cheese in my opinion, and this is the perfect marriage of the two.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until piping hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 552kcalCarbohydrates: 36.5gProtein: 25.1gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 17.2gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 723mgFiber: 4.5gSugar: 10.4g
Keyword gluten free, halloween dinner, hidden vegetables, kid friendly, macaroni and cheese, stuffed peppers
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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