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Healthy Mac n Cheese

With Marika Day

This healthy twist on a family favourite (and guilty pleasure) is also healthy for your eyes.

The broccoli, spinach and pumpkin in this healthy Mac n Cheese are chock full of beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that helps our eyes adjust in darkness. Green leafy vegetables are often rich in antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein which are important in maintaining good eye health including the macula.

1/2 large or 1 small butternut pumpkin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 small onion
2-3 cloves garlic crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cornflour or plain flour
1 tbsp dijon mustard
300g macaroni pasta
1 1/2 cups milk of choice
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup shredded cheese (we like a combination of vintage cheddar and colby)
1/2 small head of broccoli, chopped
2 large handfuls baby spinach



1. Roast or steam butternut pumpkin until well cooked.

2. Cook pasta according to packet instructions.

3. Meanwhile make sauce by blending cooked pumpkin with 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock and nutmeg. Set aside.

4. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook onion and garlic until soft.

5. Add cornflour evenly over pan and cook for 1 minute.

6. Turn heat to low and add milk and remaining broth, stir continuously and allow to thicken.

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7. Add pumpkin puree to the pan with broccoli and cheese. Turn heat to low and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes or until broccoli has just cooked and cheese is melted.

8. Add mustard to the sauce and season with salt and pepper.

9. Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water. Add drained pasta to the pumpkin sauce and stir to combine. If required thin sauce with the reserved pasta water. Stir through baby spinach and allow to wilt.

10. Serve.

*Recipe may contain eggs, nuts and dairy. Please consult a specialist if you have food allergies.

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