cooking · Dinner

Pico Black Bean Mac n’ Cheese

A tasty variation of mac n’ cheese, loaded with black beans and fresh vegetables. And honestly, it takes barely longer to make it than a box of mac n’ cheese does and it tastes waaaayyyy better.

Pico Black Bean Mac n’ Cheese


  • 1 Tbsp sunflower or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 15 ounce can or 1½ cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 7 ounces fresh Pico de Gallo, drained
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup mushroom or vegetable broth, preferably lower sodium/all natural
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 13.25 ounce package whole grain or whole wheat elbow macaroni


Heat the sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium, add the onion and bell pepper, sauté until tender. Stir in the black beans and Pico de Gallo, take off heat and set aside.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, cook macaroni for time on package, drain.

Meanwhile in a medium saucepan heat the olive oil over medium, add garlic, sauté for a minute. Sprinkle the flour and whisk to cook. Add the milk and broth, whisking smooth. Let thicken, whisking often. When simmering and thick, add the cheese and black pepper, stirring smooth. Stir the cheese sauce into the black bean mixture, returning the skillet to the burner the saucepan was on, turning to low. Heat through, stir in the macaroni and simmer a minute or two.

Serves 4.


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