Recipe: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

bnutmacI grew up eating mac and cheese made from scratch. It was made entirely in the microwave, and had only four ingredients: elbow macaroni, Velveeta cheese, 1% milk and Land o’ Lakes margarine. Was it healthy? Hell no! Was it delicious and creamy and ooey gooey? You betcha! I know some people love the crispy breadcrumb topping over heavy mac & cheese made with real deal cheddar, and that’s fine, but this is NOT that. This mac and cheese has legitimate ooze factor, which brings me immediately back to childhood. Every now and then I make it my dad’s way, Velveeta and all, but this week I was just in the mood for something a little bit healthier.

This recipe is pretty darned easy. Here are the ingredients:

20161112_174814While you’re cooking the pasta, brown the butter.

browned-butter

As soon as the butter is sufficiently browned, add the milk, then the butternut squash.

I have a stick blender, so I use that to blend the sauce. You can use a regular blender or a food processor, just be careful with the hot mixture.

blend-itAdd in the pasta and cheese, and stir to combine.

cheesyTop with fresh tomatoes for funsies!

20161112_180548

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 90mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ooey gooey creamy and slightly sweet, this mac and cheese incorporates butternut squash for fiber, flavor and a serving of veggies.

To cook the squash the easiest way possible, wrap a whole squash in aluminum foil and bake in a 450 degree oven for 60-90 minutes or until a knife goes all the way through easily. Allow to cool, then pull skin off and scoop out seeds.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni (I used Banza chickpea pasta)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk (I used Silk Almond Protein Milk)
  • 2 cups mashed cooked butternut squash
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 8 oz. shredded extra sharp cheddar

Directions

  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, watching carefully until it’s browned and smells nutty. Immediately add the milk and butternut squash.
  3. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth. (Alternately, carefully blend the mixture in a regular blender and return to the saucepan to warm up.) Add in the salt, pepper and sage and blend to combine.
  4. Add in the macaroni and shredded cheese and stir until cheese is thoroughly melted. Serve topped with freshly sliced tomatoes (optional).


This was super yummy! Definitely use a sharp cheddar. I used a mild and the cheese was definitely overpowered by the butternut squash. If you like a true sage flavor, fry a fresh sage leaf in the brown butter then blend it directly into the sauce for true autumn herbiness. Enjoy!

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4 comments

  1. I really love and appreciate the photos that you add to your step by step directions!! This sounds so good! Plus an easy way to cook a whole butternut squash! Can you freeze it once you’ve roasted it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrea, this looks fan-freakin-tastic! Love the recipe and the pics. I adore mac and cheese, so I think I’ll have to give this recipe a go. And now you also have me thinking I need to buy a stick blender, as I do not have one, and hate using my regular blender because of the cleanup. Thanks for posting!!

    Liked by 1 person

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