There's something incredibly comforting and nostalgic about Mac and Cheese - especially the kind with that perfectly toasty cheese topping.
My daughter Sloane would eat Mac and Cheese every night for dinner if she could so I wanted to create a recipe that also snuck in some vegetables, and nutrients .
Butternut squash is pretty much a Mac and Cheese ingredient match made in heaven because A.) it's mild enough that it doesn't take away from the other ingredients, and B.) it's orange.
Over the past few years I've made a few different versions, and this recipe is the winner.
It tastes great with whole wheat pasta - or banza pasta as a gluten free option. I've also made it vegan using daiya cheese on top , and while it's slightly less cheesy it's still super flavorful.
I serve it with an arugula salad on the side, and the whole fam loves it. You'd never know it's nutrient dense, and fairly light in calories for a mac and cheese.
It also refrigerates really well! Sometimes I think it's even better the second day when the flavors marinate a bit.
It's pretty much the perfect comforting cold weather meal.
The Best Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe
*makes 6-8 servings
- 1 pound cubed butternut squash
- 10 ounces whole wheat penne or elbow pasta (*sub gluten free pasta if prefer)
- 1 & 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth, divide
- 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- black pepper, to taste
- kosher salt, to taste
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
- 1 & 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour or gluten free flour
- 2 cups skim milk or unsweetened plant based milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 " x 11" glass baking dish with oil, and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add squash and boil until tender, 5-6 minutes.
- When tender, transfer squash to a blender or food processor.
- Add pasta to boiling water, and cook according to package directions. When cooked, drain, and put back into the pot - and set aside.
- Meanwhile add 1/2 cup vegetable broth, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to the blender with the squash. Blend until smooth.
- In a small bowl mix grated parmesan , 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
- Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add flour.
- Add the remaining 1 cup broth and milk, and whisk to combine. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium- low, and cook 4-5 minutes , stirring or whisking frequently.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in cheddar cheese and gruyere, plus the pureed squash. 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Add sauce to noodles, mix to combine, then transfer to baking dish.
- Sprinkle parmesan mixture , add another sprinkle of cheddar cheese to the top, and bake 25 minutes. Switch oven to high broil, and broil for 2-3 minutes , or until cheese on the top is toasty.
Per serving ( for 8 portions.)
Calories : 320
Protein : 13.5 g
Fat : 8 g
Carbohydrates: 43.5 g
ENJOY! If you try it I'd love to see - tag me on instagram @MissModernWellness.