This is my favorite macaroni and cheese recipe of all time. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll most likely know that once fall hits, i start talking about squashes and savory vegetables (most notably pumpkin flavored dishes and roasted Brussels sprouts – I just went to link this to the recipe and to my dismay, found no such recipe on my blog – gasp! I’m not sure how that’s possible…..I guess I make them so often it doesn’t seem like a recipe to me, which it really isn’t cause they’re super easy to make. But in any case, be on the watch for a Roasted Sprouts recipe to be posted in the near future…..) Anyway, another one of my favorite vegetables to throw into whatever I can, is butternut squash. If I’m really feeling ambitious, I’ll break out the peeler and the big chef’s knife to make butternut squash fries, but when i’m really craving something easy and comforting, where better to turn than to Mac & Cheese?
1 (16 oz) box of whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 (10 oz) packages of frozen, pureed winter squash
2 cups skim milk (you can also use unsweetened almond milk if you don’t care for cow’s milk)
4 oz reduced fat shredded Cheddar cheese
2 oz shredded Jack cheese
1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp unseasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
1 tsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook till tender but firm (5-8 minutes). Drain water and return pasta to pot.
3. In a large saucepan, combine milk and frozen squash, and cook over low heat until thawed. Then turn up the heat to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering.
4. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in first three cheeses and all the spices. Pour this cheese/squash mixture over the pasta and stir to combine. Then pour pasta into the 9×13 pan.
5. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the pasta/cheese mixture in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3-5 minutes to get the top a nice, crispy brown.
Sorry I don’t have a picture of the finished dish. I could’ve sworn I took a picture after it came out of the oven, but apparently the evil phone fairies have deleted it from my photos….. curse those fairies.
The next time I make this I’ll be sure to take a few more pictures and update this post.
Like I said, it’s amazing. It’s also a great recipe for picky kids (or frustratingly stubborn adults) who refuse to eat their vegetables. If you don’t tell them there’s squash in it, I’ll bet they will never guess.
Leave a comment and let me know if you try it! Or if you have any other awesome squash recipes to share…..