Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
A unique and delicious way to incorporate vegetables into a family favorite dish. This recipe is extremely versatile – make it with whatever pasta shape you have in your pantry and the butternut squash puree can easily be substituted with canned 100% pumpkin or mashed sweet potato. As a bonus, add in some of your favorite vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, peas, zucchini, or spinach to the final product!
- 1 box (16 oz) whole wheat macaroni or rotini noodles
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree*
- 2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the noodles according to package directions in a large pot. Drain the pasta and set aside in a separate bowl.
- In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk well to create a roux or thick paste.
- Slowly, pour in the milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Whisk in all the milk until no lumps of flour remain. Bring the milk mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
- Whisk in the butternut squash puree until smooth.
- Add in the shredded cheese and stir to combine until all the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked, strained pasta back to the pot with the cheese sauce and stir to coat all the noodles. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
*Tip! To make your own butternut squash puree: Cut one small butternut squash lengthwise and place cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast at 350 F for 30-45 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Scoop out the flesh, discarding the seeds & skins. Puree the flesh in a blender or mash well with a fork. Add a splash of water to help the squash puree if necessary.