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Recipe: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Recipe: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

There are certain foods that just always fall into the category of comfort food.  Macaroni and cheese is one of those.  Lately it has evolved from a boxed childhood favourite to a culinary side dish.  At home I use this recipe when I want something indulgent for dinner, but without the guilt.  Incorporating butternut squash adds a depth the texture, while also making it healthier. 

  • Servings: 6
  • Prep time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 25 mins
  • Total time: 1 hour 25 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 butternut squash or 1 cup pureed butternut squash*
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Monterey jack cheese, shredded

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. 
  2. Cut the stalk and the bottom off the butternut squash.  Then cut it in half, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Lay it with the inside facing up on a flat baking tray.  Roast for approximately one hour, or until it is tender all the way through.
  3. After it is roasted, the flesh of the squash will be soft and easy to remove with a spoon.  Use one cup of this for the recipe, saving the rest for another use.
  4. Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente.
  5. In another saucepan, combine soymilk, Parmesan cheese and butternut squash over medium heat until all the cheese is melted.  Mix well.  Remove the saucepan from heat and add salt, mustard, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder.
  6. Drain the pasta without rinsing it.  Lightly oil an oven safe casserole dish.  Put the pasta in the casserole dish, and then pour in the cheese mixture, making sure the pasta gets coated well.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Monterey jack cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes uncovered. 

Hint:  instead of using one large baking dish, use eight small ramekins for portion control! 

Adapted from:  Bethenny’s Zesty Mac and Cheese

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