I guess at 25 years old, I’m still a kid at heart because I love macaroni and cheese =). However, as a responsible adult ;), I usually try to make it a little healthier by using whole wheat pasta and sneaking in some veggies, like broccoli or spinach. This time I decided to mix in some butternut squash puree. It worked like a charm! The squash puree allowed me to use less cheese without sacrificing the creamy texture – and it’s still plenty cheesy. I promise! And for your grown-up side, you get a hint of butternut squash flavor too – a nice balance =). It’s even good leftover. I may have eaten leftovers for lunch everyday for a week…maybe ;). Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Pasta Bake
10 oz butternut squash puree, fresh or frozen*
1 cup buttermilk or skim milk (I have used both and either one works)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
dash cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups (~1/2 pound) whole wheat elbow macaroni (or pasta of choice)
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp panko bread crumbs

1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook for the least amount recommended time on the box. (For example, if it says 7-9 minutes, then cook for 7 minutes.)
2. While the pasta is cooking, combine the squash puree, milk, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper in medium sauce pan over medium low heat and whisk until fully combined and cheese are melted – about 5 minutes.
3. Drain cooked pasta and combine with squash/cheese mixture. Pour into lightly greased 9 inch square or round dish. Combine parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in small bowl and sprinkle over pasta.
4. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: I’m thinking pumpkin would work too, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. If anyone does, let me know how it is =).

If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Categories: Main Dish, Side Dish

Leave a Reply