butternut squash mac and cheese

butternut squash mac and cheese

butternut squash mac and cheese

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Cucurbita

Cucurbita (Latin for gourd)[3][4] is a genus of herbaceous vegetables in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae (also known as cucurbits or cucurbi) native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. Five species are grown worldwide for their edible vegetable, variously known as squash, pumpkin, or gourd, depending on species, variety, and local parlance,[a] and for their seeds. Other kinds of gourd, also called bottle-gourds, are native to Africa and belong to the genus Lagenaria, which is in the same family and subfamily as Cucurbita, but in a different tribe. These other gourds are used as utensils or vessels, and their young fruits are eaten much like those of the Cucurbita species.

Most Cucurbita species are herbaceous vines that grow several meters in length and have tendrils, but non-vining “bush” cultivars of C. pepo and C. maxima have also been developed. The yellow or orange flowers on a Cucurbita plant are of two types: female and male. The female flowers produce the fruit and the male flowers produce pollen. Many North and Central American species are visited by specialist bee pollinators, but other insects with more general feeding habits, such as honey bees, also visit.

There is debate about the taxonomy of the genus, as the number of accepted species varies from 13 to 30. The five domesticated species are Cucurbita argyrosperma, C. ficifolia, C. maxima, C. moschata, and C. pepo. All of these can be treated as winter squash because the full-grown fruits can be stored for months; however, C. pepo includes some cultivars that are better used only as summer squash.

The fruits of the genus Cucurbita are good sources of nutrients, such as vitamin A and vitamin C, among other nutrients according to species. The fruits have many culinary uses including pumpkin pie, biscuits, bread, desserts, puddings, beverages, and soups.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, a healthier version of macaroni and cheese is so creamy and delicious, no one will ever guess it’s also good for you!

A few weeks ago I posted this Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese recipe that swapped out pasta for cauliflower. Today I bring you this guilt-free mac and cheese recipe. Giving you all the comfort of the classic dish, but with an extra heaping of nutrients.

butternut squash mac and cheese
butternut squash mac and cheese

Hey there, I’m Heather K. Jones—I’m a dietitian, the nutrition expert for the Skinnytaste cookbooks, and the founder of the weight and wellness program, Feel Better Eat Better. If you struggle with emotional eating or weight anxiety, be sure to check out my free Masterclass by clicking RIGHT HERE. You’ll find out the exact steps I teach my clients to create lasting success from the inside-out, even if they’ve tried everything.

This guilt-free mac and cheese gives you all the comfort of the classic dish, but with an extra heaping of nutrients. Made with whole-wheat noodles, three cheeses (Gruyere, cheddar and Parmesan), shallots, and lots of good-for-your-body butternut squash… it’s cozy, creamy AND nourishing! This is a new staple for me and my sisters. Just add a big green salad and you have the perfect anytime meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • Olive oil spray
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound cubed butternut squash
  • 10 ounces whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 1 ½ cups low sodium vegetable brothdivided
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepperto taste
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallotminced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped chivesoptional, for garnish
  • Sriracha sauceoptional, for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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 boil. Add squash and boil until tender, 5-6 minutes.
  • When fork tender, transfer squash with a slotted spoon to a blender.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. When cooked, drain and put back into the pot.
  • Meanwhile, add ½ cup vegetable broth, onion powder, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to the blender with the squash. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the shallots and cook another minute.
  • 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 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
  • Remove pot from heat and whisk in cheese, pureed squash, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • Add sauce to noodles, gently mix to combine, then transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture and bake 25 minutes. Switch oven to high broil and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until crumbs are starting to brown.
butternut squash mac and cheese
butternut squash mac and cheese

WHAT TO SERVE WITH MAC AND CHEESE:

I would recommend serving mac and cheese with…

  • A green salad: Such as my Everyday Salad or Feel-Good Fall Salad.
  • Roasted veggies: Such as Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
  • Fresh fruit: Maybe some crisp sliced apples or pears this time of year.
  • Dessert: These Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies are always a win!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 1/2 cups milk divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 cup aged white cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place butternut squash chunks on a large baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the squash and toss. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender, turning once.
  • 2. While the butternut squash is roasting, cook macaroni according to package directions, drain well. Set aside.
  • 3. Add butternut squash to food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add in ½ cup of the milk and puree again. This will help thin out the butternut squash.
  • 4. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter. When the butter is melted whisk in the flour. Add the nutmeg. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, whisking constantly, or until flour mixture smells nutty. Add the remaining 2 cups of milk and whisk until mixture is smooth. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil while continuing to whisk. After sauce has thickened, turn heat to low and whisk in butternut squash mixture. Stir in the fresh rosemary. Add the cooked macaroni to the pan and stir until the macaroni noodles are well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 5. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Pour half of the macaroni noodles into the pan. Sprinkle half of the aged cheddar and sharp cheddar over the macaroni noodles. Add the remaining noodles and then top with the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.
  • 6. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until macaroni and cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Another recipe :

Ingredients

butternut squash mac and cheese
butternut squash mac and cheese

Directions

  1. Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water then add the pasta and cook to al dente or, with a bite to it.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the thyme and grate the onion directly into the pot with a hand held grater or Microplane. Cook the grated onion in butter and oil 1 to 2 minutes, then add flour and cook together 1 to 2 more minutes. Whisk in stock, then combine with butternut squash until warmed through and smooth. Stir in cream or half-and-half and bring sauce to a bubble. Stir in cheeses in a figure 8 motion and season the completed sauce with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  3. Drain cooked pasta well and combine with sauce. Serve alongside chicken sammies and top with thyme leaves picked from remaining sprigs (Boo would also have a little extra sprinkle of that cheese, please!)

nutrition considerations

  • To make this gluten free: Use gluten free pasta and breadcrumbs. Be sure all other ingredients are gluten free.
  • To make this nut free: This recipe does not contain nuts. Be sure all packaged ingredients are nut free.
  • To make this egg free: This recipe does not contain nuts.

notes

Cooking Tip: You can cook the squash up to 3 days in advance. You can also use 2 10 ounce bags of frozen cubed squash; thaw and place into the blender and puree with the other sauce ingredients.

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