Last month I saw this amazing recipe for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese in Cooking Light magazine. I just knew I had to try it, as it cuts almost 600 calories from the traditional mac & cheese recipe. So here’s my version, enjoy!
Ashley’s Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
- 3 cups of peeled butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1 pound uncooked whole wheat shells
- cooking spray
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce hear to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt and pepper… Greek yogurt is called for in the original recipe but I missed this step… I was too focused on the blending of the squash. Remove the center piece of the blender lis (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatter).
Blend until smooth.
Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in cheeses and mix until combined.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add pasta to the squash mixture and stir until combined.
5. Spread mixture evenly into a 13×9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Italian seasoning (my added touch) evenly over the hot pasta mixture.
6. Bake a 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
This is really an awesome and easy recipe. Neal and I both found the sauce to be a little sweet, so I might change up the cheese next time. Trader Joe’s has this awesome 5 cheese mixture… I think it would do well in this dish. I would also recommend adding additional seasoning to the sauce prior to adding the noodles. The Italian seasoning on top was great, but I think it’d be better inside the dish.
All in all, I give it 3.75 out of 5 stars.
Today is also Biggest Loser day, so you know what that means… Weigh In!! My scale was giving me really random numbers this morning (it’s clearly broken) so I am going to weigh in on Neal’s scale tomorrow. I will update tomorrow morning…
Biggest Loser Challenge Week 2
- Starting Weight: 226.6 pounds
- Week 2 Weight: ?? pounds
- Total Weight Lost: 1.8 pounds
Well, I’m off to work! With 20 minutes on the elliptical and 40 minutes in the weight room under my belt, I’m feeling really energized this morning. I’m hoping I don’t crash today, though it’s bound to happen. Staying up until 12:40AM to do graduate work wasn’t the smartest idea. ;)