Not only is this dish good, but it’s also healthy! It’s also a great way to sneak in a serving of vegetables to your husband or children (or Betsy). I’ve made this dish a couple of times now, and used slightly different cheeses the second time. Still turned out delish! I think if you use a variety of cheeses that are suitable for melting, this will turn out great. So get creative!
The squash adds a creaminess to the dish without being too heavy like a traditional mac & cheese. You could also play around with this recipe by adding some grilled chicken or turkey sausage, crumbled bacon, or a variety of fresh herbs.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, adapted from Cooking Light
- 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1-pound squash)
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1 pound uncooked cavatappi (or pasta that will hold sauce like rigatoni or fusilli)
- Cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.
- Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.