This recipe is a quick and easy way to make macaroni and cheese without using unhealthy ingredients. The butternut squash gives this dish an added dose of vitamin A for good measure. It’s the perfect comfort food that will keep you feeling full while still giving your body all the nutrients it needs!
Butternut squash mac n cheese is a healthier and vegan alternative to traditional mac n cheese. The recipe includes butternut squash, cashews, and nutritional yeast.
I’m very enjoying healthier versions of autumn comfort food right now. First and foremost, autumn tastes are the greatest. The very best. Second, it is quite feasible to consume hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dishes without going overboard. This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a perfect example.
This dish brings me back to when my sister and I used to have playdates with our friends Lil and Devon when we were little. For supper, their mother would cook Annie’s mac and cheese with peas and carrots, and it was the tastiest. Today, we’re using a herbaceous butternut squash puree instead of peas and carrots. It’s seasoned with sage and thyme, which instantly transforms the macaroni into an autumn dish.
However, it is still cheesy and wonderful. For richness, I used gruyere, my favorite cooking cheese, as well as mozzarella.
If you’re in a hurry, you can finish this homemade mac and cheese on the stove, but for presentation purposes, I added additional cheese and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs. Put it in the oven for 5 minutes, and there you have it. Mac and cheese made with butternut squash fit for a king. Alternatively, Queen.
Macaroni and cheese: a step-by-step guide
If you know how to make boxed mac and cheese, you’ll have no trouble mixing up a batch of this homemade version. To begin, roast the butternut squash until it is fork-tender and aromatic. After that, it’s pureed with a little stock until it’s smooth (you might have extra puree, just fyi).
You’ll need to produce a simple roux, which is just a combination of butter and flour, after the squash has been pureed. The three (!!) varieties of cheese, as well as the squash puree, are then combined to produce a thick sauce. After that, all you have to do is toss in the macaroni and put everything into a baking dish. Broil for a few minutes until the breadcrumbs start to bubble and get golden brown on top.
This mac and cheese may be kept in the fridge for a few days and reheated effortlessly. Portion out some mac and cheese into a small pot and add a few tablespoons of milk to prevent rubbery reheated macaroni. For round two of deliciously creamy mac & cheese, cook it over medium-low heat with the lid on.
By the way, my second Food Photography Workshop in Napa, CA begins today, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be spending the weekend at the most beautiful property I’ve ever seen with 12 amazing guests. Gah. I’m very excited to present you guys.
Stay tuned, and eat well!
for the butternut squash that has been roasted
- 4 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- season with salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup broth (chicken or veggie)
for the apple computer
- 1 pound shells of macaroni
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- flour (two tablespoons)
- 2 c. skimmed milk
- salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- mascarpone cheese, 4 ounces
- 6 oz. shredded Le Gruyere cheese
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 pound of breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced sage
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Butternut squash should be placed in a big roasting pan. Combine fresh sage, thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender and the color has darkened to a deeper golden orange. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Puree squash with chicken or veggie stock in a big blender. If the puree is too thick, add 1/4 cup more stock. 2 1/2 cups squash puree is set aside for macaroni. If you have any leftovers, you may put them to good use!
- Cook macaroni till al dente in a large saucepan of boiling water. The macaroni should be slightly undercooked since it will continue to cook after it is combined with the other ingredients. Drain the water and put it aside.
- Preheat the oven to “broil.” Set aside a 9×13 baking pan that has been lightly greased.
- Melt butter in a big heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes, or until aromatic and light golden brown. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the reserved butternut squash puree and mascarpone. After 2 minutes, add half of the Le Gruyere and half of the mozzarella and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir until the cheese is fully melted. Stir in the cooked spaghetti until everything is well combined.
- Pour onto the baking pan that has been prepared. Combine breadcrumbs, thyme, and sage in a mixing bowl. The leftover Le Gruyere and mozzarella go on top of the macaroni first, followed by the breadcrumb mixture.
- Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cheese is fully melted. Serve right away!
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