Happy fall and happy squash season! I look forward to the delicious sweet and nutty taste of butternut squash every year. This squash season I decided to put a twist on one of my favorite comfort foods, mac and cheese. Butternut squash is loaded with beta carotene (say hello to pretty hair and skin), vitamin C (to support a healthy immune system), and fiber (to get things moving along). Give your mac and cheese a nutritional boost by incorporating some butternut squash into it!
- 8 ounces of whole wheat or regular elbow macaroni
- 1 pound of butternut squash, cubed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup reduced-fat milk
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cup smoked gouda, shredded (you can use some cheddar or any cheese you like)
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add squash chunks. Reduce to a low simmer and cook until squash is soft, about 20-25 minutes.
- While the butternut squash is cooking, bring another pot of water to boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook until al dente, drain and set aside.
- When the butternut squash is done cooking, drain the water and mash squash with a potato masher or a fork.
- Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs and toast by stirring occasionally, until golden-brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place a large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and onions and cook for 2 minutes until softened. Add 3 tablespoons of whole wheat flour, combine well together and slowly whisk in the chicken stock, squash puree, and then milk. Slowly stir in grated cheeses and season with cracked black pepper.
- Gently fold in the cooked elbow macaroni into the pan with the cheese sauce and toss to combine well. Top with toasted panko breadcrumbs, divide, and dig in!