Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Serves: 6
 
This mac and cheese gets a healthy make-over with the addition of butternut squash. It's so cheesy that even your pickiest eaters wouldn't know the "secret" ingredient, making it a new weeknight favorite.
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups elbow noodles
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 cup butternut squash, pureed (homemade or store bought)*
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbs. panko bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, set aside.
  2. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  3. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and then saute onion and garlic for a few minutes, until softened and translucent.
  4. Add flour and stir to coat onions and garlic. Mixture will be thick. Cook, stirring mixture around for 1-2 minutes so flour taste has cooked out.
  5. Add milk and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until mixture has thickened.
  6. Add seasoning and then squash and stir to combine. Once stirred together, add the cheddar cheese and parmesean and stir once again to create a smooth cheese sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
  7. Pour in the cook elbow noodles and stir to coat all noodles.
  8. Pour macaroni in prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with 3 Tbs. panko bread crumbs.
  9. Place under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until panko is a golden brown. Keep an eye on the dish at this point so it doesn't burn.
  10. Once topping is brown, remove from the oven and serve!
  11. Re-heat instructions: If eating as left-overs, you may want to pour a little milk (like 1-2 Tbs) before microwaving to help "revive" the sauce. Because it only has 1 cup of cheese and the remainder squash, it needs a little help to regain its cheesiness.
Notes
You can buy pureed butternut squash in your grocery freezer section or make it yourself. To make yourself, cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place it face down on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes, until fork tender. Remove squash from oven and let cool. Puree squash in a food processor. You can freeze the remainder pureed squash for another recipe or the next time you make this!
Recipe by Made by Melissa Lee at http://www.madebymelissalee.com/butternut-squash-mac-cheese/