Macaroni and cheese has been a scrumptious staple on many dinner tables. If looking for a healthier version of this dish that doesn’t skimp on deliciousness, try using butternut squash. The squash still provides a creamy consistency while offering an alternative to cheese, which can be high in unhealthy fat and sodium. Don’t fret cheese lovers: this recipe does not completely replace one of your favorite foods but reduces it a bit.
1 whole butternut squash (about 1 pound), cut in half lengthwise and seeds scooped out
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth, divided
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
10 ounces whole wheat elbow pasta
1 medium shallot, minced
2 cups skim milk
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped chives for garnish (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a 9” x 11” glass baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
2) Place two squash halves onto a baking sheet, cut side up. Brush each with olive oil.
3) Bake squash for about 40 minutes or until soft and fork tender.
4) Scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Add ½ cup vegetable broth, onion powder, garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.
5) Cook pasta according to package directions. When cooked, drain and put back into the pot.
6) Add shallots and olive oil to medium saucepan and sauté 2 minutes.
7) Add the remaining 1 cup broth and milk to saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
8) Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in cheese, squash mixture, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper.
9) Add sauce to noodles, gently mix to combine, then transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
10) Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese into small bowl. Sprinkle mixture over dish and bake 25 minutes.
This information is per serving.