Healthy Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese

Daphne Oz
Servings: 6
30 to 45 min

Make a lightened up version of your favorite mac & cheese!

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Healthy Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese
  • 4 cups butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (low-sodium)
  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated, plus more to garnish)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (roughly chopped, some reserved to garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper (to taste)
  • Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
  • In a medium saucepan, add the butternut squash and milk, and place over medium-high heat. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until fork tender, 8-10 minutes.
  • To a blender, add squash and milk. Puree until smooth.
  • Meanwhile, place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add butter. Once melted, add the shallot, season with salt and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the squash puree, stock and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 5 minutes. Add the cheese, stir to combine and set aside.
  • To the boiling water, add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about one minute less than the package instructions. Drain, reserving some pasta water.
  • To the sauté pan, add the pasta, parsley and some pasta water to loosen the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley, toasted breadcrumbs and more grated cheese.
  • For the Breadcrumbs: Place a small sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Tips:
    - Use your favorite kind of pasta!
    - Make the "cheese sauce" ahead of time. Warm and toss pasta before serving.
    - Instead of butternut squash, use sweet potatoes!
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