Healthy Cooking Series: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
December 05, 2022
Did someone say “Mac and Cheese?!” Yes, but with a twist! Try this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe!
Butternut squash and other winter squashes are nutritional powerhouses. They are chock full of fiber, antioxidants known as carotenoids and vitamins such as vitamins A and C, among many other vital nutrients that support our immune system.
What is fascinating about cooking seasonal foods is that nature provides the proper nutrition for the season. It's no secret that winter is cold and flu season, so winter squashes can be wonderful for keeping us well throughout the winter.
Vitamins A and C are crucial for developing immune cells that protect the body against infection and help us feel our best all winter long! Not only that, butternut and other winter squashes are very high in fiber, with one cup of butternut squash providing a whopping seven grams of fiber per serving. Fiber is excellent for regulating digestion, maintaining healthy blood sugars, lowering cholesterol and protecting against chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
All and all, adding winter squashes to your diet is an excellent idea for your health! With its versatile capabilities, winter squash can be assimilated into many dishes such as muffins, bread, stews and soups. It can also be roasted as a hearty side dish, mashed in place of potatoes or blended up and mixed into a dreamy, creamy nutritious sauce! What types of foods will you make with winter squash this season?
Check out the full recipe for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Olive oil spray
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound cubed butternut squash
- 10 ounces whole wheat elbow pasta
- 1 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth, divided
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups grass fed whole milk
- ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese
- ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
- ½ cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Fried sage, optional, for topping or chopped chives, optional, for topping
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a 9” x 11” glass baking dish with oil and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add squash and boil until tender, 5-6 minutes.
- When fork tender, transfer squash with a slotted spoon to a blender.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. When cooked, drain and put back into the pot.
- Meanwhile, add ½ cup vegetable broth, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste to the blender with the squash. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the shallots and cook another minute.
- Add the remaining 1 cup broth and milk and whisk to combine. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
- Remove pot from heat and whisk in cheese, pureed squash, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper.
- Add sauce to noodles, gently mix to combine, then transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Top with fried sage or chopped chives (optional)