Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with indulging. Then again, this is also coming from the person who literally eats nut butter straight from the jar, daily. In any event, indulging in a little comfort food, dessert, or whatever your heart desires every now and again is A-okay. Although, is it still considered a guilty pleasure if it’s healthy? 🤔

Which leads me to this recipe…

There’s nothing more comforting (think a big bear hug) than mac and cheese. Maybe it’s because it brings me back to my childhood or maybe because what person with tastebuds doesn’t enjoy a big bow of pasta smothered in a cheesy sauce? The kicker, and no I don’t mean kick as in spicy, this recipe is, wait for it…HEALTHY. Yup, the sauce is packed with a vegetable and you’d never even know it! I swapped out the extra cheese (extra fat, sodium, dairy) for roasted butternut squash. I know, I know, you’re probably like, “But that tastes nothing like cheese.” Well, you’re absolutely correct. However, with the right touch of ingredients like low fat milk, fresh garlic, spices and some grass-fed parmesan you can achieve that same cheesy, velvety taste and texture you remember as a kid.

It’s pretty amazing the things you can create with various kinds of foods if you’re willing to get a little bit creative. Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. Healthy food CAN be just as if not more delicious. Even your kids will start saying…pass those veggies! Okay, maybe not right away but here’s hoping! 😉

 

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Gluten-free/Nut-free/Soy-free

Makes: about 4 cups of sauce/ Prep time: 10 minutes/ Cook time: about 30 minutes

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c low fat-milk (can sub unflavored dairy-free alternative but taste may vary slightly)
  • 1 1/2 c roasted butternut squash, puréed
  • 2 tbsp brown mustard
  • 3/4 c parmesan
  • 1/4 c cream
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 box gluten-free pasta (any variety will work)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash, peel and dice the butternut squash and add to a lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes until soft. Let cool then place squash in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. (This step can be done a day ahead to save time.)
  2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook pasta as directed.
  3. In the meantime, in large saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  4. Add in minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the flour and mix well to incorporate.
  6. Pour in the milk and whisk constantly just until simmering.
  7. Stir in the squash purée and mustard to the milk mixture and let cook until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the cream, parmesan, sea salt and pepper.
  9. Toss desired amount of sauce with pasta and serve immediately.
  10. Store any unused sauce in an airtight container or freeze for longer shelf life.
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