Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
This is my ABSOLUTE favorite comfort food. On a cold night, I love to make this for my little family and we can feel good about eating because it has half of the calories of a traditional mac and cheese dish and a fourth of the saturated fat. Using a trick in the sauce, and no heavy cream in sight, we can put the comfort back in comfort food and not worry about putting on the pounds! It still has a delicious cheesy, gooey texture and goes great with some roasted chicken, salad and crusty bread. It also makes great leftovers and will wow any guests...especially when they learn the secret ingredients!
One tip before you begin:
If you've never used butternut squash before you may not know that it can be a bear to peel and cut...my solution is to pay a buck more in the store and buy the sliced version that you can still find in the veggie section.
3 Cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (about a pound)
1 1/4 Cups chicken broth (buy low sodium!)
1 1/2 Cups fat free milk
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp fat-free greek yogurt (secret ingredient!)
1 1/4 Cups shredded gruyere cheese
1 cup shredded pecorino romano cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 pound uncooked macaroni noodles
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 Cup panko (japanese bread crumbs)
Optional: fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine squash, broth, milk and garlic. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for approx. 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Add salt, pepper, and greek yogurt. Either use a potato masher or hand held blender to blend/mash until mixture is smooth.
4. Place mixture into a separate bowl, and stir in gruyere, pecorino Romano, and 2 tbsp of Parmesan. Stir it well!
5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
6. Add cheese/squash mixture to pasta and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13x9 inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.
7. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add panko and cook for a few minutes until browned. Remove from heat and add 2 remaining tbsp of Parmasan cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the pasta mixture.
8. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. If you would like, sprinkle with parsley.
Enjoy the creamy goodness!
Happy Cooking :) Courtney