Friday, February 22, 2013

butternut squash mac n cheese

I recently did a guest post for my friend Jenn over at WithLuck. If you haven't checked out her blog by now, you should.
I work with Jenn and she had to travel to Texas for a week and I was so happy to do a post for her! It basically was my first official post of getting my name out into the blog world (hard to believe it's been almost a month ago)!

I hope you enjoy this recipe - we sure did!

I wanted to share a delicious recipe that isn't a usual, healthy dish but also incorporates some of my favorite things in a meal: comfort, vegetables, warmth..... and cheese.

I love cheese.

This butternut squash mac n cheese delivers. Don't be nervous about the butternut squash. It adds a creaminess to the dish instead of having to add heavy cream, butter, egg and large quantities of cheese, making the dish a lot healthier and a lot more nutritious. Also, isn't butternut squash just one of the cutest vegetables out there. Look at these guys...

Creamy butternut squash

For this recipe, you will only need one small butternut squash (~1lb). I picked up the two for only $1 and used the leftovers to make a roasted vegetable soup. Everything else you probably already have on hand and, overall, is a simple, easy, healthy dinner to put together.

Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese
Serves 6

Butternut squash, about 3c cubed
1c vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you prefer)
1.5c low-fat or non-fat milk
1lb pasta, cooked
2c shredded low-fat cheese, divided (I used a mixture of sharp cheddar, monterey jack and muenster cheeses)
1/8c breadcrumbs
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Start by peeling the butternut squash and cutting into cubes, about 3 cups.
  • Combine broth, milk and butternut squash in a pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer on medium-low heat until squash is fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, boil water (don't forget to add salt!) and cook pasta according to package instructions. Cook the pasta to right before al dente as the pasta will cook a bit more in the oven, about 7 minutes. When finished, drain and set aside.
  • When squash is fork tender you can either mash the squash in the pan or transfer to a food processor (like I did) and puree mixture until smooth. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
  • Return puree back to pan (if needed) and add cheese, reserving 1/4c, mixing until cheese has melted. Mix pasta into mixture and transfer to an oven safe dish. If your dish is not non-stick, spray with non-stick spray.
  • Combine remaining 1/4c cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of pasta.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes, until top is browned. 
Nutritional Information (per serving): 343 calories, 4g fat, 3.5g fiber, 19g protein, 55g carbs

My husband loves baked macaroni and cheese and I'm glad I can provide him with a healthy alternative. Of course, we had to finish the meal with something sweet so I baked up a batch of our favorite chocolate chip cookies.

What's a dish you love that you try to tweak to make a bit healthier? Or what's a splurge dish you prepare?


Don't forget to link up what you're eating and also...



  1. Oh my gosh! This looks absolutely amazing! And I happen to have a butternut squash sitting on my counter from our CSA! Thanks for sharing at what i am eating!

    1. Heather, thank you so much for having the link up.
      Seriously, can you send me the recipe of all those meals you posted? They look absolutely amazing! I'm already thinking of what else I can put that red pepper tahini sauce on!

    2. Why haven't I made this yet ?
      I'll make dean do it when I get back haha

  2. This sounds wonderful! I made pumpkin mac and cheese last fall, I found it yummy, so did my son, my husband on the other hand found it odd. But, butternut squash is an idea! I'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh - pumpkin sounds good, too. Same concept in making it?

  3. I love mac and cheese! and my husband is a huge fan of butternut squash! Definitely filing this away to make!! Such a good idea!

    1. Thanks, Laura. Let me know how you like it!

  4. that looks so good! I usually stick to Kraft, but that may have to change. Have a great weekend, Sarah!
    new follower,

    1. Thanks for following, Rachel!
      I am heading over to your blog to check it out as well!

  5. This looks like the perfect School Vacation week recipe with a healthy twist! Thanks for sharing!

  6. This looks like the perfect School Vacation recipe - thanks for sharing! I'll add it to our "to do" list!

    1. Thanks, Jessica! Let me know if you and your family enjoy it!

  7. That butternut squash mac and cheese looks amazing! I love sneaking in that extra serving of vegetables into my favorite dishes.

    Also, nominated you for a Leibster Award! Check it out here:

    1. Me too - any hidden veggie is a good veggie!
      Thank you so much! I am heading over there now...


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