Squash-a-roni

Let’s face it: While mac and cheese is a classic, it isn’t always the healthiest option for dinner. Luckily, the addition of butternut squash (a great source of vitamin A) blends beautifully with the rich, creamy cheese of your choice to make this nutty adaptation a new family favorite. 

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4–5 cups cubed butternut squash (many grocery stores sell peeled, cubed, ready-to-use squash)
  • 21/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced 
  • into rings
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • Parsley for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Bring the broth to a boil in a small pot. Add the squash and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until fork-tender. 

Drain, reserving 1/2 cup broth. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion, cooking until fragrant and golden, about 20 minutes.

Put the onions, squash, reserved broth, milk, salt and pepper and optional spices in a blender and puree until completely smooth 
and creamy.

Pour the puree into a small pot and warm slightly. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Stir in the cooked noodles, adding water or milk to adjust consistency to taste. 

Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.


Source: Adapted from pinchofyum.com/healthy-mac-and-cheese. Olivia Volkman-Johnson is a freelance writer who is studying to become a pastry chef. Photo by Brenda Taylor.