Monday, October 29, 2012

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I'm a huge fan of butternut squash soup in the Fall. I love the sweet/salty flavor and especially the creaminess it adds. A few weeks ago I bought a huge butternut squash from the Farmer's Market and wanted to try to make something different with it. Almost every blog I hop on to look at recipes has so many unique and different ways to use the gourd! Already having a deep love for homemade mac and cheese (I love basically anything that has cheese in it..), I couldn't resist trying out this recipe with the addition of squash. I was very surprised at the ending flavor and how it all turned out! Neal tested it before the final result of the added spices and thought it was just okay, but once I added a bit of salt and herbs, he loved it. Result of the story: Don't forget your spices!

Please don't be skeptical about adding in squash to mac and cheese! It makes the dish so creamy and slightly sweet and I absolutely loved. I roasted the butternut squash before pureeing it which brought out all of the best flavors. For the cheese I used a combination of sharp cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese and added in some garlic powder, rosemary, chili powder, nutmeg and pepper to add some extra flavor. If you have the extra time, I also think adding breadcrumbs to the top and baking it for a few minutes would add an amazing texture and crunch. This is definitely going to be a fall favorite from now on! (Recipe and picture courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod)

  • 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 5 strips cooked bacon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup green onions, diced (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash chunks on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender, turning once.

While the squash is roasting, cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.

Add butternut squash to food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add in 1/2 cup milk to thin out the squash, then puree again.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and add in the spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the flour mixture begins to smell nutty. Add in the remaining cups of milk gradually (1/2 cup at a time), whisking constantly until smooth and flour is dissolved. Turn heat to high and to a boil while continuing to whisk. After sauce has thickened turn heat to low and whisk in half of the butternut squash mixture. Taste and continue to add in the other half until it tastes creamy enough to you (all up to your personal preference). Add the sauce and the shredded cheese to the cooked macaroni noodles and stir until cheese is melted. Crumble the cooked bacon and green onions over the top (optional). Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Optional: pour After cheese is melted, pour macaroni into a 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup bread crumbs and bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this one! Love, your momsy