Saturday, January 7, 2012

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I have to admit I was skeptical of this one. I love having squashes on hand because they grow well in the garden and they keep forever but I hate making the same thing over and over again. I found this recipe on the Martha Stewart website. I am not a big fan of squash, so the thought of it in my mac and cheese was upsetting. But I LOVE this!!! There is no squash taste at all, the kids had no idea there was anything in it, I even tested this one out on my parents and siblings (all of whom are foodies as well). No one picked up on the squash! So here we go....


1 med butternut squash peeled, seeds removed and cut into chunks (the size of the chunks depends on you, the smaller you cut the faster it cooks but you need a good knife!)
1 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want vegetarian)
1 1/2 cups of milk
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
freshly ground black pepper
1 box of macaroni
(1 can of white kidney beans--I add this for extra fibre and protein but its optional)
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
(and 2 tblsp of breadcrumbs for the top but I never have baked this yet so I never add the topping)


(If you are going to bake it, preheat the oven to 375 F)
Combine squash, milk and stock in a large sauce pan and heat on med-high until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash is tender and you can pierce it with a fork. Remove from heat and mash the contents. Stir in the nutmeg, cayenne and pepper. Set aside.

Cook the macaroni to al dente or according the the instructions on the box.

Drain the macaroni and transfer it to a large bowl, (open can of kidney beans, rinse and drain then place in bowl with macaroni), add shredded cheese to large bowl and mix in the butternut squash mash. Mix it all together.

I find that the squash and macaroni are hot enough to melt the cheese and combine it nicely but if you want to bake it then you need to transfer it to a oven proof, greased dish and sprinkle it with the breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Put it in the oven and bake for 20 min, then remove foil and bake until the top is lightly browned and crisp about another 20-30 min.