Monday, October 24, 2011

Butternut Squash Mac n' Cheese

This has been a favorite of mine since I found it last year.  As you will come to know, I am a BIG fan of pumpkin-squash-sweet potatoes so this fits right in. 

It's easy to make.  The recipe does call for some dairy, and the taste is mild, but I find it a hearty dish.

You can find the recipe here.  I found it on - it's yummy.


1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and diced (about 3 cups)
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound whole wheat spirals
4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 ounce)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
Olive-oil cooking spray, to grease baking pan


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (for pasta). Combine squash, stock, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. (Dicing reduced this time to 10 minutes.) Remove from heat.

Add noodles to boiling water; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Mash contents of saucepan; stir in nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine.

Drain pasta, and transfer to a large bowl; stir in squash mixture, cheddar, ricotta, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.  Scatter breadcrumbs on last. 
Cover and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover the casserole dish and continue baking for 20-40 minutes (I only put it in for another 20 min).
Personal notes:
It is MUCH easier to use frozen butternut squash - unless you can get the butternut squash already cut up.  Cutting up winter squash is one of my least favorite things to do (even though the end result is worth it!).
For the pasta, I typically use a quinoa pasta.  It's gluten free and simply delicious.  It tastes no different than regular pasta.  Otherwise, regular or whole wheat pasta works just fine.
Finally, I don't use parmesan.  Basically it's because I don't keep that stuff in the apartment.  Tastes fine without it.  I omit olive oil and just use Pam spray for the baking pan.
282 calories per serving, 8 servings total

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