Sunday, September 15, 2013

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Made a few tweaks & changes to my butternut squash mac & cheese recipe I posted HERE last fall. After almost cutting my finger off & seriously injuring myself while chopping up the raw butternut squash, I made a few adjustments to make this recipe safer & easier to make. It tastes just as good, just prepared and cooked a little differently. Still delicious and still serves an army. Just put half of it away in my freezer for later. Hope you enjoy :)

What You'll Need:
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 3/4 cup milk or milk substitute
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour (wheat or white)
- 8 oz or 2 cups shredded cheese. I used extra sharp cheddar cheese but other cheeses that taste amazing with the butternut squash are Gruyere and fontina cheese.
- 8 slices bacon (optional. turkey or regular bacon).
- 2 chopped sweet onions
- fresh parsley or sage (or dried if you don't have any fresh)
- fresh shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese to top
- Optional bread crumbs to sprinkle on top

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Cook pasta according to directions, drain, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Peel and cut butternut squash in half. Place on baking dish and cook at 425 for about 20 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork.
4. In a medium pot, combine the milk, flour, and shredded cheese over medium heat until melted and keep warm.
5. Cook chopped onions in skillet with olive oil until onions are a golden brown.
*Optional: cook bacon in skillet and crumble. Can add to the mac or keep on the side. I'm still not a meat eater, but everyone else says it's amazing with the bacon.
6. When squash is done cooking, mash or cut into chunks and combine with milk/cheese mixture and onions and then add all to the macaroni bowl.
7. Optional: stir breadcrumbs in with melted butter and sprinkle over dish.
8. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese over dish.
9. Bake until top is browned, about 15 minutes or so. Sprinkle with parsley or sage & salt & pepper to taste.
10. Bon appetit! Also tastes great paired with red wine &/or garlic bread, & definitely the epitome of fall comfort food on these chillier nights :)

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