Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I was on the hunt for ways to make our dinner a little healthier. I had a butternut squash that I was going to roast but I knew I would be the only one that would eat it so I decided to try and come up with something that everyone would enjoy. In the pantry we already had some elbow macaroni and then it hit me. Could I come up with a way to make Mac & Cheese with little to no cheese in it? To the store I went to grab a bag of shredded cheddar and once I got back home it was time to get to work! So here it is, my Guilt Free Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheese”.
Ingredients: (serves 12)
1 medium Butternut Squash (peeled and chopped to 1 in squares. About 4 cups)
1 package small elbow pasta (12 oz)
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar
2 cups almond milk
1 TBSP olive oil
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread chopped Butternut Squash on a foiled cookie sheet. Drizzle with Olive oil. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over squash. Bake in oven for 20 minutes (oven times may vary) until squash is fork tender. Boil pasta as instructed on package and drain. In blender add cooked butternut squash, garlic powder, rest of pepper and a pinch of salt. Start blender and slowly add almond milk ½ cup at a time until a velvety smooth consistency is reached, around 2 cups. Add butternut squash sauce to drained pasta and mix. In an oven safe dish add sauced pasta then sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar over the top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
This recipe can easily be converted to vegan by removing the cheese on the top and gluten free by using gluten free pasta.
In this house I know a recipe is a success when I can feed it to the kids and they do not question what it is. For this one I even sent it to the Hubs office and they loved it too. A recipe has never made me more excited than this. I hope you try it out! And just in time for your Holiday festivities! Let me know what you think.