Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Last month I saw this amazing recipe for Macaroni and Cheese in Cooking Light magazine.  I just knew I had to try it, as it cuts almost 600 calories from the traditional mac & cheese recipe.  So here’s my version, enjoy!

Ashley’s Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

  • 3 cups of peeled butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 pound uncooked whole wheat shells
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

2.  Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce hear to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.  Remove from heat.

3.  Place the hot squash mixture in a blender.  Add salt and pepper… Greek yogurt is called for in the original recipe but I missed this step… I was too focused on the blending of the squash.  Remove the center piece of the blender lis (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.  Place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatter).

Blend until smooth.

Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in cheeses and mix until combined.

4.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Add pasta to the squash mixture and stir until combined.

5.  Spread mixture evenly into a 13×9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Italian seasoning (my added touch) evenly over the hot pasta mixture.

6.  Bake a 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

7.  Enjoy!!

This is really an awesome and easy recipe.  Neal and I both found the sauce to be a little sweet, so I might change up the cheese next time.  Trader Joe’s has this awesome 5 cheese mixture… I think it would do well in this dish.  I would also recommend adding additional seasoning to the sauce prior to adding the noodles.  The Italian seasoning on top was great, but I think it’d be better inside the dish.

All in all, I give it 3.75 out of 5 stars. 

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Today is also Biggest Loser day, so you know what that means… Weigh In!!  My scale was giving me really random numbers this morning (it’s clearly broken) so I am going to weigh in on Neal’s scale tomorrow.  I will update tomorrow morning…

Biggest Loser Challenge Week 2

  • Starting Weight: 226.6 pounds
  • Week 2 Weight:  ?? pounds
  • Total Weight Lost: 1.8 pounds

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Well, I’m off to work!  With 20 minutes on the elliptical and 40 minutes in the weight room under my belt, I’m feeling really energized this morning.  I’m hoping I don’t crash today, though it’s bound to happen.  Staying up until 12:40AM to do graduate work wasn’t the smartest idea. 😉

I hope everyone has a fantastic Tuesday!

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7 Responses

  1. Well, obviously I’m obsessed with butternut squash, so I will have to make a rendition of this one! Sounds like a great comfort meal for a cold night!

    Even though waking up early sucks, it’s so great to get that workout done in the morning and go on with your day!
    Hooray for Biggest Loser night!

  2. I love mac & cheese. What a fun way to make it healthy. I bet its awesome. I’ll definitely be making it with some brown rice noodles.

  3. Looks delicious 🙂 I love Mac and Cheese and it sounds great with squash!

  4. I’m scared of squash! But that looks good. I love the weigh-in on BL night! 🙂 Wasn’t tonight’s good? I was so proud of the girl who lost so much weight when she couldn’t even walk really!

  5. […] — Ran for 40 minutes with Neal before work, made butternut squash mac and cheese for dinner, and then cranked out a learning profile project for graduate […]

  6. […] Biggest Loser night!  I haven’t forgotten about my Biggest Loser weigh-ins (week 1 and week 2 recap), but I still need to buy a new scale.  My scale at home is jacked.  No excuses but […]

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