As we settle into the colder months, there is nothing quite like a warm and comforting dish that satisfies your cravings. This Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese recipe will not only keep you cozy, but it is also a healthier alternative to traditional macaroni and cheese. The butternut squash adds a rich flavour and a natural creaminess to the dish without the need for any heavy cream.
To start off, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grab a large pot and cook 8 oz. of macaroni according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, we can prepare the delicious butternut squash cheese sauce.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of unsalted butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion and sauté until softened, which should take about 2 minutes. Add in 1 tsp of minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
Next, add in 1 1/2 cups of peeled, cubed butternut squash, 3/4 cup of chicken broth, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Stir everything together and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork-tender.
Once the squash is ready, use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender, and blend until smooth. Transfer the sauce back to the saucepan and keep on low heat.
Drain the cooked macaroni and add it to the saucepan with the butternut squash sauce, along with 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, and 1 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese. Stir everything together until the cheese is melted, and the pasta is coated with the sauce.
Now, let’s assemble the dish. In a baking dish, layer half of the macaroni and cheese, followed by a layer of 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs. Repeat this layering process, ending with a layer of breadcrumbs on top.
Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
Once the dish is out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes before serving. The aroma alone is sure to tantalize your taste buds.
This butternut squash macaroni and cheese dish is not only delicious, but it is also a healthier option than traditional macaroni and cheese. The butternut squash adds a nutritional boost, while the lack of heavy cream makes it a lighter take on the classic dish. So, go ahead and indulge in this warm, comforting dish guilt-free!