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Meatless Monday - Macaroni and Cheese With Butternut Squash

Macaroni and cheese has got to be the best comfort food, it's loved by kids of all ages.  It's also hearty and filling but it is lacking in vegetables.  When I was a kid my mom used to try to remedy that by putting peas into it.  Yuk!  It meant I had to pick peas out of my, otherwise delicious dinner.  Of course now that I'm grown up I realize just how important eating your veggies is to your health.  The problem is, I still don't like peas.  I do, however, love butternut squash, and I probably would have loved it when I was growing up (I enjoyed acorn squash).  The thing about this recipe is that you hardly notice the squash so it might be perfect for parents of kids who, like me, would prefer mac and cheese without vegetables ruining it.

You'll notice a bit of broccoli on the side, that's because it's tasty, good for you, and extra delicious with anything cheese.

Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash by Future Relics Pottery
Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (low fat is okay)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup butternut squash, pealed and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add flour and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, and salt; stir until cheeses melt. Discard bay leaf.
2. Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes or until almost tender, drain well. Add pasta and squash to cheese mixture, stirring well. Place the mixture into an oven safe casserole coated with cooking spray. Top evenly with remaining cheddar cheese. Combine remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and panko; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture. Spray lightly with cooking spray; sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until heated.
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. dang clever recipe! and at THIS point in my life, not as a kid, I like peas in my mac and cheese :)


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