Butternut Squash Whole-Wheat Mac & Cheese

Today I’m in three places at once. Besides talking turkey around here, I’m also having a little Q & A time with the lovely Kelsey, a.k.a, The Naptime Chef in her famous ‘Tales from the Trenches’ series.

Head here to catch the full interview.

I’m also sharing a recipe for Butternut Squash Whole-Wheat Mac & Cheese over at The Family Kitchen on Babble. It’s one of our favorite meatless main dishes, and seasonal, too!

This recipe is surprisingly healthy for mac & cheese, as it incorporates nearly an entire squash and uses whole-wheat egg-white pasta for a substantial and low-cholesterol meal. I love this dish because it feels like a hearty main dish even though it is meatless.

Hit the jump for the recipe and be sure to check out my interview on The Family Kitchen, which includes tips for cooking this dish ahead of time, and including children in the whole process.

Recipe: Butternut Squash Whole-Wheat Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 500 g organic whole-wheat egg-white noodles
  • ½ sweet onion, such as Vidalia, diced
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups organic whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/3 cups butternut squash puree (method below)
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I used a combination of cheddar, Parmesan, and Emmental)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup Panko or plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, not powdered
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut, shredded

For the egg noodles:

  1. Bring a large, heavy-bottomed pot of water to a boil; salt generously.
  2. Add pasta, stir well, and cook one minute less than indicated on the package.
  3. Drain into a colander.

For the sauce:

  1. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, stir to coat and cook gently for about five minutes.
  2. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir well. Slowly add milk, whisking well. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often until mixture thickens slightly and floury taste is gone.
  3. Add squash puree and mix well. Add cheese, a few handfuls at a time, stirring continually.
  4. Once all the cheese has been added and melted, stir in Dijon, and season sauce with salt and pepper.

For the topping:

  1. Combine Panko, Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a bowl.

To assemble:

  1. Combine cheese sauce and cooked egg noodles together until noodles are well coated.
  2. Divide between two buttered 8-inch square pans or casseroles.
  3. Top with Panko topping.
  4. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve at once.

To Freeze:

  • Prepare the butternut squash gratin recipe in full, but stopping just before baking.
  • Wrap entire pans tightly in plastic wrap, mark with the date, and flash freeze.
  • To reheat, remove wrapping and place in a 350F oven. Bake until heated through and bubbly around the edges.

Squash puree

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
  1. Wash and peel squash; trim ends. With a sharp chef’s knife, cut bottom third off of the squash, then halve that and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Chop the entire squash into roughly 1-½ inch pieces.
  2. Place squash in a medium pot and fill with cold water. Add a ½ teaspoon of salt and place over high heat. Cover pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender; about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain, return the squash to the pot and mash with a potato masher or whirl with an immersion blender.

Puree can be made up to one day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.

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About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. This sounds so yummy! Might you have any information on its nutrition stats? Thank you! :)
    Colleen’s last post: Homemade Tomato Soup with Garlic Twist Breadsticks

  2. This sounds like a great recipe!
    SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen’s last post: Menu Plan – January 9

  3. As a person who really does not like squash that much, yet realizes how healthy it is, I decided to give this recipe a try. We only eat whole wheat pasta, so that was not new to us, just the squash component. We are not able to do a lot of dairy (yes, it begs the question but…) so I didn’t use milk, but subbed in chicken broth and a broth cube with water. I added Italian seasoning to the gravy, too. Whole wheat bow tie pasta… mixed it all and topped it with Italian seasoned bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. I put 1/2 in an 8×8 pan and the rest in aluminum disposable pot pie pans and froze them. It was yummy. I can’t taste the squash at all, which is probably the point. My squash phobic hubby refused to try it and my 2 year old spit it out… I still love it and will make it again.

    A couple of thoughts for next time. One big squash made enough for 2 batches of this. I froze the other 1/2 and will use it next time. And, as no one else will be eating it, I think adding button mushrooms to the onion mix would be super yummy, too.

    Thanks for the recipe – it’s a keeper, at least for the mom in the family!

  4. I have made something similar, but my kids could still taste the butternut squash and while they LOVE butternut squash they were not happy about it being in the mac and cheese. So I found that if you add an oz or two of cream cheese it really adds an extra layer of creamy cheese flavor and really really hides the butternut squash. :)

    You can make Monster Slime mac and cheese by using pureed broccoli or spinach instead of butternut squash.

  5. I made this recipe and it was very yummy. My husband doesn’t like squash but he couldn’t even guess what vegetable was in it! It froze well so this will be a keeper in our home for sure :)

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