Mac n’ Cheese
Sometimes ‘sneaking’ in a veggie is necessary, mostly because it’s reassurance that the kids eat one, plus it can actually be a guilt-free feeling when you realize that the veggie actually improves the taste. But for this recipe, squash is supposed to be here, so technically no secrets, there’s still plenty of cheese, and everyone will love it!
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups whole or 2% milk
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon or 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 cup butternut squash puree*
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Cooked short pasta, such as elbow macaroni or tubetti
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook one minute. Slowly add milk, broth, salt, pepper. Bring to a low simmer, stir until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
Whisk in mustard, squash and cheese. Stir well until melted and combined. Bring to a light simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stove top variation: Stir cooked pasta with enough sauce to thickly coat, heat together in pot until mac n’ cheese looks creamy and delicious and heated through. Serve immediately. Store leftover sauce for use later.
Baked variation: Cook 1 lb pasta (454g box) according to package directions, less 1 minute from al dente. Transfer all pasta and sauce to large, deep, oven-safe dish and stir together. Mixture will look 'soupy', but don't worry. Top with extra grated cheese, if you like, and/or crushed potato chips (yup), crushed prepared croutons, Panko breadcrumbs or nothing at all. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 375 deg F, or until bubbly around edges and golden on top. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
NOTE: freeze sauce in portioned out containers for easy meal prep on a busy day.
Squash puree: Steam or roast chunks of peeled butternut squash until tender. Puree until smooth in food processor. If you choose to mash instead you may end up with some lumps…so hopefully your tasters don’t mind.
CHEAT ALERT: You can buy prepared squash puree, jars of baby food or even canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling) to save you some of the work 🙂
Hi, I'm Katie!
I am a nutritionist, chef, mom to two little ones, and a lover of food!
I hope you enjoy my recipes and food blog. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.