What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think comfort food? For me it’s rich and creamy mac and cheese! I’m a savory gal and would take pasta drowning in cheese over cake any day of the week! This butternut squash version of the original is just as delicious but with half the fat and calories! Need I say more?
It’s okay to drool. I did too.
I think mac and cheese is the universal food for kids, mine included! I’ve never been one to buy the blue box, but we do love to make our own. There is nothing quite like homemade mac and cheese. Wouldn’t you agree?
This is our favorite splurge recipe. It is SO good.
Yes it’s made with REAL whole ingredients like cream, butter and cheese. No complaints, its delicious and we gladly indulge on occasion. But I wanted to create a similar but lighter version using some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Butternut squash was the answer. It adds color, texture and a flavor of it’s own, you can hardly tell a difference! In fact my husband had no idea he was eating squash and carrots until I told him, which was a BIG mistake. He got full real fast after that. I learned to keep my kids clueless going forward, they still have no idea I snuck three veggies in there. Mom win!
Hello rich creamy golden deliciousness, it’s very nice to meet you.
Mix it up
There is no wrong way to mac and cheese! Try mixing it up with these lip smacking mix ins.
- Bacon & parsley
- Broccoli & pearl onions
- Roasted tomato & fresh basil
- Andouille sausage & sautéed mushrooms
- Buffalo sauce & blue cheese
- Ham & peas
- Green chilies & diced tomato
My mouth is watering! What combo would you pick?
I served my sauce over zoodles and it was just as delicious! Like, I went back for seconds + licked my plate CLEAN delicious. My family had theirs over capellini pasta and loved it!
Try topping a baked potato, dipping with chips and veggies or enjoy it by the spoonful! I did. It is sure to be a staple in our Clean Eats kitchen! Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Yield 4-6 servings
- 1 small butternut squash (about 3 full cups), cubed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup swiss cheese, grated
- 1 cup 2% mik
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- dash of freshly ground pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Dice the onion and add to the oil in the pan, sauteing over low heat until fragrant and golden, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove the skin and the seeds from the squash. Cut the flesh into small 1-inch cubes.
- Peel carrots and cut into 1-inch chunks.
- Bring 4 cups of broth plus 2 cups of water to a boil and add the squash and carrots. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, and transfer carrots and squash to the blender. Add the onions, milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, dijon mustard, salt and pepper and puree until completely smooth and creamy. This should yield about 4 cups sauce.
- Pour the pureed sauce back into sauté pan and add the shredded cheese. Stir to melt the cheese; add remaining broth to adjust consistency as needed. Pour over cooked noodles.
- Serve with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.
For a Dairy Free + Vegan option
- Add broth instead of milk when blending and omit the cheese. Enjoy!