This recipe is definitely my go-to, homemade mac & cheese recipe. It's from the September 2011 Cooking Light magazine. While the dish is on the lighter side (as far as mac & cheese goes), the number of pots and pans that get dirtied while making this is not light! But...I promise this recipe is worth it! One time-saving step when making the butternut squash bechamel is to use an immersion blender in the pot where you cooked the butternut squash instead of using a normal blender. I've had good luck substituting Mozzarella cheese for Gruyere cheese (when I forgot to buy Gruyere!) and it tasted just as good! Also, this recipe is one of Caroline's favorites and I love that she's getting some butternut squash in every bite...without knowing it!
Happy cooking! Don't forget to swing back here by this Friday and
enter the Numbers Alive! giveaway for a free book and poster!
Creamy, Light Macaroni & Cheese
3 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (about 1 lb)
1 ¼ cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cups fat-free milk
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
1 ¼ cups (5 oz) shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup (4 oz) grated Pecorino Romano cheese
¼ cup (1 oz) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 lb uncooked cavatappi pasta
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierces with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender (or use an immersion blender) to make the butternut squash "béchamel." Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to espace); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyere, Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
5. Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs and remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over pasta.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.