Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Ah mac and cheese…the ultimate comfort food. Why is it that so many of the foods we love and crave are not the foods that are healthy for us. My goal was and has always been to create recipes that are healthy, delicious and leave you feeling satisfied. Last week I purchased a butternut squash and was determined to use it in two completely different ways. I ended up creating a yummy squash-ginger soup (coming soon) and this broccoli cheddar macaroni and cheese.
I loaded this dish with tons of veggies, lean protein, whole grain pasta and of course a bit of full-fat delicious cheese. The squash helped create the beautiful golden color that mimics cheese sauce, but with only a cup of added real cheese this dish is perfect for everyone in the family! You can indulge without any of the guilt. Serve alone or with a side salad for an added punch of nutrients. I used whole wheat penne in this dish, but would have rather used elbow macaroni; however, I had to make do with what the store had in stock. THANKS IRMA.
I would suggest roasting off a couple of squash on a random afternoon just to make cook time with this dish shorter. You can cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, coat in olive oil and drizzle with nutmeg, dried ginger, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until fork tender. Scoop out flesh and set aside for smoothies, pancakes, this macaroni and cheese or the butternut squash soup!
1.5 Cups roasted butternut squash
¾ C Shredded Cheddar Cheese + and Extra Tbsp. for Drizzle
¼ C Goat Cheese + and Extra Tbsp. for drizzle
2-3 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup Cashew Milk
½ C reserved Pasta Water
Optional: ¼ C Vital Proteins Bone Broth
Feel free to use all fresh frozen veggies for convenience!
1 Tbsp. Ghee or Grass Fed Butter
1 tsp. Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
3 Carrots Sliced
1 1/2 Chopped Broccoli Florets
½ C Sliced Mushrooms
1 tsp. Nutmeg
½ tsp. Dried Thyme
¾-1 Lb of pasta
2 Thin Sliced Chopped Chicken Breasts
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Chopped Green Onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a pan heat butter and oil. Add carrots and begin to cook down about 3-5 minutes. Add shallot and cook down an additional 2-3 minutes. Add broccoli and mushrooms and cook until fork tender yet still firm. Add garlic, a dash of salt and pepper and set aside in a small bowl.
Add butternut squash to the same pan and cook over medium heat until the squash starts to get warm and thin out. Add in 1 cup of chicken stock and cashew milk and whisk continually until smooth. Add nutmeg, thyme, black pepper and a dash of salt. Whisk in cheese and the additional cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil and let simmer about 5 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package and reserve some of the cooking liquid.
Add the reserve pasta liquid to the squash cheese sauce and mix in optional Vital Proteins Bone Broth. Once smooth, add in chicken, vegetables and add pasta gradually ensuring that you have enough sauce for your pasta. You can always add a little extra cashew milk as needed.
Add pasta mixture to a greased dish and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp cheddar cheese, 1 Tbsp goat cheese and black pepper and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Once cooked top with fresh green onion and serve immediately.
Make this recipe vegan by using vegan cream cheese, shredded cheddar and vegetable broth!