This is a butternut squash mac and cheese recipe. This is a meal in and of itself because it has all the food groups in it. This isn't your typical boxed mac n' cheese - or even homemade version. This clean eating mac and cheese sneaks in butternut squash puree. That's why it is a good healthy butternut mac and cheese recipe.
My kids had no idea the squash was there and gobbled it right up. I, however, noticed that it gave it a sort of fall flavor and contributed to a healthier, creamy sauce that needed less cheese because of the squash puree.
It can be very difficult for children to get the nutrition that they need, so anytime I can get the chance to sneak something healthy in a delicious recipe, is a huge plus. But the best part is that it isn't only benefiting the children, but the rest of us as well. 🙂 This definitely takes a childhood classic to a new, healthier level.
I used to eat boxed mac n' cheese with my siblings all the time growing up. It is a simple, easy thing to make for a couple of people. But I can make a good healthy mac and cheese for my kids by using this healthy mac and cheese recipe.
I remember thinking if I were to have a food fight, mac n' cheese would be one of my choices of best foods to be throwing around. I wouldn't want to waste this healthy mac and cheese on a food fight though. It isn't sticky enough either. I remember seeing this happen in a movie when I was younger but can't remember which movie. Does anyone remember? Also, I am wondering has anyone ever had a "real" food fight? Storytime. I would love to hear about your experiences.
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Butternut Squash mac and cheese Recipe
Butternut Squash Clean Eating Macaroni & Cheese Recipe - the squash makes it healthier and creamy, but it still has enough cheese to be delicious!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Clean Eating
- 12 ounces dried Whole Wheat Elbow Macaroni Noodles or regular, white elbow macaroni
- 1 small Butternut Squash
- 2 Tbl Butter
- 2 Tbl Whole Wheat Flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 4 Cups grated Cheddar Cheese (divided)
- ½ tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Prepared Mustard
- ½ tsp Real Salt + more to taste
- ⅛ tsp White Pepper
- ½ Cup Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs (use seasoned, if desired)
- Cut or peel the skin off of the butternut squash, scrap out the seeds, and cut the squash into ½" cubes.
- Place in a saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook squash for 8-10 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain the water and place the squash in a food processor. Process until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Fill a large pot ¾ full with water and season with ½ tablespoon salt.
- Bring to a boil. Add the macaroni noodles to the water.
- Stir once and let cook, stirring occasionally for 9-10 minutes, or until just under al dente. Pasta should be just a little firmer than you would want it to be when eating because it will continue to cook and soften in the oven when baking.
- ?Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium/high heat.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add ½ cup of the milk and whisk until thickened and smooth.
- Add in the butternut squash puree and whisk until smooth and bubbling.
- Add 2 cups of the grated cheese and whisk in until melted and smooth.
- Add the remaining ½ cup milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1 more cup of cheese and whisk until smooth.
- Add the onion powder, mustard, salt, and pepper, and whisk until smooth.
- Drain the cooked pasta and toss it with the cheese sauce.
- Scoop the pasta into a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the cheese and bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbling and cheese on top is melted.
Keywords: clean eating, healthy, creamy