Mac and Cheese is one of my (and now my son’s) “must-have” dishes during Thanksgiving. I usually stick to a simple Baked Macaroni and Cheese, but here is another type to make your meal a little healthier. This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese has a sauce made mostly of pureed butternut squash. The squash is simmered in vegetable broth until tender, then blended with caramelized onions and milk until completely smooth.
I used white cheddar, but yellow cheddar or gruyere would also work well.
If the sauce is too thick, slowly add more milk until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
New to cutting up butternut squash? Here is a great step-by-step tutorial. Take note that many people experience a skin reaction when peeling and handling raw butternut squash, particularly when fresh from the garden and not fully ripened. Wear gloves when handling just in case and immediately wash your hands.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 pound dried macaroni
1 small butternut squash (4-5 cups cubed)
4 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shredded cheese, Cheddar or Gruyere
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium low heat. Once melted, add the sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply golden, about 20 minutes.
While the onion is caramelizing, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, just tender. Drain.
In another pot, cover the cubed squash with the broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the squash is tender, 5-7 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the broth. Drain the squash and transfer to a blender with the onions, milk, salt, and reserved 1/2 cup broth. Blend until completely smooth.
Combine the sauce and pasta. Stir in the shredded cheese. If needed, add a little more milk to thin the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately garnished with parsley.