September 29, 2017

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

There are few comfort foods that I love as much as macaroni and cheese. Traditional mac and cheese is a diet wrecker, no doubt. Not only is it a comfort food, but I have never met a kid that doesnt love it!
Butternut squash puree is the newest ingredient to hit the mac and cheese scene.

This recipe has less than 300 calories per serving and 15 grams of protein! The recipe makes 10 servings, so it can feed a hungry family or make several servings for healthy meal prep. Add some chicken or beef, and you are set with an all-in-one meal!

1 lb. dry whole wheat macaroni
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 medium red bell peppers chopped
3 cups cubed butternut squash
13⁄4 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 Tbsp. low-fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional) Nonstick cooking spray
Finely-chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Set aside.
5. Combine squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; gently boil for 22 to 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.
6. Place squash mixture in a blender or food processor; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.
7. Combine squash mixture, macaroni, onion mixture, yogurt, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
8. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.
9. Garnish with parsley if desired. 

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