Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Butternut squash, white cheddar and thyme give this classical comfort food favorite a seasonal twist.

  • Serves: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Clover 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups butternut squash puree (pumpkin puree also works)
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3.8 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (about 3.8 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (about 2.3 ounces)
  • Olive oil for greasing baking dish
  • Finely chopped parsley for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water.

  2. Position an oven rack to the center. Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease a baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.

  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir immediately until a soft paste, or roux, forms. Add milk and begin to stir everything immediately to prevent the roux from clumping up too much.

  4. Once the milk boils, reduce heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for about 3 to 4 more minutes, until the sauce thickens. Reduce the heat to low.

  5. Add the oregano, thyme, black pepper and salt and stir. Add the butternut squash puree and mix until everything is incorporated. Mix in 3/4 cup of mozzarella, 3/4 cup of white cheddar. Save the rest of the cheese for topping later. Turn off heat. Stir in the cooked pasta, until it’s well coated with the butternut squash cheese sauce.

  6. Pour mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella, white cheddar and parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes, then broil for 4 minutes to brown the cheese on top.

  7. Top finished mac and cheese with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

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