Is there anything better than macaroni and cheese??
Yeah there really isn’t.Well this is a fun twist on the traditional fattening recipe that we love to devour in one sitting all know and love and I’ve been seeing this everywhere! The secret ingredient? Butternut squash. And no, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it friends. I must admit, I was quite the skeptic on this since I’m pretty much the pickiest eater alive, but I was really happy with how it turned out! This was creamy, yes still cheesy, and packed with so much flavor you wouldn’t know you were saving over 500 calories from a typical mac and cheese dish.Here are the deets.
I used roughly half of a large butternut squash (which sneakily looks just like creamy cheddar cheese when it’s all said and done), non-fat milk, fat-free chicken broth and yes, Greek yogurt. Throw in about two cups of shredded cheese and you’re good to go! This entire thing will last for days and freezes really well too if you want to go ahead and make it ahead of time.
I love making big casseroles on weeks when I’m slammed with stuff to do. Why? Well I always have great leftovers for lunch so I don’t have to make anything the night before and it saves me from worrying about dinner the next night as well! Or in our case…the next two nights. I know all you other food bloggers can relate, especially the ones with full-time jobs such as myself. We tend to make a lot of recipes all at once which means A TON of food to eat in a short amount of time! So yes, I get really excited when I make something I’m able to freeze or we basically live on leftovers for the rest of the week.Which is okay with me…
I tend to be lazy on any given Wednesday night. Aren’t we all?
- 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
- 1¼ cups fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
- 1½ cups fat-free milk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 box (1 lb) uncooked elbow noodles
- ½ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- Fresh parsley, garnish as desired
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan, combined cubed butternut squash, chicken broth, milk and garlic and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes, until squash is tender. Meanwhile your pasta should be boiling per box instructions.
- Pour hot squash mixture into a blender and add Greek yogurt, salt and pepper. Blend until smoother and pour mixture into a large bowl. Stir in cheeses until melted and then fold in your pasta. Pour everything into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs over top and place in oven for about 25 minutes. Turn your broiler on to high and allow to sit an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until breadcumbs are browned. Sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!