The classic staple, Macaroni & Cheese gets healthified by adding mashed butternut squash instead of most of the cheese. With the additions of squash, mushrooms and green onions, this Lighter Mac & Cheese will instantly become a family favorite! It’s absolutely delicious as a meatless entrée or side dish.
I have come to realize that I have magical powers in the kitchen. I can hide things in baked casseroles that nobody notices. Like vegetables. 🙂
When I served this Mac & Cheese up to my boys, they were so excited. They love anything pasta, especially mac & cheese. My 9-year old started inhaling his plate and said, “Mom, this is so good. Like, SO good. I love these chunks of cheese in here”. Ha. Fooled you, little boy! They’re actually chunks of butternut squash, but keep on eating!
Is it sad that I get a little thrill out of tricking them?! When I told them that it was squash and not cheese they were hysterically surprised. Wish I would have gotten it on video, haha!
Lighter Baked Mac & Cheese aka Hidden Veggie Mac & Cheese
- 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash about 1 medium sized squash
- 1 12 oz box elbow pasta (I used
- Anthony's Hidden Veggie Twisted Elbows
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 8 oz. white mushrooms sliced
- 3 green onions sliced (whites & greens)
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese (I used
- Sargento 6-cheese Italian blend
- and it was amazing!)
- Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, place cubed butternut squash in a microwave-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 4 minutes, or until squash is cooked through and fork tender. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and mash squash. Set aside.
- Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and green onions. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture and stir for 1 minute. Add milk and salt & pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in squash.
- Drain pasta when cooked and add to mushroom and squash mixture. Gently fold to combine. Pour half of the pasta mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Pour the rest of the pasta mixture on top and then sprinkle the remaining cheese over it.
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!