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!
Kate Styled Pretty says
Yum! Mac & cheese is the best part of living in the South!
Nora @ Buttercream Fanatic says
I’m totally making this tonight with acorn squash (it’s just what I have on hand). Can’t wait!
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This recipe was perfect… even my kids liked it! Feel free to visit my site http://www.BetterOffHealthy.com for more healthy recipes.
marcie @ flavor the moments says
As much as I love butternut squash, I’ve never added it to mac and cheese…YET. This looks so cheesy and delicious, and I love the extra orange color the squash lends. Looks great!
Erin Indahl-Fink says
Stopping by from Pin It Thursday, and had to take a look at your Mac and Cheese. Looks sooooo yummy! Pinning this and making soon!
Shauna Smart says
Thank Jen for sharing this at The Weekend re-Treat Link Party! Shared on our FB page and pinned while I was here tonight!
~ all bloggers are welcome to join us every Fri-Sun @ The Weekend re-Treat Link Party where all family friendly blog posts are welcome! ~
Sami Bookout says
This looks so good! My family will love it.
Thanks for a great recipe!
I really need to trick my hubby into eating this!!!
Scarlett Wonder says
This sounds really good! LO & I both love mac & cheese, but I am terribly deficient in the homemade variety. Fingers crossed this one worjs for me! Love the add of the veggies!
Miz Helen says
The flavor of this Mac and Cheese will just be awesome. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, and have a great weekend.
Kammie @ Sensual Appeal says
This is awesome, I have a butternut squash sitting on my counter waiting to be used, now all I need is mushrooms! Perfection.
This recipe looks great! I would love to make it, but I’m not a big fan of the microwave (we don’t have one in my house). How long would the squash need to be baked to be fork tender? I was just going to try it out, but it’d be nice to know how long it will take ahead of time. 😉 Thank you!
Hi! You can either half the squash, take out the seeds, and roast it at 400º for about 40-50 minutes, when fork tender. Then you peel it when it’s cool enough to handle and then cube it. OR you can peel it, cut it into cubes and coat lightly with olive oil and roast it at 400º for about 20-25 minutes, when it’s fork tender.