Sharp cheddar and pureed winter squash create a thick and creamy sauce for this easy stove top mac and cheese. Kid-friendly, adult approved!
Cool weather, short days and sleepless nights have me craving comfort food (read: carbs) like never before. Of course, I’m also well aware that nothing saps or drains your energy like loading up on sugar or white bread.
In an attempt to find a happy medium, I created this easy and nutritious Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Winter Squash. By using whole wheat pasta as the base, I am adding protein and fiber that will keep me from crashing an hour later. For even more vitamins and nutrients, Winter squash is pureed into the cheese sauce creating a thick and hearty texture that sticks to every shell.
This dish freezes really well and also keeps for several days making it an ideal option for a quick and healthy lunch throughout the week.
Your fork is waiting.
- 1 pound whole wheat shells
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups low fat milk
- 2 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 12 ounces cooked winter squash puree thawed if frozen
- 1 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese low fat
Cook pasta in salty water according to package instructions reducing the cook time by 1 minute to ensure al dente pasta; set aside.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes whisking frequently.
Pour in milk, broth, dry mustard, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to low. Whisk constantly until sauce begins to thicken.
Stir in winter squash and shredded cheese. Mix until melted, about 2-3 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Add reserved shells to the pot and stir until noodles are evenly coated.
Want more delicious ideas for winter squash? Check out these tasty recipes we’ve put together for you for the Food Network’s Fall Fest!
Feed Me Phoebe: Baked Acorn Squash with Maple-Siracha Glaze
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Thai Red Curry Chicken with Winter Squash
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Provencal Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Chickpeas
Weelicious: Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Creamy Squash Rigatoni
Blue Apron Blog: Acorn Squash Tempura Tacos
Taste With The Eyes: A Hearty Tomato Soup with Sausage and Spaghetti Squash
Devour: Winter Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Dishin & Dishes: Roasted Acorn Squash Crescents with Sage Pecan Pesto
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Pumpkin & Apple Slices with Maple Syrup
Red or Green: Butternut Squash Salad with Kale, Cranberries and Cayenne
Virtually Homemade: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Basil Walnut Pesto
Domesticate Me: Chipotle Pork Tenderloin and Butternut Squash Tacos
Daily*Dishin: Kahlua Baked Acorn Squash
FN Dish: Comforting Winter Squash Sides