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.
Winter Squash Mac and Cheese
- 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
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 12 ounces cooked winter squash puree (thawed if frozen)
- 1 ¾ 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.
- Serve immediately.