November 09, 2011

Butternut Squash Mac n' Cheese

Pin It
Last night I had a good friend of mine, another Army wife, over for dinner. We had strict Army party planning items to discuss and mull over but that never stops a few girl friends from having a glass or two of some delicious vino and a little din din.

I had the perfect dinner in mind being that I had already completed my entire weeks grocery shopping {for a total of only $??.??} so it was going to be a cinch to throw together while we went over party details and vendors.
 It's been a long couple of weeks with going away on vacation for 4 days to coming home to a October Noreaster and no power for 6 days to now finally settling back into my normal routine with the puppies, work and warm showers. Paul and I were getting take-out a lot for dinner because there weren't a lot of other options when you are sitting in the dark so this week I made a plan. I wanted to plan an entire week-long dinner menu, go shopping ONCE for all the items and get to work each night on creating healthy, delicious meals that wouldn't be boring or break the bank.
So I went to the grocery store, a determined woman, on a mission to walk out the door with 6 dinner menus under $ how did I do???

{grand total: $57.43}

I know, my mouth dropped too. I was SmiLeS all the way home! 
 So now I am mid-week of my 6 day meal challenge and it's going fabulously. As my girl friend and I had a few glasses of wine and got all of our military business out of the way, I had been popping in and out of the kitchen putting the finally touches on dinner before we sat down to eat and just enjoy the rest of the night.

I have a great blogger friend Jessica over at Monster Cakes who is just a joy to watch and read through her life. She is a writer but aside from that being her day to day job, she blogs and writes all the time about her ADORABLE fashion, her beautiful pups and life as a wifey with her wonderful husband. One day in reading through I came across this blog post and I almost died when I clicked on the recipe... one of the most exciting recipes I've seen yet for this type of dish.
 Butternut squash in macaroni and cheese, it sounds heavenly. 
{Laura Must Try} And so I did.

My girlfriend and I were so pleased. The butternut squash added just the right amount or sweetness to compliment the cheese, plus it brought this bright creamy color to the macaroni just as if it was real cheese. What I did notice about this version compared to others is that with all the squash that is added in, there is far less butter used in this recipe than in regular mac n' cheese because the squash compensated for the butter. {Genius}

We had a great night and this totally fell right into my fall favorite flavors that I HAD to try...not to forget that this meal costs on average about $1.80 per person and you just can't beat that. 

This new spin on an age old classic was just what this week needed.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño 

Recipe Adopted by Naturally Ella


2 cup butternut squash, peeled & diced (about 1/2 large butternut squash)
2 tablespoons veggie broth
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
pinches salt, pepper, and garlic
3/4 cup milk

1/2 large white onion, diced
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
10 ounces pasta

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add butternut squash. Cook until squash is softened and drained (cover tightly and cook for 12-15 minutes )
{Here is a Good Housekeeping Video that can help show how to prepare your squash}
Place in a food processor, add broth, and pulse until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Prepare pasta according to box (or how you normally do it!) Drain and set aside.
In a small pan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk, butternut squash, salt, pepper, onion and garlic. Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken (1-2 more minutes). 

Once thickened, remove from the burner and mix in cheese, continuing to whisk until melted (if the sauce seems too thick, add a little more milk.) Stir into pasta and serve.


Jenni said...

This sounds delicious! I wonder if I could get away with cooking this...
NIce job at the grocery store!! I always find that if I spend the time to plan out my meals I can get away with spending a ton less per week than I usually do! (And it helps when I can go by myself and not have my husband sneak doritos into the cart!)

The Better Baker said...

Oh my goodness!!! I want a bite (or 3) right now. It's simply gorgeous. I LOVE butternut squash and have already 'pinned' this to try sometime soon. I have a pile of butternut in the favorite fall veggie. Thanks a million for sharing this creative recipe.

Julie at Burnt Carrots said...

Totally trying this! It sounds delicious!! Thanks for sharing.

Erin Stomber said...

I have to try this soon! This looks absolutely delicious and your photos are fantastic!

Great job on the budgeting too. I definitely have to start doing better at that!

Carrie said...

This looks delish! I keep seeing recipes for squash or pumpkin mac n cheese.... It's peaking my interest! I must try it.

Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

I have a similar recipe using squash! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!! :)

The Texas Peach said...

This looks and sounds so delicious! My husband loves butternut squash, so I will definitely have to make this. Hope you have a great weekend!