Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

My mom has the most beautiful garden. Her and my stepdad have taken care of their garden for many years now and I always look forward to when the butternut squash is ready. This is unfortunately the last year I’ll be getting her batch of squash since they’re moving so I gladly took the 8 big pieces she gave me. Butternut squash mac and cheese has been on my radar for awhile now, so when my husband was gone for the night I decided to make it for me and the boys.

I start by peeling and dicing the squash into small cubes. Layering them on a sheet pan with a little oil and salt for about 40 minutes in the oven is a great way to roast them. I try to flip them around about halfway through so they’ll cook evenly. While the squash roasted I sautéed some sweet onions in butter and let them cook on low to get some flavor.

I’ve been eyeing this banza pasta for awhile now on the inter-webs so when I went to Whole Foods I was sure to snag it up. It’s made from chickpeas, has 25g protein per serving with 13g fiber. Can’t beat that. And it really tastes like regular pasta!

Look at the creaminess of that squash mixture!! I do admit, the sauce to pasta ratio was a little heavy on the squash. For me it was fine because I love squash, but some may like it with a little less. After the squash was roasted I let it cool for a few minutes. Into my ninja blender I put the sautéed onions, milk, pasta broth, and squash to blend. I added the mixed cheese after it was all blended so it would melt into the mixture. Feel free to add more cheese than I put to get more cheesy and less squashy.

The kids ate it!! Which I of course was thrilled with. I was really not sure if they would approve of this dish or not but was pleasantly surprised. Travis liked mixing his with peas and I had mine with a big salad. It was good as leftovers the next day with some chicken sausage added to it. Give it a try for a new baked mac and cheese recipe!

   

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (2-3 cups diced)
  • 1 box bans pasta
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup broth from pasta water
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Peel and dice butternut squash into small cubes. Bake on baking sheet for 40 minutes or until pierced with fork easily.
  3. Cook pasta according to package and reserve 1/4-1/2 cup water.
  4. Sautee onions and garlic in melted butter for 15 minutes. Be sure to move onions around to not burn them.
  5. After squash is cooked, take 2-3 cups of diced squash and put into blender. Add onion mixture, broth, milk and combine. Add more broth is mixture is too thick.
  6. Mix in cheese to squash mixture until melted.
  7. Combine sauce over pasta and enjoy.
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1 Pan Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

My inspiration for this simple ground turkey recipe came after seeing Jessie James Decker post about cooking it for her family. I love watching celebrity moms cook for their families. Just shows some realness to them. She didn’t have a recipe and said she used a bunch of seasonings with her dish. I kept mine simple to 1-appeal to my family and 2-not mess it up. I think I did pretty good.

Normally my husband doesn’t like sweet potatoes, so I’m left catering to him by making white potatoes with the meal as well. I’ve been known to do this for shepherds pie. This time it wasn’t happening. And guess what? HE LIKED IT! This is a big victory for us in the Simpson house since the kids and I like sweet potatoes. Honestly, what’s not to like about them?

When I was sautéing the sweet potatoes and onion together I added a few splashes of chicken broth to help the pan stay moist and cook the potatoes. Not necessary but I think it helped cook them. Putting everything together in one pan makes everything SO much easier. Literally everything is mixed together (sorry to the picky kids out there: see below) which helps the flavors blend together. Using a lean ground turkey means you don’t have to worry about draining the fat.

Although I tried sneaking some spinach in because you really can’t taste it when it’s sautéed in a dish like this, my son was not being fooled. He of course picked out every shriveled up piece of “green stuff” and wouldn’t dare put in his mouth. He said his favorite colors were brown and orange today so, it is what it is.

1 Pan Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup part skim mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Dice sweet potatoes into small cubes. You can leave skin on or peel it off. Sauté onions, oil and garlic over medium low heat. Add chicken broth as needed to keep potatoes from sticking. Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes start to soften with fork
  2. Add ground turkey to pan and cook until brown.
  3. Add mozzarella cheese and blend until melted.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
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