Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

The other week as I was strolling the aisles of Trader Joe's I discovered their butternut squash. It is already peeled and chopped for you and is exactly one pound of squash. My friend Andrea had just been telling me about a light macaroni and cheese she had been making with butternut squash so I grabbed the squash and ran home to start cooking!
Here's what you will need:
  • 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (Trader Joe's makes that part easy!)
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (fat free if you want this to be a healthier version of Mac N Cheese)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound uncooked Macaroni noodles
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Gather your ingredients (above)
  2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and pre-heat oven to 375.
  3. Shred your cheeses and have them handy...you will need them soon!
  4. Put the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid to ensure steam can escape and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid to avoid a big mess. Blend until smooth. 
  5. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Stir until combined. It starts smelling really good about now...
  6. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch dish coated with cooking spray
  7. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add Panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.
  8. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.
And there you have it: a still delicious, but healthier version of Mac N Cheese!
Original recipe found here.

6 comments:

Becca Moss said...

Uhm, this looks delicious! I've never heard of using butternut squash to make mac n cheese.

Karm said...

Wow. This is different and really interesting. It also look yummy. I will have to write this recipe down and try it. Thanks!

courtney said...

i am obsessed with anything butternut squashed!! :D

Anne said...

The discovery of that TJ's prepped butternut squash was a good thing in my life too... and this looks great!

Betty said...

After wrestling with a butternut squash at home I LOVE the idea of buying it pre-cut! I need to do this...and make this delicious recipe!

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Looks yummy! I haven't done anything with butternut squash before. I need to try it out!