Monday, February 2, 2015

Sneaky Mac & Cheese {+ A Hidden Veggie}

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I know most kids like pasta, of course mine doesn't because that would make life way too easy on me when it comes to meal planning, but I went ahead and made this fabulous butternut squash-based mac & cheese recipe I saw on The Chew for dinner the other night because I just couldn't resist.

If you have a kid who will eat pasta, this is a great way to add more veggies into their diet without freaking them out. Cross your fingers with me that my kid will start to eat pasta soon! For the adults out there (or kids who like spinach), adding a couple handfuls of raw baby spinach to the finished dish and heating just until it starts to wilt is a great idea too.

I tweaked the recipe a little bit, so check it out below!

Sneaky Mac & Cheese

3 cups cubed butternut squash
1 1/4 cups chicken or veggie stock
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound pasta (I used cavatappi)
1/2 cup panko
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Nonstick cooking spray

Add the squash, stock, milk, half and half and garlic to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the squash is tender.

Remove from heat and pour into a blender (be careful with hot liquids, don't put the lid on completely or use a kitchen towel to cover it instead of a lid so it doesn't explode), add in the greek yogurt and salt & pepper. Blend on low then increase the speed until the mixture is smooth. Add in the cheeses and blend again until well combined and the cheese is melted.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. When it is done, drain it well and toss with the cheesy squash sauce. Preheat the oven to 375 and mist a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Pour the pasta into the pan and sprinkle with the panko and smoked paprika. Mist lightly with nonstick spray on top before baking for 20-30 minutes until the panko is browned and the cheese is bubbly.

Serve as a main dish with greens mixed in (1-2 cups of baby spinach ideally) or as a side.

Adapted from The Chew (Clinton Kelly's recipe)

Click Here To Print The Recipe

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