Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Small sauce pot
- Large skillet
- Baking dish
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 quart low sodium chicken stock vegetable stock or even water!
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ⅛ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ small onion minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 4 oz 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar, plus 1/4 cup more for topping
- 4 oz 1 cup shredded gouda, plus 1/4 cup more for topping
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Place butternut squash and chicken stock into a small sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is very tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove butternut squash from stock. Set stock aside. Add squash to a blender.
- Blend squash with a splash or two of the chicken stock along with the paprika, mustard, turmeric, cayenne, and nutmeg. Be sure to blend until very smooth! Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add in onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add in elbows and stir to coat.
- Add in about 1/3 of the stock and cook over medium heat, stirring until most of the liquid is evaporated.
- Repeat this process until the pasta is al dente and there is a bit of liquid remaining in the pan. You want to maintain a simmer (not a full boil) through this process so that the pasta cooks gently and all the liquid doesn’t cook off without the pasta being able to absorb it and cook through. **
- If the pasta is tender but there is no liquid left, just add a splash more. You need a bit of liquid in there for the cheese to melt nicely.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in cheeses until fully melted. Stir in reserved butternut squash puree.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. ***
- Pour into a small greased baking dish and top with the 1/4 cup extra cheddar and gouda cheeses. Sprinkle on panko. Drizzle all over with olive oil.
- Turn on broiler to high. Place mac and cheese under the broiler and broil until golden, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
*This can be doubled! Just need to use a larger pot. **You may not use all the stock, thats ok! ***Can be enjoyed at this point! The broiling steps are optional 🙂
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