This quick and easy Mac and cheese recipe swaps out a lot of cheese (and calories) with pureed squash. For an even healthier version use lowfat milk, lowfat ricotta and whole wheat pasta. This baked pasta dish has a wonderfully rich flavor, and it’s good for you!
Ingredients (serves 4)
1/2 box of pasta of your choice (elbows, penne, rotini, etc)
2 cups cooked and pureed winter squash
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup grated Monterrey jack cheese
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 6×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Prepare macaroni as directed for al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
3. Heat squash and milk in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches a simmer.
4. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper.
5. Pour cheese mixture over macaroni, combine and then transfer to baking dish.
6. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese.
7. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.