Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Butternut squash is one of those foods that is a symbol of the fall season. I’ve been waiting until the weather cooled off to make a butternut squash dish…and after reading the newest BHG magazine, I came across a recipe I HAD to try: Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese. I ripped out the recipe, all set to make it on Saturday, but didn’t realize until gathering the ingredients that I didn’t rip all of the recipe out…whoops! So, I invented my own…using BHG’s ingredients as a base, I added here, took out there, and came up with a deliciously beautiful end result. Even if you don’t like the flavor of butternut squash allll that much, this dish definitely doesn’t have an overpowering squash flavor. It blends great with the nutty gruyere and smoky bacon and onion. And if you want a flavor EXPLOSION, top with BBQ pulled pork. It’s good. If only I had a bit more leftovers… 😉

Butternut Squash NatLizMac & Cheese

(Adapted from BHG recipe in October issue)

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. noodles (I used large macaroni shells)
  • 1/2 medium-size butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Nutmeg
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 T brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drai and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine squash and 2 1/2 cups of the milk over medium-high heat. Stir to avoid milk burning. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir together remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour; add to squash mixture. Add a couple dashes of nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Smash squash to create a thick puree, and let mixture thicken. Add about 3/4 of the Gruyere cheese and stir until melted. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; pat dry on paper towels. Cook onions in same skillet in the bacon grease, adding brown sugar to onions. (Note: onions will cook FAST! Don’t overcook!)
  4. In a large bowl, add noodles and squash mixture. Mix together. Crumble bacon overtop, and add onions; Mix into noodles.
  5. Lightly coat a large baking dish with olive oil/butter. Pour noodle mixture into baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for about 8 minutes until top is crisp, then cover with foil for remaining 5-10 minutes until cooked through. Remove and let cool.

Cut about one inch off top of squash.

Scoop out seeds and use a sturdy vegetable peeler to peel off outer skin.

Milk + squash

Cooked noods

Shredded grueyre + chopped onions

Smashed squash + milk

Noods + squash mixture

Before the oven…

All done.

A bowl of happiness

Why yes, that is topped with BBQ pulled pork.

Pumpkin cake topped with caramel, courtesy of my mother. The perfect dessert!

N

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