Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

One taste of this creative spin on mac and cheese and you'll forget those prepackage, chemical laden boxed versions. Cooking the cubed butternut right in the pot saves on dishes AND infuses the sauce with even more squashy, fall flavor. A little thyme and a sharp cheddar cheese ramp up the mac and cheese factor! If you have them, a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs really elevates the finished bowls.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword: vegetarian,
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Transforming the Table

Equipment

  • Large stock pot
  • Large heavy bottom

Ingredients

  • 1 lb macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 3 cups stock or water
  • 1 Ib butternut squash (about 1/2 med-lg squash)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Small dice onion. Remove thyme leaves from woody stems and chop a little if needed. Peel and cube butternut squash into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes. (See back for butternut squash tips.)
  • Heat a pot of water to a boil for pasta. Salt the water, then add the macaroni noodles and cook to al dente. Drain when done and set aside until sauce is ready.
  • While pasta cooks, heat a  large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the oil and when hot add the onion and thyme. Cook the onion for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften, then add flour and stir to coat. Whisk in water or stock until warmed through and smooth, bring sauce to a bubble. Add butternut squash cubes and cook until squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Stir very vigorously until squash is broken up and sauce is mostly smooth. Stir in cheddar cheese in a figure 8 motion, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper (if using water, you may need a couple tsps of salt, start lower and taste before adding more).
  • Add cooked pasta to sauce. Enjoy!

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