Thanksgiving: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

By Sam Negrin

Thanksgiving or not, a good mac and cheese recipe is always good to have in your back pocket. This recipe happens to be one of our all-time favorites inspired by Cooking Light circa 2011. The butternut squash is the perfect addition to the three cheeses, resulting in a creamy, melty dish that ~everyone~ is going to love. We "LEAF'd" it up a little bit by using almond milk in lieu of skim milk, and lentil pasta instead of wheat. You can also throw in some spinach, bacon or sausage! Here's how it's done:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled & ready
  • 1/12 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup low sodium broth
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp plain full-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup pecorino romano
  • 4 tbsp parmigiano reggiano (2 tbsp for mix, 2 tbsp for breadcrumb mix)
  • 1 lb lentil pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley, for topping

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven for 375 degrees
  2. In a large pot, add: butternut squash, almond milk, broth & garlic cloves
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-heat, then reduce to simmer for 20 mins
  4. Once the squash is fork tender, pour the mixture into a blender, add greek yogurt & blend
  5. In a large bowl, pour the hot squash mix over your three cheeses. Combine until cheese is melted and add lentil pasta (cooked according to box instructions)
  6. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray, pour pasta evenly
  7. In a skillet over medium-heat, add olive oil & panko breadcrumbs. Cook until golden
  8. Off heat, add 2 more tbsp of parmigiano reggiano and mix, then sprinkle crumb mix over pasta
  9. Bake at 375 for 25 min
  10. Top with fresh parsley & serve immediately

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