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Healthy Macaroni and Cheese

139

Ricotta and pureed squash give this slimmed-down but familiar dish its creaminess.

  • Servings: 6
macaroni and cheese with butternut squash

Photography: Sang An

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup Homemade Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Olive-oil cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine squash, stock, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash contents of saucepan; stir in nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add noodles; cook until al dente, according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl; stir in squash mixture, cheddar, ricotta, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

  3. Lightly coat a 9-inch-square baking dish (4 inches deep) with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.

  4. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Chris Walker
    28 JAN, 2013
    Where are the nutrition facts for this healthy recipe??
    Reply
  • Natalie23
    28 SEP, 2012
    Came out great!!! I pureed the squash mixture instead of mashing it, and added a sautéed onion with a few tablespoons of butter before returning the squash mixture to the pot. I also melted my cheese with with squash before mixing it with the pasta. Made plenty for leftovers,
    Reply
  • ckagy
    21 JAN, 2011
    Very disappointed. Loving both main ingredients, it didn't seem that they came together in the finished dish. The squash overpowered the cheese and its texture isn't very creamy.
    Reply
  • Pswoody
    26 NOV, 2010
    'Excellent! I made it with whole wheat pasta and a littler extra pepper. Tastier then regular Mac 'n Cheese and not greasy.
    Reply
  • Pswoody
    26 NOV, 2010
    'Excellent! I made it with whole wheat pasta and a littler extra pepper. Tastier then regular Mac 'n Cheese and not greasy.
    Reply
  • SteenerBeener
    18 OCT, 2010
    I modified this completely and it worked out great for my two picky toddlers. We cooked the squash in the oven first, then pureed it and the heat melted all of the other ingredients... skipped the milk and added a little chicken broth. I also used rice macaroni instead. Delicious! And it didn't sit in your tummy like a loaded brick like traditional mac n cheese.
    Reply
  • GenB
    8 OCT, 2010
    So disappointing! Bland, tasteless; the whole dish ended up in the garbage.
    Reply
  • GenB
    8 OCT, 2010
    So disappointing! Bland, tasteless; the whole dish ended up in the garbage.
    Reply
  • lindsaywedepohl
    17 AUG, 2010
    My family loved it! Our 2 kids, 6
    Reply
  • veggielover123
    23 MAY, 2010
    TOTAL calories: 1,950; TOTAL fat: 18.2 g, TOTAL Cholesterol: 15.3 mg, TOTAL carbohydrate: 378.7g, TOTAL Fiber 53g, TOTAL Protein 126.2 g Remember this is with all nonfat cheese, no oil, and no breadcrumbs!
    Reply