Butternut Healthy Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe for Kids

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 ounces dried Whole Wheat Elbow Macaroni Noodles or regular, white elbow macaroni
  • 1 small Butternut Squash
  • 2 Tbl Butter
  • 2 Tbl Whole Wheat Flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 4 Cups grated Cheddar Cheese (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Prepared Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Real Salt * + more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs (use seasoned, if desired)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut or peel the skin off of the butternut squash, scrap out the seeds, and cut the squash into 1/2″ cubes.
  2. Place in a saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook squash for 8-10 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Drain the water and place the squash in a food processor. Process until completely smooth. Set aside.
  5. Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and season with 1/2 tablespoon salt.
  6. Bring to a boil. Add the macaroni noodles to the water.
  7. Stir once and let cook, stirring occasionally for 9-10 minutes, or until just under al dente. Pasta should be just a little firmer than you would want it to be when eating because it will continue to cook and soften in the oven when baking.
  8. ?Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium/high heat.
  9. Whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds.
  10. Add 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk until thickened and smooth.
  11. Add in the butternut squash puree and whisk until smooth and bubbling.
  12. Add 2 cups of the grated cheese and whisk in until melted and smooth.
  13. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1 more cup of cheese and whisk until smooth.
  14. Add the onion powder, mustard, salt, and pepper, and whisk until smooth.
  15. Drain the cooked pasta and toss it with the cheese sauce.
  16. Scoop the pasta into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top.
  17. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the cheese and bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbling and cheese on top is melted.
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