Butternut Baked Macaroni and Cheese
You'll love this lightened up version of traditional mac and cheese! It's so creamy and satisfying with a crunchy panko top!
Serves: 8
  • 1 pound butternut squash, cubed into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1½ cup milk (see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 pound uncooked whole grain rotini pasta
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup whole wheat panko
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 12 inch round or 13x9 inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, combine the squash, garlic, vegetable broth and milk. Bring to a boil and reduce to a light simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool as you boil the pasta.
  3. Over high heat, bring a pot of water to a boil with a few pinches of sea salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
  4. In a blender, or with an immersion blender, blend the squash mixture along with the Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, Tabasco and dry mustard. Add the grated cheese and just stir in.
  5. Drain the cooked pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and stir to coat.
  6. Pour the pasta mixture into the greased baking dish.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the panko with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Mix to combine using your fingers.
  8. Top the casserole with the panko mixture.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and slightly bubbly.
Use any milk you love. Keep things light by using a non-fat or low-fat milk or your favorite unsweetened and unflavored almond milk. I use 2% milk in this.

I love full fat Greek yogurt best, but lower fat or non-fat work well, too. Fage is my yogurt of choice. It isn't overly tart and adds a nice creaminess.

Super sharp white cheddar works so well with this, but I've also used a spicy Pepper Jack that is really nice. You might even try a reduced-fat cheese.
Recipe by Taste Love and Nourish at http://www.tasteloveandnourish.com/2016/02/22/butternut-baked-macaroni-cheese/