Fall is almost here and so is the soup season. We usually prefer bread or pasta to go with our soups. And yes, healthy and creamy mac and cheese is one of them. I used to make the classic mac and cheese, but then I came to terms where I wanted to make it healthier because I am trying to include healthy ingredients in what I eat and thats how it works for me.
This is our family favorite version of Mac and Cheese. This Mac and Cheese is creamy, cheesy, and so scrumptious. I love this recipe so much, because its an absolute star recipe. It is made in gorgeous lush sauce made with butternut quash, onions, a couple of garlic cloves and some milk. The pasta is baked topped with parmesan cheese and parsley. The golden crust on the top is our favorite.
Make this Creamy & Healthy Mac and Cheese
Butternut Squash – I am using Boiled Butternut Squash to make the sauce for the recipe. Butternut squash is a winter squash similar to that of a pumpkin, it has gorgeous orange color and has a sweet and nutty flavor.
White Onions – I like to use white onions for this recipe, as they are sweet and not spicy. They smell so good once they caramelize in butter with some garlic.
Garlic – Garlic is my favorite ingredient to enhance the flavor for any dish. You can definitely skip this ingredient, but I love it.
Milk/ Half n Half/ Heavy Cream – This is totally up to you and your taste preference. I used half n half to get a beautiful creamy texture to my sauce, but if you like it more creamy feel free to use heavy cream. Also, if you don’t want to add more fat, milk works just fine.
Leftover Water from Boiled Butternut Squash/ Vegetable Broth – I use this to make sure all my ingredients are mixed well in a smooth puree and is in the right consistency.
Black Pepper – I use freshly ground black pepper for this recipe. It brings a little bit spice and makes this mac and cheese very flavorful.
Salt – I used freshly ground kosher salt, because salt just makes life a little better.
Cheese – For this recipe I used a little bit of 5 cheese mix, mozzarella cheese, white cheddar powdered cheese and parmesan cheese for topping for the lush golden crust.
Parsley – Finely chopped parsley for the topping.
Make this Vegan
- Replace Half N Half or Milk with Cashew Milk or Cashew Cream. Soak about 15 cashews for 10 minutes. Puree them and make a thick but pouring consistency Cashew Cream.
- Replace regular unsalted butter with Earth Balance Vegan Butter
- For Cheese use Sharp Cheddar Vegan Cheese and Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Healthy & Creamy Mac and Cheese
- 2 Cups Elbow Pasta Boiled one minute before Al dante. Add 6 Cups of Water in a Heavy Bottom Pot. Bring it to a boil. Add Elbow Pasta and pinch of salt. Boil them one minute before al dante. Strain the pasta and run cold water on it so they stop cooking any further. Now add a little bit of olive oil and mix it.
- 12 Oz Fresh/ Frozen Butternut Squash Boiled
- 3 Tsp Butter
- 1 Medium White Onion Julienned / Thinly Sliced
- 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1/2 Cup Half and Half You can also use Milk or Heavy Cream
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth or Leftover Water from Boiled Butternut Squash
- 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Powdered White Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 Cup 5 Cheese Mexican Blend
- 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
Boil The Pasta
- Add 6 Cups of Water in a Heavy Bottom Pot. Bring it to a boil. Add Elbow Pasta and pinch of salt. Boil them one minute before al dante. Strain the pasta and run cold water on it so they stop cooking any further. Now add a little bit of olive oil and mix it.
For the Sauce
- Boil the frozen/ Fresh Butternut Squash.
- In a sauce pan and a 1 tsp butter. Add the onions and let them caramelize. Once they caramelize add the garlic. Let it cool.
- Add the boiled butternut squash, onions , garlic, half n half and vegetable broth in a blender jar. Pulse it in a smooth puree. If the puree seems to be thick add more milk and broth. You are looking for a rick creamy sauce with a easing pouring consistency, but not runny.
- In a sauce pan add 2 tsp butter. Add the powdered white cheddar cheese. Mix it well in butter. To this add the sauce we prepared.
- Now add freshly ground black pepper and salt. Give it a mix and add the cooked pasta. Mix it well.
- Now add all the cheese and let it melt. Give everything a mix gently
- This step is optional. Heat the Convention oven to Broil at 450F. Transfer for your pasta in an oven safe bakeware. Top the Mac and Cheese with parmesan cheese and parsley and broil it for 7 minutes or until the crust is golden.
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