Roasted butternut squash. CHECK. Heaps of mozzarella cheese. CHECK. Crumbled crispy bacon. CHECK.
Usually I could tell you one or two things missing in a dish. Maybe an extra crunch, more of that, less of this. There always seems to be room for improvement, which makes cooking so much fun. But THIS butternut squash mac & cheese, oh my goodness, I can’t think of one thing!
If you’re an avid Pinterest pinner like me, I’m sure you’ve seen recipes for butternut squash mac & cheese. Some bloggers throw in herbs or a variety of different cheeses. I’m sure they’re all are wonderful and I’d no doubt lick each plate clean, but I thought I’d keep a simple dish, well, simple.
Here’s how: I used mozzarella and pecorino romano (grated parmesan works, too) cheeses. Nine times out of 10 both are in my fridge. Same thing for the crumbled turkey bacon. The only odd ball ingredient that I had to buy at the grocery store was butternut squash.
Hubs and I took about 3 days to eat the 9×9 tray of mac & cheese. Usually we’re the healthy Garden Turkey Burgers kind of folk, but I say autumn calls for make-your-stomach-smile kind of food just like Sweet Corn, Bacon & Shrimp Chowder, and of course… Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I hope you enjoy this Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese as much as we did! It makes for a great weekday dinner, and even better leftovers.
- 20 ounces pre-chopped butternut squash (or 1 small squash, peeled and chopped)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped (consider: pulse onion & garlic in a food processor to get extra fine)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 pound Barilla Cellentani Pasta
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano (or Parmesan)
- 1/4 cup crumbled mozzarella
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 slices turkey bacon, finely chopped and cooked
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast for 20 minutes, flip once, then roast for another 20 minutes. Mash with a spoon, then set aside (time saver: you could do this step the night before).
- Reduce oven to 375 degrees.
- Cook pasta to al dente, according to its directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add butter, onions and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent, then whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Add milk, mashed butternut squash, pinch of pepper, red pepper flakes, half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the pecorino romano (note: if you want your “sauce” to be thinner, add more milk).
- Add pasta to a 9×9 baking dish and fold in the cheese mixture. Sprinkle top with crumbled bacon.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is golden.