Gluten Free notes at the bottom of this post.
First of all, I’ve never been the greatest at making homemade mac n’ cheese. Somehow, I never get the cheese mixture to look right despite my determination to follow the recipe as instructed. Nevertheless, I’m sure I didn’t manage to get this recipe to look just right, but it definitely tastes amazing! The butternut squash completely brings a sweeter taste; plus, it’s helpful that it’s presence reduces the amount of cheese! Less calories and fat, of course. I definitely prefer this mac n’ cheese recipe in our household now!
12 ounces whole wheat mini pasta shells (these hold the cheese better than elbows)
1 cup soy milk
1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup frozen butternut squash, thawed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. chili powder or a few dashes of Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tablespoons reduced fat Monterey jack cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta shells in salted water until slightly firm, according to package directions.
In another saucepan, combine the soymilk, Parmesan, cheddar, and butternut squash over medium heat until melted and combined. Turn off the heat. Add salt, mustard, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder or Tabasco.
Drain the pasta but don’t rinse it. Add it to the cheese sauce (use a large bowl if necessary) and toss to coat the pasta. Taste and add more salt or pepper, according to your taste.
Spray a shallow baking pan with cooking spray and put the pasta-cheese mixture in it. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Monterey jack cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Make it Gluten Free!
- Of course, be sure to use gluten free pasta. Specifically, quinoa pasta would be fabulous for this recipe, but brown rice pasta will work great as well. The photo you see above is with brown rice pasta!
- Make sure you use gluten free breadcrumbs, though I would not suggest buying the pre-packaged brown rice breadcrumbs. YUCK! Ter-ri-ble! Simply dry out a piece of gluten-free bread or two, then crumble up to use as the topping here. Obviously, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t use these breadcrumbs; you will still have some great mac n’ cheese.