Want a seasonal recipe that will squash that Thanksgiving food coma? Try this creamy squash macaroni and cheese. All the goodness of whole grains to keep you full, not sleepy, while the in-season squash is packed with vitamin A to keep your eyes healthy. This recipe is sure to keep you warm this holiday season.
Serves 8, 1 cup per serving
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 12 ounces whole wheat macaroni
- 1 (1½ pound) butternut or acorn squash
- ½ cup water
- 6 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 (16-ounce) container nonfat cottage cheese
- 1 cup nonfat milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 9-inch square baking dish
- Box grater
- Cutting board
- Large pot
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Microwave-safe bowl
- Mixing spoon
- Sharp knife
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Coat 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook macaroni for 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain and set aside. Reserve pot for later.
- While pasta cooks, cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Cut into large chunks. Place in microwave-safe bowl with water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
- While squash cooks and cools, grate cheddar cheese.
- Peel cooled squash. Place in pot used to cook pasta. Mash with a fork. Add cottage cheese and milk. Stir until smooth. Add pasta, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Spread evenly in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
- Bake until breadcrumbs are browned and edges are bubbling, about 45 minutes.
- To reduce cooking time, or when winter squash is not in season, use 2 (12-ounce) boxes of thawed frozen pureed squash in place of the fresh squash.
- If you have a blender, use it to puree the squash, cottage cheese, and milk in step 6. This will give the sauce a smoother texture.
- If you do not have a microwave, bake squash in the oven. Cut squash in half. Place cut side down in a baking dish with ½ cup water. Bake at 375°F until tender, about 1 hour. Transfer to a clean cutting board to cool.