Make creamy macaroni and cheese healthier by adding acorn squash. This great hidden vegetable side dish is a perfect way to add an extra veggie to your plate without anyone knowing it!
Super creamy stove top mac and cheese is a welcome addition to any dinner plate. Your family doesn’t have to know that this recipe has a healthy secret.
It cuts out the butter and milk and reduces the amount of cheese you’d need because there is a healthy dose of acorn squash. It may sound far fetched, but it is super delicious!
Squash used to be one of Little Dude’s favorite foods. He got a couple of squash for Halloween last year and he loved it!
Now, he prefers to not touch the stuff. But he loves noodles and he loves cheese.
The squash from last year’s Halloween accidentally procreated. We ended up with dozens of little squash plants in our compost.
So, we moved a couple behind the garage. Now we have a pile of acorn squash that needs to be used and a little guy who thinks he doesn’t like it.
I had made squash sauces before. They were more pumpkin, sage, and Parmesan type sauces.
So, I used that idea to make something more fun and kid friendly for Little Dude (and his mommy and daddy). We had it for dinner tonight and everyone had seconds. It is creamy without using a ton of fat or milk.
If you don’t have acorn squash on hand, don’t fret! A can of pumpkin puree would do the job as well. Mashed butternut squash is another great option.
To add even more fiber to your mac and cheese, use whole grain pasta. I like using something with lots of ribs or twirls to really hold on the sauce.
The first time I made it, I used whole grain rotini. This last time celantini seemed to be just the right thing. I just love all of those curly ques!
This great side dish goes with just about anything. We love it with ham, but it would also be fabulous with baked bbq chicken.
More Great Mac and Cheese Recipes
Stove Top Acorn Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 6 oz whole wheat rotini cooked according to directions
- 4 oz extra sharp cheddar
- ½ tsp ground mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the squash until soft. I like to do this while it is whole, it makes cutting it a lot easier. So, you can either boil it whole for 10-15 minutes or poke it with a fork and stick it in the microwave for 6 minutes.
- Scoop the seeds out of the squash. Blend the squash until smooth. I use a stick blender, but any blender will do.
- In a saucepan, mix the squash, pasta, a half cup of the pasta water.
- Add the mustard powder and cheese.
- Stir over low heat until the cheese is melted.
- If needed a splash of milk or water can be used to loosen up the sauce.
- Season to your liking and serve!