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Mac & Cheese with Squash

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It’s been freezing here lately. I have to say that it’s definitely making 50 degree rainy winters seem enjoyable, so I can’t wait to leave that aspect of the mid-west! This latest arctic blast to blow through Indiana has really made me crave “comfort foods,” so after I made some very rustic beef stew on Sunday evening, I made some mac & cheese last night. Of course, in addition to the pantry, I’m trying to use up things in the freezer as well, so I added some winter squash and broccoli as well. This was super simple and I just used what was in the house.

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 box (10oz?) of frozen winter squash
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2t kosher salt
  • 1/4t black pepper
  • 1/4t smoked paprika (Use more if you want. I didn’t really taste it.)
  • 8oz sharp cheddar (I like Tillamook)
  • 8oz cavatapi pasta
  • 1/2 bag of frozen broccoli (1/2lb?)
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 2T Parmesan
  • 1/4t kosher salt
  • 1/8t black pepper

And here’s what I did:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, put winter squash, broth, and half & half over medium-low heat until squash is defrosted.
  2. Thoroughly mix together and add salt, pepper, and paprika.
  3. Cook mixture together over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in shredded cheddar until melted.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions, but slightly below al dente, about 5 minutes.
  6. Mix together pasta, broccoli, and sauce and dump into 9×13 dish.
  7. Mix together panko, Parmesan, salt & pepper.
  8. Spread panko mix evenly over the mac & cheese dish.
  9. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until heated through.
  10. Broil 2 minutes until top is browned.

This makes about 4 servings, but with a hungry dude in the house, you’ll probably get more like 3. I love that I squeezed squash and broccoli into this dish and served with a salad. It’s so easy to let my veggie intake & generally healthy eating slide with all this craziness of moving and graduating, but I just feel so much better when I’m taking care of me, you know? I hope I can keep it up.

Other awesome things: I aced a math final today, and all I have left is one psychiatric nursing final standing between me and freedom! Also, we bought a new mattress set for the Seattle apartment, and it’s a king size! I am ridic excited about this! Oh, and thursday I leave for COOKIE BAKING!! I’m so glad I’m able to take part in this holiday tradition before I move! I’m looking forward to spending time with my mom, aunts, and cousins!


3 responses »

  1. What is it about winter weather that just makes me crave pasta and cheese? This is also a great way to combine another winter love: squash.

    Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  2. Yum! This reminds me of an Ellie Krieger recipe I tried a while back. It looks so comforting.

  3. I love the idea of squash in pasta! I was going to cook a nice dinner tonight and then all the sudden I got a craving for pasta and parm, so I went with it. I added in peas and used whole wheat pasta and indulging was just what I needed 🙂


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