Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a healthier alternative to traditional macaroni and cheese.
Mac and cheese is a favourite for a lot of kids. The soft texture and creamy, cheesy sauce is usually a winner. A lot of adults love it too, in fact Finn’s aunt, Sarah, is actually a member of SMAC (Scottish Macaroni Appreciation Club.) It isn’t the healthiest of dishes but this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese sneaks in a veggie and is lower in sodium and fat.
I boosted the nutritional value and reduced the salt levels by replacing some of the cheese with roasted butternut squash. The squash adds a slight sweet flavour and, to be honest, after the first mouthful I wasn’t truly convinced. My husband and Finn both really liked it though, so I gave it another go. After a few splashes of tabasco I changed my mind and actually went back for a second plateful (well what was left after Mike and Finn had seconds)
Butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is important for growth and development, tissue and bone repair and for healthy skin and eyes. Vitamin C promotes healthy skin and muscles. Squash is also a good source of potassium which is important for bone health.
Do your kids love butternut squash? Why not try this delicious butternut squash and apple soup.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
A kid favourite meal made a little healthier.
- 1 butternut squash , peeled, seeded and chopped
- 250g (2 1/2 cups) macaroni
- 30g (4 tbsp) flour
- 30g (2 tbsp) butter
- 1/2 tsp English mustard powder (optional)
- 375ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
- 50g (1/2 cup) grated cheddar cheese (sauce)
- 30g (1/3 cup) grated cheddar or parmesan (topping)
- Pre heat oven to 200c/ 400f / gas 6, place the butternut squash on a baking sheet and bake for approx. 20 mins (until tender)
- Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packaging, drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour and mustard powder (optional) then stir, to form a paste. Over a gentle heat add half a cup of the milk and continually whisk to prevent any lumps forming. Slowly add another half cup of milk and continue to whisk. Repeat until all the milk is used up and continue to whisk until sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
Blend the sauce and pumpkin together and then mix through the pasta. Place in an oven proof dish, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake for around 10 - 15 minutes (until the top is bubbling and golden)
* Nutritional Information is an estimate only, calculated using an online calculator.