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It’s like a dinnertime holy grail: Finding a recipe that is quick, affordable and full of healthy nutrients, and that the whole family will happily devour.
Made with vitamin-packed winter squash and fiber-rich whole wheat pasta, this mac and cheese recipe provides added nutrition that you won’t find in the kind that comes in a box but is ready in just about the same amount of time. Make the sauce while the water boils and the pasta cooks.
It still offers the cheesy, ooey-gooey indulgence that makes mac and cheese such a favorite with kids and adults alike.
This quick and healthy dish will please the whole family.
20-Minute Squash Mac and Cheese
Yield: 8 servings
1 (16 oz.) box whole wheat pasta (penne, shells, spirals)
1-2 (10 oz.) boxes frozen pureed winter squash, thawed
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups non-fat milk
7 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup light cream cheese
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions. While the water comes to a boil and noodles are cooking, prepare the sauce.
In a medium sauce pot melt butter and add garlic and flour. Heat over medium-high until butter is melted, garlic is fragrant and flour is incorporated. Stir constantly. Slowly pour in milk while whisking.
Stir frequently and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Slowly stir in small portions of grated cheese until all is fully incorporated. Next slowly stir in cream cheese and then slowly stir in squash until the consistency is the thickness you prefer. (Use 1 or 2 boxes of squash based on your preference.) This whole process should take 20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne if desired. Pour over cooked noodles and serve.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: 407 calories; 13 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 380 mg sodium; 56 grams carbohydrate; 5 grams sugar; 6 grams fiber; 16 grams protein
Julie Fromm, R.D., is a community dietitian with Henry Ford Health System’s Generation With Promise program, which focuses on empowering youth and families in the community to increase their consumption of healthy foods and physical activity and balance caloric intake.
Henry Ford LiveWell and Kroger have teamed up to assist you in your wellness journey! Check out more recipe videos and advice for healthy eating at henryfordlivewell.com.
This story is provided and presented by our sponsor Henry Ford Health System.
Members of the editorial and news staff of The Detroit News were not involved in the creation of this content.