Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

My 11 month old is a really picky eater. He’ll learn when he’s older that I don’t cater to picky eaters. What I feel like making for dinner is what you get! But for now, I try just about everything to get him to eat. So far I’ve noticed that the only food he never turns down is cheese. Great! I love cheese! What kid doesn’t like macaroni and cheese? This recipe is just like regular homemade mac and cheese but with squash added in to bump up the flavor and nutrition. You can make this recipe using a whole butternut squash. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and roast it in the oven cut side down on a cookie sheet at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes. Once it has cooled, scrape out the flesh into your food processor and puree. If you want to make things easier, you can buy diced cooked butternut squash in the frozen foods department. Just thaw that out and puree. Or even easier, use a can of pumpkin! Hey, it works!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb. of whole grain penne

1 T. flour

1 T. butter

1 1/2 cups of milk

1 1/2 cups of shredded mild cheddar

1 cup of pureed squash

1 tsp. salt

pepper to taste

1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

Fill a large pot with water, place it over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, drop in your pasta and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the butter. When the butter is melted stir in the flour and whisk to make a paste, then whisk in the milk and continue whisking until smooth. When the sauce starts to bubble turn the heat down and add the cheese, squash, salt,pepper and nutmeg (the sauce will be pretty thick). Drain the cooked pasta and place it in a bowl, pour the cheese sauce on top and stir to coat all the pasta. Now simply add fork. Yum!

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