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Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

I'm on a bit of a butternut squash kick! :) Which is fine, seeing as it's fall and b squash is delicious and jam-packed with nutrients! Although I love cheese, I don't make mac and cheese too often. But when I do, I like to add veggies to boost the nutrient content. Peas, broccoli, mushrooms, and b squash all all yummy additions that you don't have to try to "hide" to get anyone to eat it. Plus, this recipe has the warm, holiday flavor of sage, and the crunch of walnuts. It's a must-make for your Thanksgiving dinner!

Without further adieu, here's the recipe!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

by McKenzie Ziegler, RDN, CDN, LDN

serves 6

1 lb elbow macaroni (substitute penne or shells; can use whole wheat)

2 Tablespoons oil

2 cloves garlic, minced (substitute 2 tsp garlic powder)

1 large fresh butternut squash, peeled and cubed (substitute 3 cups cubed fresh or frozen butternut squash)

2 cups baby portobello or cremini mushrooms, sliced, OR 2 cups chopped broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)

3 cups half and half or milk of choice (substitute unsweetened non-dairy milk)

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (substitute non-dairy cheese)

1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (or 1 additional cup cheddar; substitute non-dairy cheese)

1 teaspoon salt

pinch black pepper

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon sage

¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

While prepping ingredients, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Heat oil in same large pot used for pasta over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, until fragrant. Add butternut squash and mushrooms/broccoli. Stir well and cook until veggies have softened, about 10 minutes. Add in half and half/milk and cheese. Cook until sauce bubbles, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and sage. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add cooked pasta into pot and mix to combine with sauce. Serve in bowls and top with walnuts, if using. Garnish with a sage leaf. Enjoy!

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