Healthy Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Written by Olivia Grist

I have been dealing with a serious squash obsession. HA, I’m giggling just typing that out. But really, I saw an acorn squash for the first time last week and came up with a fun recipe for it, so I figured, why not see what I can make with all the other squashes of the world?! Squashes… I’m not sure if that’s right. Squashie, Squash… I don’t know if this is one of those “deer” situations or not.

Moving on – however you say the plural of it, squash is such a versatile food to cook with! I have cooked butternut squash before, but only in the pre-cut cubes. Don’t judge me, I’m afraid of losing a finger, so if it’s offered to me pre-cut, I take it. I love it roasted with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt. YUM.

Since I had an entire, uncut butternut squash to work with, I decided to try something a little different. The downside? I had to cut it myself. I always poke a few holes into the squash and microwave it for 2-3 minutes, until it’s soft enough to cut through without a chainsaw.

This recipe can be made vegetarian, but I chose to add chicken for extra protein! It can also be vegan if you choose to leave the cheese out at the end – here’s the thing, it is supposed to be mac and cheese, but the sauce is delicious on it’s own, so don’t shy away from trying it without!


This serves 2 people with lots of leftovers. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 small-medium sized butternut squash
  • 1/2 can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onions
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 bag of whole grain or brown rice pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, pre-cooked

Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp from each side. Cook in the oven, flesh side down for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

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While squash is cooking, sauté onion and garlic in a skillet for 2-3 minutes and set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta as directed on package. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Once squash is tender to touch, shred it from the skin into a food processor, along with the onions and garlic, coconut milk, basil, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth and pureed. Return the squash combo to the skillet over medium heat, and add chicken and pasta. Mix well for 2 minutes. If desired, top with Parmesan cheese and mix again. Serve immediately.

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If you’re following the 21 Day Fix, this will count as 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, and 1 blue. Enjoy, squash-maniacs!

 

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