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My Macaroni and Cheese has a Secret.

Oct 04, 2011 04:39PM ● By Anonymous
That rich mac and cheese ... well, it's actually pretty healthy.

Yeah, it has a lot of cheese. After all, that's what mac and cheese is, right? It's the name. You can't get past that.

But it also has a secret ingredient: Butternut squash. You can't really taste the addition, and the color matches well. If you want to fool your kids into eating healthy squash, this is how to do it.

Plus, there's no butter in this recipe, and it's mostly made with fat-free milk. So how is it still so creamy? Well, turns out my mac and cheese has TWO secrets ... It's also cooked in one pot, right in the milk. This makes the dish super-creamy.

Yes, you heard me. One-pot healthy mac and cheese that's still creamy and delicious. Folks, it can be done. The key is in the stirring and keeping the heat low so the milk doesn't turn. 

One-Pot Butternut Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound macaroni (I used Barilla Plus)
1.5 cups grated cheese (I used 1 cup cheddar and .5 cups harvarti)
3 cups fat-free milk
1 cup cream
1 small butternut squash, roasted and mashed
1 small dollop mustard
A dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse the macaroni thoroughly in cold water and let drain. Much like risotto, this removes the extra starch from the pasta. 

Combine the milk, cream, macaroni, mustard, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. At this point, you really can't walk away from the pan so make sure you're committed. Or ask your husband to do it for you. One of the two. 

Keeping the heat low, continually stir the macaroni and milk so the pasta slowly absorbs the liquid and plumps up. You might have to add a little extra milk toward the end if the liquid has evaporated, but the pasta isn't quite done. This process should take about 15-20 minutes.

Once the pasta is cooked, mix in the mashed/pureed butternut squash and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.