Charlotte Hancey shares with us a great way to sneak veggies into your kids mac ‘n’ cheese. This is also a perfect side dish for the holidays and comfort food for the cold months to come. You can find even more of her great recipes on her instagram @charlotte.shares.
Butternut squash & bacon Mac ‘n’ cheese.
prep time: 45 min
cook time:15 min
- 1 butternut squash-peeled, de-seeded, and cubed (about 6 cups)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 8 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup shallots, finely diced
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk (1%, 2%, or whole)
- 2 cups grated gruyere cheese, divided
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar, divided
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 16 oz cavatappi pasta
- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- kosher salt
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a 9X13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Heat a large pot of water over high heat for the pasta.
- Place cubed squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven to roast for 20 minutes or until pieces are fork tender. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash half of the pieces (doesn’t have to be completely smooth). Leave on tray and set aside.
- When water boils for pasta, add 2 Tbsp of kosher salt to the water then cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and place on a towel-lined plate to drain. Drain all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease from the skillet.
- Turn the heat for th eskillet to medium then add diced shallots. Cook until translucent.
- Add 4 Tbsp. of butter to the shallots. Once melted, whisk in 4 Tbsp. of flour. Cook for about 1 minute until the flour starts to brown. Whisk in milk with a slow, steady stream and bring to a boil, stirring constanly.
- Once that thickens (coats the back of a spoon), add 1 1/2 cups of gruyere and 1 1/2 cups of cheddar. Add 1 tsp. of salt and about 1/2 tsp. of pepper. Stir until cheese is melted then turn off the heat.
- Add rosemary, bacon, butternut squash and drained pasta to the cheese sauce. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Melt remaining 4 Tbsp. of butter in a bowl. Add panko and Parmesan and stir to combine.
- Add remaining gruyere and cheddar to the pasta then sprinkle the panko mixture on top.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until topping starts to brown.