A low calorie twist on a favorite, Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe with Bacon come together for a mouthwatering, hearty, comforting meal you will love. Crumble some bacon on top and you’ve got yourself a hit!
If you love mac and cheese but want a healthier version, you are going to love this recipe. Packed with healthy goodness, this is recipe is true comfort food that is actually good for you. One bite and you will never want to make regular mac and cheese again.
A Healthy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe with Bacon
When you are watching what you eat, there is always the desire for the comfort foods. But you usually feel like you have to give them up. That is not the case. You just have to change the recipe. There are usually ways to create a healthier version of the recipes you crave.
What to Serve with Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe can easily be a complete meal on its own. Packed with vegetables, you don’t have to have anything else. Serve it as a side dish: While this works great as a main dish, you can also serve it as a side dish.
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Variations to Healthy Mac and Cheese
While this is an easy recipe that tastes amazing, you can change the recipe slightly to make it even better. Here are a few ideas to make this butternut squash mac and cheese with bacon.
- Add meat: Use ground turkey breast or chicken breast to make this a more filling recipe. You can also use diced meat that is leftover from another recipe.
- Tomatoes: Many people love stewed tomatoes in their mac and cheese. You can use stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes or even a little tomato sauce.
Ingredients in Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Bacon
- Center cut bacon
- extra virgin olive oil
- butternut squash
- unsalted butter
- white whole wheat flour
- skim milk
- low sodium chicken broth
- shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
- whole wheat elbow macaroni
- salt and pepper
How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe with Bacon
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Bacon
- 4 slices center-cut bacon
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion small dice
- 3 cups butternut squash peeled and small dice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup skim milk
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 13.25-ounce box whole wheat elbow macaroni, dry
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and place a cooling rack on top of the foil
- Lay the bacon strips on the rack and bake for 10-15 minutes, until desired crispness
- When the bacon is cool enough to touch, crumble and set aside
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the onions and butternut squash, stirring frequently. When the onions begin to soften, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover with a lid. This will steam the squash, helping it to cook faster
- Take the lid off and stir occasionally, adding more water if the squash begins to stick to the skillet. Cook for a total of 25-30 minutes, until the squash is very soft and can be mashed with a wooden spoon
- When the squash is soft enough, mash it in the skillet with a wooden spoon until it makes a coarse puree consistency
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the elbows according to package directions for al dente. Drain the macaroni and set aside
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and add the butter
- Once melted, add the flour and whisk together to make a roux. Continue to whisk and gradually add in the milk and chicken broth, stirring continuously until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2-4 minutes
- Add the cheese and stir to combine, until melted and smooth
- Stir the cheese sauce into the skillet with the squash mixture, and stir to combine the two
- Pour the sauce over the pasta, and stir in the set-aside bacon crumbles. Season with salt and black pepper