For a mac and cheese you'll want seconds and thirds of, check out this low-calorie, low-fat recipe. Butternut squash and cheddar cheese come together for a mouthwatering, hearty, comforting and SKINNY meal the whole family will love. Crumble some bacon on top and you've got yourself a hit!
Pro tip: About half of a three-pound butternut squash equals out to three cups.
Cook time: 40-150 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Serving size: Heaping 1⅓ cup
- 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.
Per Serving: (Heaping 1⅓ cup)
Calories from fat: 72
Saturated Fat: 3g
The nutrition content of recipes on Popculture.com has been calculated by Registered Dietitian, Jessica Penner, of Smart Nutrition.