- 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tblsp plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1 pound uncooked cavatappi
- Cooking spray
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
I did a lot of cooking this weekend. Mainly a lot of testing of flavors. I’ve been hunting for a lightened up mac n’ cheese recipe for a while now and I’m pretty sure I’ve found the perfect pairing. This super creamy, light mac n’ cheese is sure to be a pleaser even for those that don’t like squash because I’m telling you, you can’t even tell that it’s in there. The benefit of including it is that you’re adding a vegetable to your dish.
This recipe also lowers calories using lower fat-content cheeses, Greek yogurt, non-fat milk and zero butter. Compared to a traditional homemade mac, this really brings down the fat and calories. So here we go…
Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the cubed squash, chicken broth, milk and garlic in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes, until the squash is tender. While this is cooking, prepare the pasta according to package instructions, omitting salt and fat.
Remove the squash from the heat and put it into a blender along with the salt, pepper and yogurt. Blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add in the cheeses, reserving 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Add in the pasta and toss until well coated. Pour this into a 13×9 baking pan. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add in the panko, tossing to toast. Remove from the heat and toss in the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Sprinkle this over the pasta mixture and spritz with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden and bubbly and then remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve. Now tell me this isn’t the best mac you’ve had…and it’s only 390 calories per serving.