Mac and cheese totally hits the spot but I wanted a little something different. A little way to toss in some veggies and make it taste slightly more indulgent.
I thought if I pureed up some butternut squash and some coconut milk this might work to form a really creamy sauce. It worked beautifully and we had a creamy cheesy dish to to eat while we snuggled on the couch in our jammies watching TV.
Andrea’s Curry Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 2 1/2 pound Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks.
- 1 Small onion, cut into chunks.
- 1/2TBSP Olive Oil
- 1tsp Curry Powder
- 1tsp Garlic Powder
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 3C Elbow Pasta
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the onion and squash in a bowl and toss with the olive oil and seasonings. Place on a greased baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes.
You can also cook the pasta at this time as well, 3C of elbow pasta. Bring a large pasta pot to boil and cook pasta for 3 minutes. Don’t cook the pasta all the way, only take it to where the pasta is just beginning to soften just a bit. It will finish cooking in the oven when the dish is fully together. Drain pasta, put back in pasta pot, and set aside.
For the Sauce:
- 1 Can Coconut Milk, full fat (you can use reduced fat if you like)
- 1 1/2C Water
- 1/2 tsp Curry Powder
- 1/2tsp Garlic Powder
- Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- Roasted squash and onion
- 1 1/2C Shredded Jack Cheese
- 2C Shredded Sharp Cheddar
Place the first five ingredients in a blender and blend till mixed. Then add in the squash and onion and blend until everything is creamy and smooth. You might need to stop along the way and use a spoon to help break things up.
In a large sauce pot, add the sauce and heat over low-medium heat. Slowly add in the cheese until all the cheese is used and melted into the sauce.
Grease a 12×8 casserole dish. Add the sauce to the pasta in the pasta pot and stir until everything is mixed. Then add that mixture to the casserole dish.
Place in the 400 degree oven and let bake for about 15 minutes. Stir and bake for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle the topping (see below) all over the top of the dish, give it another 5 minutes and remove from oven.
- 1C Breadcrumbs
- 1/2C Grated Parmesan
- 4 Slices of crispy cooked bacon, crumbled
- 4TBSP Olive Oil
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Allow the mac and cheese to cool for two minutes then serve and enjoy!
It’s going to seem like a lot of sauce but it will cook down once it’s in the oven. That’s the reason for not cooking the pasta all the way. The pasta will finish in the oven and absorb some of that sauce.
Creamy and slightly different with the curry powder. Yeah, ok I used a lot of cheese and if you’d like to reduce that amount you can. I used the jack for melty goodness and the cheddar to give it some bite.
The coconut milk provides the perfect base for the sauce because you don’t need to use any thickeners like flour. You don’t even need to take the time to make a roux! It also isn’t noticeable in the taste, no one is going to suspect you used coconut milk in this dish.
I had bacon on hand so why not? You can omit that too if you’d like to keep it veggie friendly.
This makes a good bit of mac and cheese and is perfect for leftovers the next day. It won’t last longer than that though so make sure to eat it up!
I was pleased how this dish turned out though I think I might tweak with it a little more and see what else I can do with it. That’s the best part of cooking, just playing around with recipes and methods!
Have fun kids, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!