Amazing Mac 'n Cheese w/ Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash

I promise you this is the best version of macaroni & cheese you will ever eat (that's a big promise).

I liked Cooking Light's idea of using pureed butternut squash along w/ broccoli and less cheese to make a rich version of mac 'n cheese but with less calories and fat.

I changed the recipe and used Brussels sprouts instead of broccoli, and roasting the veggies instead of boiling them.

I made a delicious sauce with the sage that is still alive in my garden, roasted garlic and only 1 cup of cheese.

Here is the bad part.
It tasted so damn good, I could've eaten the whole pan, so where am I saving the calories?

Here's the recipe. I never measure, so go ahead and use more or less of something.
Feel free to use Gruyere or cheddar, but I liked the Parm in this recipe best.

Serves 4-6

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
1 red onion, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 butternut squash, cut up into cubes
1/4 lb. bacon
olive oil
kosher salt
hot pepper flakes or pimenton (smoked paprika)
8 oz. (half a box) of macaroni (I love shells)
fresh sage leaves for garnish


1 cup of 2% milk
2 cups of chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
1 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or your favorite cheese)
small bunch of sage leaves, chopped

Using 2 baking sheets, lay out the squash cubes, the brussels sprouts and the bacon.
Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and kosher salt.

Roast in a 425F oven for 20-25 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.
Everything was done at the same time on my pan.

On another pan, lay out the red onion slices and the 3 large unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle w/ some olive oil and place the in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. I put both pans in at the same time, but my onions were done first.

Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Remove the garlic cloves to a cutting board and set aside.

Using an 8" x 10" casserole pan, lay out the sprouts and cooked squash.
Using a fork or potato masher, mash down on the squash cubes to create a puree or mash.

Add in the cooked onions and bacon pieces. Mix the vegetables together in the baking dish.

While your pasta is boiling, make the cheese sauce.

Smash the roasted garlic cloves with the back of a knife to remove the skins. Cut the garlic into pieces.

In a heavy saucepan, add the milk, roasted garlic cloves, cheese, butter, sage leaves and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and whisk until it is a nice even consistency, only a few minutes.

Season the sauce with a pinch of salt & black pepper. I added in hot pepper flakes (which I advise).

When the pasta is done, drain and add to the casserole pan w/ the vegetables. Mix together.

Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and vegetables and mix together.

Lower the oven temperature to 375F.

Place casserole back into the oven for 20 more minutes, just so the sauce and top gets nice and melty (is "melty" a word?).

Garnish w/ fresh sage leaves and dig in.

This is fantastic.
The kids will love it. I promise!


Ciao Chow Linda said…
Well now I know how to use up some of that butternut squash I just harvested. This looks great Stacey. I might even add some mushrooms (I know you hate them - or is that Henry? - but they'd be perfect in here).
mil said…

It's Henry.... "they are fungi"..

therefore he won't eat them.

Stay well.
Bebe said…
I would love this, but I’d have to eat the whole thing.

Your remark that kids will love it reminds me of one of mine (now grown) who would have had this casserole dissected into its components - out around the edge of his plate - before he was school age! He’d have eaten the mac and whatever cheese clung to it and tidily left the rest in little piles.
I love this, I want to make puree of butternut squash now!
Patsy said…
Speaking of kids, sending this to mine! I'll bet this could even be pulled off in a small NYC apartment kitchen.
Amen kahwajy said… now a word.
Amen kahwajy said… now a word.
TheJimBar said…
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