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Stealth Health Mac and Cheese

Kids will never guess just how loaded with good-for-them vegetables this pasta favorite is.

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The “cream sauce” is actually puréed butternut squash, and finely grated carrot and zucchini melt into the casserole as it cooks. Serve with a tossed salad. 

Servings
4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. peeled, cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 oz. whole-wheat macaroni
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (3 ribs)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated (3⁄4 cup)
  • 1 large zucchini, finely grated (3⁄4 cup)
  • 1⁄4 cup jarred roasted red pepper, drained and chopped, optional

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat 6- x 6-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash, and boil 20 to 25 minutes, or until very tender. Remove to large bowl with slotted spoon. Mash with potato masher, and stir in 1⁄4  cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and set aside. 

3. Cook macaroni in same pot of boiling water 2 minutes fewer than recommended time. Drain, and run under cold water in colander.  

4. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. Stir into mashed butternut squash purée. Add carrot, zucchini, roasted red pepper, if using, and pasta, and stir until mixture is coated with squash purée. Spread 1⁄3    pasta mixture in prepared baking dish, and sprinkle with 1⁄4  cup cheese. Repeat layering pasta and cheese twice, ending with a final sprinkling of cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is crisp and brown, and casserole is bubbling hot.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories 297
  • Carbohydrate Content 40 g
  • Cholesterol Content 25 mg
  • Fat Content 12 g
  • Fiber Content 6 g
  • Protein Content 12 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 6 g
  • Sodium Content 327 mg
  • Sugar Content 6 g