Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese #SundaySupper

 I am so excited to be participating in Sunday Suppers for the first time. The Sunday Supper movement was started by the wonderful Isabel from Family Foodie as a way to encourage people to sit down together and enjoy family meals. Sunday Suppers bring together a whole bunch of talented bloggers every week to share themed recipes.

I really believe in the Sunday Supper movement and am amazed by these talented cooks and bloggers. As a small child, my family ate dinner together at the table every single night. My mom cooked meals and we sat and ate them together. As we got older and busier this became more and more rare.  Now as an adult, I am more and more grateful for every time I can sit down and share a meal with people I care about.

The theme for this week’s #SundaySupper is Orange. I decided on this delicious take on mac and cheese. Generally I don’t like mac and cheese at all. I find it too heavy, greasy and fatty. So instead of going the traditional route, I subbed in some delicious (and seasonal!) butternut squash. The creamy squash adds a ton of texture and flavor. As a bonus the squash allowed me to cut back the cheese considerably, resulting in a comforting and filling meal that cuts back the calories, fat and sodium of the traditional dish. One large dinner serving has only 421 calorie and 12 grams of fat, making it a guilt free indulgence.

At Craig’s brilliant suggestion, I added some chicken sausage (you can substitute white meat ground chicken or turkey as well) for protein. The sausage added a great flavor and helped make this a complete meal. The recipe makes ample leftovers. I found this was a wonderful lunch and extras can also be frozen easily. We loved this so much I’m seriously considering adding it to my Thanksgiving menu this year (sans meat) as it’s a great make ahead dish and a crowd pleaser.

 

Recipe Type: Comfort Food
Author: Dara
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash (approx 2lbs), seeds and membrane removed
  • 1 lb whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 lb chicken sausage or white meat ground chicken
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside
  2. Cook squash. You can microwave it (cut into chunks and nuke for 6-8 minutes), boil it (until fork tender) or roast it (in chunks, approx 20-25 min)
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. In a cast iron skillet or frying pan, saute onion in olive oil 2-3 minutes
  5. Add sausage or chicken and break up into small chunks
  6. In a large mixing bowl mash squash with a potato masher until smooth
  7. Add ricotta, cheddar, mustard powder and cayenne
  8. Add sausage and onion mixture and pasta
  9. Toss everything until the pasta is thoroughly coated with the cheese/squash mixture
  10. Spread mixture in the skillet or a glass baking pan
  11. Top with panko
  12. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes
  13. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes, breadcrumbs will start to brown
  14. Serve!
Calories: 421 Fat: 12.6g Saturated fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 59g Sodium: 312mg Fiber: 7g Protein: 19g Cholesterol: 41mg
Notes

This recipe yields approximately 8 servings

A big thanks to Pam from The Meltaways for hosting the event this week. Stop by and check out her site for some amazing recipes. Also a big thanks to Isabel from Family Foodie who founded and runs the Sunday Supper group. If you are interested in joining or learning more , contact her ASAP. She is doing some really fantastic work and I am so excited to be a part of it for the first time.

Can’t get enough Sunday Supper? Well then join us on Twitter today – just follow #SundaySupper. You can also many fantastic recipes on the #SundaySupper Pinterest board. Additionally, we’ll all be meeting up at 7pm EST tonight (Sunday) for the #SundaySupper live chat.

Please stop by and check out the other talented members of the Sunday Supper crew. This is an incredibly diverse and talented group of bloggers who are incredibly dedicated to bringing the Sunday Supper mission to you. So stop by, check out some recipes and leave lots of comment love!

Sunrise  (Breakfast and Brunch)

Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes is bringing her Orange Ricotta Pancakes

Erin from Dinners Dishes and Desserts is baking up some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Heather from Girlichef is bringing Pumpkin Doughnuts with Spiced Buttermilk Glaze

Nicole from Daily Dish Recipes is making Pumpkin Donut Puffs

Patti from Comfy Cuisine is bringing  Classic Orange Marmalade

Sunithi from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz is making Spiced Pumpkin Ricotta Muffins with Craisins and Walnuts

Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet is cooking up some Pumpkin Maple Oatmeal

Jamie from Mama Mommy Mom is bringing Butternut Squash Butter

Chelsea from Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence is bringing Pumpkin Spiced Donuts with Chai Icing

 

High Noon (Soups, Salads and Sandwiches)

Renee from Magnolia Days is serving up some Butternut Squash Soup

Beate from Galactopdx is bringing her Carrot Ginger Soup

Jen from Juanita’s Cocina is making some Curried Sweet Potato Salad With Cranberries and Pecans

Megan from I Run For Wine is making Skinny Roasted Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Soup

Sarah from What Smells So Good is filling our bowls with some Spicy Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

Alice from Hip Foodie Mom is coming with her Roasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad

Susan from The Wimpy Vegetarian is making Cider – Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

Tora from Tora’s Real Food is bringing Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food is making Monty’s Pumpkin Soup

Lyn from The Lovely Pantry is bringing Roasted Pumpkin & Coconut Soup

Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic is whipping up some Mandarin Chicken Salad

 

Sunset (Dinner and Main Dishes)

Sarah from Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is offering up some Pumpkin Ravioli

Shelia from Pippis In The Kitchen Again is serving her Roasted Squash and Ricotta with Honey

Pam from The Meltaways is making Spooky Stuffed Peppers

Patsy from Famfriendsfood is bringing her Carrot Souffle

Laura from Small Wallet Big Appetite is bringing Chicken and Sweet Potato Fritters

Mehereen from Chattering Kitchen is making Sichuan Orange Glazed Chicken with Toasted Sesame Seeds

Tammi from Momma’s Meals is making Hearty Pork Stew

Kristin from Kwistin’s Favorites is making Orange Chicken

Soni from Soni’s Food For Thought is cooking up some Rigatoni with Pumpkin Ricotta Sauce

Shelby from Diabetic Foodie is cooking up some Moroccan Vegetable Stew

Dara from Generation Y Foodie is bringing Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Brandie from Home Cooking Memories is sharing a DIY Baked Sweet Potato Bar

Amber from Mama’s Blissful Bites  is bringing Rice and Fig Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

 

By The Bonfire (Sweets, Snacks and Sips)

Carla from Chocolate Moosey is making Pumpkin Tiramisu with Pumpkin Butter Caramel Sauce

Heather from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks is offering up some Pumpkin Cake Truffles

Shelia from Cooking Underwriter is bringing Sweet Potato Bacon Beet Salsa

Anne from Webicurean  is making some Drunken Pumpkin Bread

Karen from In The Kitchen With KP is making Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Leslie La Cocina De Leslie is making Sweet Potato Atole

Seet Fei from My Trials in The Kitchen is bringing Sweet Potatoes Mini Balls

Tara from Noshing With The Nolands is bringing Oranges En Suprise

Susan from The Girl in The Red Kitchen is making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scone with Pumpkin Glaze

Conni from Mrs. Mama Hen is making Orange Glazed Poundcake

Isabel from Family Foodie is baking up Moist Pumpkin Bread

Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings is baking up a Vegan Pumpkin Orange Cake

Brenda from Meal Planning Magic is whipping up some Creamy Pumpkin Dip

Laura from Family Spice is making some Unprocessed and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

Kathya from Basic and Delicious is baking up Butternut Squash and Carrot Bread

Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake is serving up Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Stephanie from The Cookie A Day Challenge is whipping up some Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches

Katie from She Like Ruffles, He Likes Truffles is bringing Pumpkin Harvest Cookies

Nancy from Gotta Get Baked is baking up some Orange Macadamia Dark Chocolate Cookies

Angie from Big Bear’s Wife  is bringing Orange Soda Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Katy from Happy Baking Days is bringing Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze

Sandra from Midlife Road Trip is bringing Orange ya glad it’s fall! Hungarian Apricot/Walnut pastries


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66 Responses to Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese #SundaySupper

  1. Liz October 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    So first of all, this looks delicious!! I am going to attempt (though I may need some separate, extra help, email directions). Second, WHY are you torturing me with all those links? Pumpkin muffins, orange ricotta pancakes – my mouth is watering!

    • Dara October 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      I’m glad you like it! I was so pleases with how it came out. Email anytime. And those pancakes are amazing.

  2. Megan @Irun4Wine October 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    This sounds like my dream recipe! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • sandi mckenna October 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Great way to add some extra nutrition into comfort food!!!

  3. Patti October 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    This is a great pasta dish – healthy and looks so delicious!

  4. Katie October 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Oh my goodness, does this dish sound amazing! The butternut squash is such a yummy addition to the mac and cheese – I totally want to try this!

  5. Bea October 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Your Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese looks amazing!

  6. Tara October 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    This truly looks incredible. What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Anne @ Webicurean October 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    I could sit down to a bowl of that right now! I love the idea of using squash and cutting back on the cheese–I’ll bet it’s super creamy anyway, and no one will miss the extra cheese!

  8. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen October 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Such a great twist on the traditional mac n cheese!. The butternut squash makes it so creamy and a bit healthier.

  9. Sarah October 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Spicy and cheesy – what could be better! Love the ricotta in it too

  10. Sheila Fretz (@CookUnderwriter) October 7, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    This looks interesting, I will have to try if I can convert to be gluten free.

  11. Heather @girlichef October 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Oh, I do think that this would make an amazing addition to the Thanksgiving table! Although, one of my sisters brings traditional mac ‘n cheese every year, and I don’t think she’d “not” bring it, so we’d just have to have 2 varieties. Love it!! =)

  12. lisaiscooking October 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Even with less cheese, it looks melty and fabulous! What a great dish for a family dinner.

  13. The Wimpy Vegetarian October 8, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    The perfect comfort food with a healthy twist! Perfectly delicious!!

  14. Cindys Recipes and Writings October 8, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    Great combo for mac and cheese!

  15. CCU October 8, 2012 at 4:59 am #

    This looks like such a flavoursome dish :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  16. Stephanie Zielinski October 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    This dish would get (and keep) my family around the table! Yummm!

  17. Laura @ Family Spice October 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I’ve added pumpkin to our mac and cheese and the kids don’t notice it. Love the idea of butternut squash!

  18. diabeticFoodie October 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    And I thought my mac & cheese days were over! Love the addition of the squash. Great recipe. Welcome to #SundaySupper!

  19. Soni October 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    I just love these comfort foods in this season!!Love the idea of using squash in this Mac n cheese along with sausage!!Such delicious flavors :)

  20. Liz October 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Dara, welcome to the Sunday Supper group!!!! Your mac and cheese looks spectacular…I think even my picky daughter would eat this yummy pasta!

  21. Hezzi-D October 9, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    This looks like yummy (and healthier!) version of mac n cheese.

  22. Erika October 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    This looks soooo super amazing! I will have to return for more yummy recipes :)

  23. Sunithi October 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    This is gourmet adult mac & cheese although I think my kids will like it as well ! Love then use of ricotta cheese & cayenne ! yumm ! looking forward to checking out your other recipes, busy professional that I am :)

  24. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts October 10, 2012 at 2:31 am #

    What a great mac n’ cheese. I have been thinking about adding squash to it. Try to sneak it by my hubby!

  25. Nami | Just One Cookbook October 10, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    I love butternut squash yet I’ve never made mac and cheese with it. I am thinking that’s probably one of the BEST match that I can imagine… what a lovely comfort food. Perfect for Sunday supper to relax and enjoy family dinner!

  26. Faye Leong October 10, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    This mac and cheese looks amazing! What a great idea to combine it with butternut squash! Bookmarked to try soon!

  27. Nancy @ gottagetbaked October 11, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    Welcome to Sunday Supper! You picked one of my favourite dishes as your first post. What an awesome way to cut back on calories by using the butternut squash. I don’t even want to know how many calories traditional mac ‘n cheese has!

  28. Sarah October 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Sausage, pasta and squash make an excellent combination. It’s a fact and I can vouche for it. I made a similiar dish myself. Fantastic dish!

  29. patsy October 12, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    This looks so good! I wonder if I could get my boys to eat this healthier mac and cheese… welcome to #SundaySupper!

  30. albertocook October 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    I like your recipe.
    I happy to find your blog.
    Bye from Italy

  31. Kim Bee October 13, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    Dara I am so thrilled you joined SS. This recipe is a great addition this week. You are an even greater addition, so happy you joined us.

  32. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom October 13, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    This mac n cheese looks amazing! Comfort food at it’s best! You should have saved this one for THIS Sunday! :) great post!

  33. Chelsea October 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Your mac and cheese looks delicious!!

  34. Christine December 31, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    I made this tonight, true to recipe, and the results were outstanding. I may have been a little short on the cheddar cheese, but the flavor and consistency were just about perfect. Boyfriend loved it too. Thank you for sharing!

    • Dara December 31, 2012 at 3:33 am #

      Christine I am so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe! Your feedback is appreciated.

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