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Mac and Cheese with Squash and Peas

January 14, 2010

I swear, I would have told the Omnivore the answer if he had just asked me the right question.  I was not trying to deceive him.  I was just doing what I attempt to do every night: serve delicious, healthy meals.

I admit it.  I had that look on my face.  What look?  That smirky look.  The Omnivore would call it the “tofu look.”  That name comes from the time I unsuccessfully sneaked (I know, I know ‘snuck’ sounds better but it isn’t a word) tofu into his lasagna.

But I hadn’t sneaked tofu into this baked macaroni casserole.  So when he asked me, “Is there tofu in this!?” I did not tell a lie when I replied to him, “Of course not, I would never do that to you again.”

His response?  “Well I’m glad there’s no tofu in this because this is the better than any mac and cheese at any potluck I’ve been to and if there was tofu in it, I might not like it anymore.”

Well too bad it was practically cheeseless, too!

Well then what makes it so yellow?  Food dye like in the cornbread?  Nutritional yeast like in my last mac and cheese venture?  Nope.  Pureed butternut squash.  Delicious, sweet, homey and good.

I can’t describe it.  You must try it.  It will quench your thirst for home cooked baked pasta.  It was so cheesy I had to add peas.  You can omit those, though, or substitute with broccoli.  This dish will make you feel guilty.  But you shouldn’t.  Because it is just darn good for you.

1.5 cups WW pasta (dry)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 T cream cheese
1 cup butternut squash puree
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
1 small red onion, diced (optional)
1 T smartbalance
1 t flour
3/4 cup water (or milk if you’re feeling rich!)
salt and pepper

Peel butternut squash.  Roast or steam until very tender.  Puree.  I used a food ricer to puree it but you could use a blender, food processor, or vigorous fork-action.

Boil 1.5 cups whole wheat pasta until al dente.  Reserve.  Saute red onion, if using, until just tender and fragrant.

Melt 1 T smart balance, butter, or oil in a sauce pan.  Stir in 1 T flour and cook 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in 3/4 cup water (or milk) until a pale sauce forms.  Add squash puree and stir well.  Fold in shredded cheese and cream cheese and heat until melted.  Stir together peas, pasta, onion, and butternut squash mixture and spread into a 9×9″ baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Top with freshly chopped parsley.

Just looking for a lower-calorie cheesy sauce for veggies?

1 cup water or milk
1 cup pureed squash
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 T cream cheese
1 T smart balance
1 T flour

Melt butter in saucepan and add flour.  Cook 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in water or milk.  Fold in cheeses and stir until melted.

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving (made with water)
Calories 230
Total Fat 4.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Sugars 1.0 g
Protein 13.5 g

13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2010 3:12 pm

    Thanks for this! I recently discovered via Vegan with a Vengeance that on pizza you can substitute sweet potato. If you thinly slice it with a peeler and lay it on top of the pizza, it gives it the cheesy look without the calories. Was wicked yummy too!

  2. January 15, 2010 9:20 am

    This sounds amazing! I cannot wait to try it!

  3. Bethany permalink
    January 31, 2010 8:04 pm

    Ooh, this looks good! My picky husband hates peas. It would still work without them, right?

    • brannyboilsover permalink*
      January 31, 2010 8:32 pm

      Sure – omit peas as you wish

  4. February 11, 2010 8:46 pm

    This was really good. Thanks!

  5. February 18, 2010 2:24 pm

    Branny, quick question! Should I measure out the 1.5 cups pasta uncooked, or is that what it should come to cooked? Thanks!

    • brannyboilsover permalink*
      February 18, 2010 2:42 pm

      Uncooked! Sorry for that.


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