Roasted Butternut Squash & Brie Mac & Cheese with Smoky Bacon

Rich creamy Mac & Cheese is veggie-fied with roasted butternut squash.  I accidentally made one of my butternut’s slip from the vine one day in the garden.  So I brought it in the house and set it on the counter.  That squash has made eye-contact with me about 8,691 times in the past few weeks and today I finally decided to use it.

This recipe is easy to make and if I hadn’t opened my mouth about the addition of the butternut, my kids would’ve never known it was there.  Seriously.  The gorgeous orange color comes from the butternut squash puree.  The addition of brie makes it decadent and rich and the extra sharp cheese adds the bite that any good homemade Mac & Cheese should have.  Make it full fat, make it low fat, either way it will be delicious!

Start by roasting a butternut squash.  This one was about 3 lbs and I only used half of it.  The other half will go to making bread tomorrow.

Drizzle them with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.

Roast in a 425 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until tender.

Remove the seeds and discard, then remove the flesh to a bowl.

Puree in a blender and set aside.

For the sauce, you’ll need 2 cups of milk, 4 oz cream cheese, 6 oz Brie and 4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Add all of the sauce ingredients into a large saucepan or large skillet.  Think: Big enough to dump in the pasta later.

Once the cheeses are melted, add 2 cups of squash puree and whisk to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste and a 1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg.

Looks like Kraft!  Only no preservatives, Yellow #?, or whatever else is added to the box stuff.  Toss in 1 lb of al dente pasta and stir to combine.  Top with crisp bacon pieces and serve.

Note: Do as I say and not as I do.  If you’ll be serving this to children, wait until after they have inhaled it to tell them it has veggies in it.  Just sayin!

Roasted Butternut Squash & Brie Mac & Cheese with Smoky Bacon
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Ingredients
Squash
1 3 lb butternut squash, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Sauce
2 cups milk
6 oz brie cheese, rind removed
4 oz extra sharp cheddar, shredded
4 oz cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste

1 lb pasta, cooked
4 bacon slices, diced and fried crispy

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place the quartered squash on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Drizzle with the olive oil and salt a pepper and wrap tightly with more foil.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until fork tender.  Remove the seeds and discard and remove pulp to the blender.  Puree until smooth.  Remove 2 cups and set aside, reserving the remainder for another use.

2 Cook the pasta as directed on the package.  In a large pot or large skillet over medium heat, add the milk, cheeses, nutmeg and salt and pepper.  Whisk until smooth.  Add the 2 cups of squash puree and whisk until smooth.  Add the drained, cooked pasta and toss to coat.  Top with the crisp bacon bits and serve.

Makes 6 Servings

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