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Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese makes for a creamy fall inspired dinner. Made with fresh herbs and blended with crème fraiche, chicken bouillon and a splash of cream that’s simmered until silky and smooth. Stirred with a blend of melted cheeses for that delicious gooey and creamy comfort feel and finished in the oven until bubbly.   Topped with some fresh fried sage to give it that extra fall flare. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

THE BASE

A lot of butternut squash dishes start off this way. Whether your making soup or sauce the process is the same. You can either peel and cube the squash or cut it in half and remove the seeds. I like to score it in a cross hatch pattern to make sure my seasoning can sink in as it roasts. Season with some olive oil, salt and pepper and the herbs and roast until soft and tender. Roasting adds another dimension to the squash instead of boiling. It deepens its flavours and gets a little sweeter and brings out more of its earthy and nutty taste. I usually like to have the oven at 425 degrees F since its more dense, it takes a while to become tender, the higher temperatures will help you get there quicker without burning. Once the squash has finished roasting, it gets pureed in the blender or food processor with some crème fraiche, and chicken bouillon. Now if your having trouble getting it really smooth here, you can add a bit of cream to help break everything down.

roasted butternut squash mac and cheese

LET’S TALK SQUASH FOR A SECOND

Butternut squash is such a great vegetable that so underrated. It can go either sweet or the savoury route and can take on a lot of flavour and spices. With this base you can season it with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or ramp up the heat with cayenne, paprika and chilies. Of course dried or fresh herbs paired with the spices are most welcomed.  You really just have to think of your end goal and what taste your trying to achieve.

If i’m making a mac and cheese and I want it to taste rich and warm with some fall flare- season the squash with cayenne and paprika is not going to give me those flavours. But if I incorporate some cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, sticking with more earthy tones it will get me to my overall end goal. I hope this makes sense.

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I really enjoyed the simplicity of this dish. My goal was to incorporate the creaminess I would get from pureeing roasted squash and almost folding it into a cheese sauce to create this ultra saucy and cheesy baked pasta. I wanted bubbly, sauce, no dry noodles and I achieved that. This is nothing fancy or complicated just easy cooking and family-friendly. I hope this recipe inspires you to use what you know in the kitchen and adapt it or create it in a way that you will enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash mac and Cheese

 

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it on Instagram! We love to see what you come up with. #thecommunalfeast Follow along our social media account on instagram for quick videos on how our recipes come together.

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Roasted butternut squash with fresh herbs blended with creme fraiche, chicken bouillon and a splash of cream simmered until silky and creamy all finished with a blend of melted cheeses and topped with fried sage.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: canadian
Keyword: butternut squash, comfort food, fall, mac and cheese, one-pot, pasta
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash halved, seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary remove from stem
  • thyme removed from stem
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 cup gouda grated
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 8 sage leaves
  • nutmeg grated

Instructions

  • preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • On a large baking tray, place the butternut squash, score lightly with a knife in a cross hatch pattern and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Bake for 35 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool.
  • Spoon out the roasted flesh from the squash and add to a blender with bouillon cube, and creme fraiche. Puree well until smooth.
  • In a large oven safe skillet, melt the butter and fry the sage leaves. Fry on both sides, roughly for 2 minutes and place on a paper towel. In the same pan pour the blended squash and bring to a gentle simmer. Slowly stir in the cream, stirring to combine. Mix in 3/4 of the shredded cheese until melted.
  • Remove from the heat and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and melted for 15 minutes. Top with fried sage and enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Weeknight Dinners

October 20, 2022

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