Who doesn’t love Mac N Cheese? I know I do! Thing is ever since being told I was lactose in tolerant; I find myself having to be extra creative to still eat what I have always enjoyed. Also, why not make things healthier if it still tastes good? The butternut squash in the recipe not only adds that nice rich color but a slightly sweet yet nutty flavor to the pasta.
I literally have butternut squash in my fridge at all times now simply because it is absolutely delicious. It can be a substitute to potatoes in stews. It tastes amazing just roasted with some olive oil. It makes a great soup or can easily be stuffed too. It is extremely versatile and brings a pack of flavor to any dish. Crazy to think that I didn’t try it till this year right?
1/2 a butternut squash
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded dairy free cheddar cheese
3 tbsp coconut spread
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1 cup plain almond milk
1 tbsp flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
First, take the butternut squash half and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder then roast in the oven on 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes till tender.
Drizzle some olive oil into a pan over medium heat and add the chopped onions. Caramelize these till for about 15 minutes occasionally stirring them. Take out the onions from the skillet once they are done and set aside.
Once the squash is cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes then take out the innards of the squash and mash it with a fork.
Start cooking the elbow pasta which is significant to mac n cheese. This shouldn’t take more than 8-10 minutes. Stop the cooking process by rinsing in cold water.
In the same pan that the onions were cooked, add the coconut spread which I am using instead of butter. Then sprinkle the flour and gently stir together. Pour the plain almond milk into this as well and whisk for 2-4 minutes till it slightly thickens up. Season this sauce with a good amount of salt and pepper. Keep tasting till its ideal for you.
Add the mashed squash to the white sauce and stir. Then add the cup of dairy free shredded cheese into the sauce as well and gently stir.
Once everything is melted, add the already cooked macaroni and onions into the sauce and stir together.
You are technically done but another step you can do is add a breadcrumb layer.
Add 1 tbsp of coconut spread to the pan and melt it then add the bread crumbs and stir together. Place this breadcrumb mixture on top of the the mac n cheese. Stick the pan (cast iron skillet) into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes and Voila you are done!
Cast iron skillets are awesome for so many reasons but one that stands out is that it can be placed in the oven which comes in handy just like in this case.
You can purchase an affordable one here :
Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet
10.25-inch Skillet can saute, sear, fry, bake and stir fry
L 16.125, W- 10.688, H- 2-Inches
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