I have become a recent fan of Cooking Light; I’m not sure what took me so long. Over the past week I have tried a few different quick dinner recipes from the Sept. 2015 issue and they turned out great! I was in a rut. Coconut curry chicken and veggies, potato broccoli soup, chili, and the ubiquitous quesadillas. Granted that rut isn’t anything to get up in arms about, but still, I like to change it up.
My daughter loves mac n’ cheese, so when I spotted a one pan recipe for a stovetop variation that includes broccoli, bacon, and a hidden ingredient – winter squash – I knew I had to try it, with a few tweaks of course. Yes, my kids both ate winter squash – and liked it! I think I’ll keep that little secret to myself.
Winter Squash Mac-n-Trees – adapted from Cooking Light, Sept. 2015
- 3 bacon slices, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2.5 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cooked winter squash
- 10 ounce uncooked large elbow macaroni or other noodles
- 3 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs drizzled with 2 tbsp butter
1.Preheat oven to 350.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan.
2. Remove all but 2 teaspoons bacon drippings from pan. Add garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 30 seconds.
3. Add stock, milk, and squash to pan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
4. Add pasta; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli; cover and cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done and sauce is thickened.
5. Stir in salt, pepper, and 4 ounces cheese. Sprinkle bread crumbs and remaining cheese on top.
6. Pop the mac n cheese in the oven for about 5-
10 minutes until the crumbs are toasted.
7. Top with bacon.