Winter Squash Mac-n-Cheese – Madison Eats Food Tours
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Winter squash mac and cheese

Winter Squash Mac-n-Cheese

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.