The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Apple

4.66 Mitt(s) 6 Rating(s)6 votes, average: 4.66 out of 56 votes, average: 4.66 out of 56 votes, average: 4.66 out of 56 votes, average: 4.66 out of 56 votes, average: 4.66 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

Healthy Mac n’ Cheese jam packed with delicious flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • ½ cups Thinly Sliced Onions
  • ½ boxes Whole Grain Elbow Macaroni, 16 Ounce Box
  • 1 cup Canned Butternut Squash, Pureed
  • ¼ cups Chicken Or Vegetable Broth
  • ¼ cups Plus Two Tablespoons Evaporated Milk
  • 1 ounce, weight Low-fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 whole Large Crispy Apple, Chopped Or Grated
  • ½ cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons Crumbled Bacon

Preparation

Heat butter in a skillet over low heat. When melted, add onions and let them caramelize for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor. Keep heat on low/low-medium.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Then drain it and return to the pan over low heat. Add butternut squash, chicken broth, evaporated milk, and cream cheese. When everything is combined, add in salt and mix to combine.

Add onions and apples to the pasta. Stir to combine and add a tablespoon more of broth or milk if needed.

Just before serving, mix in the cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Serve! Top each serving with 1 tablespoon bacon.

(NOTE: Because there’s very little butter, it can “dry out” quickly, especially once off the heat. Add a tablespoon of water, milk, or broth to get it back to its original creaminess.)

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6 Reviews

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rinabeana on 2.1.2013

Absolutely delicious!!! At the suggestion from one of the comments, I used regular milk instead of evaporated. As I had timing issues with dinner, I put this in a greased casserole after combining and kept it in the oven until everything else was ready. No issues with drying out, though it did set nicely. Thanks for the great flavor combination!

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tesqui13 on 9.11.2012

We enjoyed this for dinner, although the flavor was a little mild for our spice-lovin’ family. It felt very creamy and rich, and the apple was not really that noticeable for us (maybe because I used one that had mellowed out a bit from a little longer than usual in the fridge?) But the bacon definitely gave it the push from a good recipe to a great recipe! When I make this again I would use some of the spices from my family’s tried and true baked mac and cheese recipe to maybe give it a bit more of a kick. But – I will definitely make this again!

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Elizabeth on 3.26.2012

Creamy, cheesy, and delicious! The only reason for 4 mitts is that the apple didn’t quite fit, but I loved it anyway! A must try for sure.

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Ambition's Kitchen on 2.22.2012

The whole family loved this! My kids didn’t even notice there was anything “different” about it other than the apples, which they didn’t mind. Great dish!

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jlm03 on 11.1.2011

Delicious! I had to make a few little substitutions based on what I had, so I used pumpkin in place of the butternut squash and regular milk instead of evaporated, but this came out great. Thanks for sharing this, we will make it again!

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