The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Light(er) Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

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Level: Easy

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Description

Creamy, cheesy comfort food with a secret ingredient that makes it both creamier and healthier. What?

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SQUASH PUREE:
  • 1  Spaghetti Squash
  • Olive Oil Or Spray, Just To Coat
  • ¼ cups Water Or Milk
  • FOR THE MAC AND CHEESE:
  • 3 cups Dry Macaroni Pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Mustard (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Milk (preferably Not Skim)
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1-¼ cup Spaghetti Squash Puree (instructions Below)
  • ½ packages Cream Cheese (8 Ounce Package)
  • ½ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 2 cups Lightly Packed Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Chives (optional)

Preparation

For the squash puree:
Drizzle the whole spaghetti squash lightly with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Pierce it all over with a fork or sharp knife and roast on a foil-lined baking sheet at 400 F for about 1 hour, or until you can easily slide in a sharp knife. Remove it from the oven. Let it cool slightly before cutting off stem end and slicing the whole squash lengthwise. Gently scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them. Shred the remainder of the squash with a fork and put it into a blender or food processor. Blend with just enough milk or water to make a smooth puree. Add up to about ¼ cup of liquid. Puree can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for longer storage.

For the mac and cheese:

Prepare pasta according to package directions and drain it.

While it cooks, melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour, dried mustard, and salt until combined. Pour in milk and chicken broth, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, and simmer until thickened (5-8 minutes).
Stir in squash and cream cheese until cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat and stir in pepper and the cheddar cheese until melted. Add chives, if using, reserving a few to sprinkle on top.

Toss cheese sauce with noodles, sprinkle with reserved chives, and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving hot. The sauce will thicken further as it sits.

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One Comment

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Profile photo of Marina S. Ne

Marina S. Ne on 12.6.2013

made this for lunch today, absolutely amazing! thanks for the recipe (:

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