Kale and butternut squash mac and cheese is an easy, healthy and deliciously creamy side dish or vegetarian main that everyone’s sure to love!
I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween this week!
We enjoyed a little neighborhood party, with pizza and wine (bourbon for me, of course) and when it started getting dark, the kiddos dragged us away for trick or treating. Here’s a picture of them I posted on Facebook before we got going. (You are following me on Facebook, right?!)
Fun times had by all! Especially this morning when they got to sort their candy… and this afternoon when they sorted again and got to have a few pieces. 😋
And now here we are in November and that seems to mean full speed ahead to the holidays. With Halloween just barely behind us, we’re already being bombarded by all things Christmas.
And poor lonely little Thanksgiving is getting lost in the shuffle. 😢
Not in my house!
Sure, we maybe don’t have a ton of turkey decorations, not compared to our pumpkin and Christmas haul, but I do not decorate for Christmas until I’ve come out of my food coma from Thanksgiving.
Which can take days…
So since we’re in November and since that means the next holiday is Thanksgiving, I’m going to focus on that.
Starting with this kale and butternut squash mac and cheese that I’m bringing to Blogsgiving. It’s a blogger’s get together version of Friendsgiving, which is a friends get together of Thanksgiving.
Head spinning? Don’t worry, just pull up a seat and I’ll hand you a fork and you can dive into this creamy, cheesy goodness.
All will be right with the world again.
This veggie mac and cheese, you guys. It’s everything I could ever want it to be. It’s loaded with vegetables, coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce and topped with buttery breadcrumbs that bake up nice and crispy.
You won’t want to stop eating it. And I won’t stop you!
Notes on kale and butternut squash mac and cheese:
- You can prep this ahead of time. Make the mac and cheese through step 9 and refrigerate. When you’re read to bake it, take it out of the fridge while the oven is pre-heating. Add the breadcrumb mixture, then bake, adding 5-10 minutes to the cooking time.
- You also could skip baking it – it’s pretty delicious without the crunchy topping, too. Just make sure the noodles are fully cooked and stir in all the cheese (instead of saving some to sprinkle on top).
- The crunchy topping really is killer though, so I highly suggest adding that step.
- Want a bit of spice? You can stir in 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper when you add the cheese and salt and pepper. You can also add some hot sauce at the table (I do this so the kids can have the un-spicy version).
This totally works on its own as a vegetarian main dish but you can also pair it will baked chicken or my balsamic pork tenderloin with thyme. Or turkey, if it’s Thanksgiving 😉
And in honor of Blogsgiving, I’m excited to share with you all my friends’ delicious recipes – please check them out below. You’ll be able to plan your Thanksgiving menu in no time!
(I’ve also got this round-up of 45 Thanksgiving side dishes if you’re ALL about the sides like me. 😉)
And whether it’s for the holidays or just a delicious family dinner, I hope you’ll give this kale and butternut squash mac and cheese a try.
- 1 1 lb. box macaroni
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk, 2% or skim
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 10 oz. package frozen butternut squash, thawed
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and add pasta.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Add kale to the pot in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Remove and drain macaroni and kale. Set aside.
- In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.
- Slowly add in milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
- Add cooked pasta, kale, butternut squash, salt and pepper to the cheese mixture and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
- In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with 3 tablespoons of melted butter and stir to combine.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of casserole. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
You can prep this ahead of time. Make the mac and cheese through step 9. When you’re read to bake it, take it out of the fridge while the oven is pre-heating. Add the breadcrumb mixture, then bake, adding 5-10 minutes to the cooking time.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 431Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 597mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 18g
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