Joy Bauer Weight Loss

RecipeButternut Squash Mac & Cheese Muffins

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Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Total Fat: 3 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 1.5 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 20 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Total Sugar: 2 g
    • Natural Sugar: 2 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg

Mac & Cheese is a favorite in the Bauer house—I’m constantly experimenting with different variations to keep it fresh and flavorful. In this one, I added nutrient-rich butternut squash to the mix and I baked it in muffin tins to make them portion-friendly. Your kids will love that they can eat it with their fingers!

For the casserole version, check out this recipe.

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 20 muffins
Ingredients:
  • 5 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (about 1½ cups pre-shredded)
  • 6 cups cubed butternut squash
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
  • 1 box (14 ounces) whole-grain elbow macaroni
  • 1¼ cups fat-free or 1% milk
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 to 3 drops hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon whipped butter (or trans-fat free margarine)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400˚.

If using block cheese, shred the cheese using the large side of a box grater. Set aside.

Mist a baking sheet with oil spray and add the butternut squash. Mist the tops of butternut squash with oil spray and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until squash is cooked through. Allow to cool. Add cubes to a blender or food processor and puree. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350˚.

While butternut squash bakes, prepare the pasta and cheese sauce: Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and follow the directions on the package for al dente pasta (about 7 minutes). Drain and return to pot.

In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup of milk with onion powder, dry mustard, paprika, remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, and hot sauce. Place over medium heat, and cook until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer.

In a small bowl or cup, mix the cornstarch with remaining ¼ cup cold milk. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine. Return sauce to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should thicken slightly.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the shredded cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is completely melted and no lumps remain.

Add the butternut squash puree to the cheese sauce, stirring until combined, followed by the butter, once again, stirring until it’s fully incorporated.

Add the sauce to the cooked macaroni and stir until everything is evenly coated.

Split the mixture among 20 standard muffin tins (about ¼ cup in each). Sprinkle each with Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are slightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes so cheese (and muffin) can firm.


Makes 20 muffins; 1 muffin per serving

Nutrition analysis courtesy of Genesis® R&D