Let’s cut straight to the chase… I made Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, and it was awesome! I was a little hesitant as to how the flavors in this dish would taste, but they were amazing and perfect for this crisp fall weather. I used frozen butternut squash which saved me a lot of time and elbow grease. I also added 1 cup of Yuengling beer, but you could use any cup of your favorite amber beer. A pumpkin ale might be tasty to use as well. There’s something about homemade mac and cheese that is so comforting and so much tastier than boxed mac and cheese (no offense to anyone who likes this!). While boxed mac and cheese is a definite time saver, sometimes it’s nice to make the homemade version with your favorite ingredients.
What’s the craziest ingredient that you’ve added to your mac and cheese?
- 1 box Barilla whole wheat medium shells
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 slightly rounded tablespoons flour
- 1 cup amber beer (I used Yuengling)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups butternut squash purée or 1 14-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin purée
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
- Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it and cook pasta to al dente. Drain and reserve. Preheat broiler.
- Melt butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook for 1 minute, then raise heat a bit and add beer. Reduce until almost evaporated then whisk in honey and milk. Season with allspice, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Thicken sauce to coat spoon, about 5 minutes, then taste to adjust seasonings.
- Whisk in squash and stir in about 2 cups grated cheese with a wooden spoon until melted. Combine pasta with sauce and arrange in a casserole or individual ramekins. Sprinkle remaining cheese and a light dusting of paprika. Broil to brown and bubble. Garnish with chopped parsley.