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Macaroni and Cheese with a Hidden Vegetable


macaroni and cheese

Hidden Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese

Stephanie Gallagher
This macaroni and cheese recipe is everything a good macaroni and cheese recipe should be: creamy, cheesy and soul-soothing. But this recipe is also a bit healthier than the average mac and cheese because it has a hidden vegetable (winter squash) inside. You can use thawed frozen winter squash or baby food winter squash in this recipe.

Serve this macaroni and cheese with broccoli raisin salad.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 16 oz. elbow macaroni (whole wheat is okay)
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 cup winter squash puree (fresh, frozen and thawed or baby food)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded colby cheese
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente. Drain.

  3. Heat milk in the microwave for 90 seconds on 50% power or until warm to the touch (not boiling). (Alternatively, heat milk in a small saucepan just until tiny bubbles form around the edges.) Set aside.

  4. Heat butter in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat, until melted.

  5. Whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

  6. Season with salt. Add hot sauce.

  7. Add milk, stirring frequently, until thickened, 3-5 minutes.

  8. Whisk in squash. Cook another 1-2 minutes.

  9. Add cheeses. Stir until melted. Remove from heat.

  10. Stir macaroni into cheese sauce. Pour into prepared baking dish.

  11. Toss bread crumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.

  12. Bake 20-35 minutes until bubbly and golden.

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