Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
i had some butternut squash i needed to cook, as well as almost a pound of al dente left over pasta, and decided to combine these into a delicious comfort meal, perfect for the start of winter.
- ½ medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup parrano cheese, shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded + more for topping
- salt and black pepper to taste
- dried rosemary (or a few sprigs fresh rosemary)
- ½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- Boil the noodles in a small stock pot until just tender. Rinse and drain. Under cook the noodles slightly if you use the slow cooker or they’ll turn to mush. (i have also used uncooked noodles for the slow cooker, you just have to adjust cooking time)
- In a medium sauce pan, combine squash, milk and chicken broth; bring to boil over medium-high, then reduce to medium heat. Simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes (less if you steam the squash beforehand, which i did). Stir in sharp cheese, salt, pepper, and rosemary, stir to combine. Give it a taste now and then and adjust the spices to taste. Remove from heat and mash contents of saucepan.
- For stove top: Combine the noodles and sauce in a stock pot over low heat, stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick to coat properly, add more liquids. Once the sauce is the right thickness and everything is covered properly, remove from heat and add 1 cup of shredded mozzarella and stir to incorporate. Top each bowl with a light sprinkle of cheese and breadcrumbs, and serve.
- For slow cooker: Grease slow cooker with olive oil. Combine the noodles and sauce in the slow cooker, stir well to coat noodles. Top with shredded mozzarella and breadcrumbs. Turn the slow cooker on LOW for approximately 4 hours, and stir occasionally. You may want to add more shredded cheese to the top five minutes before serving.