Lunchbox Macaroni and Cheese

I am not a huge fan of hiding veggies in the kids’ food, but with something as nutritionally void as mac and cheese, I am willing to break the rules, especially since our oldest LOVES mac and cheese. They love this recipe and it’s way better than the boxed stuff.

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni (we use Barilla Plus since it’s high in protein)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 T olive oil
1 T flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup pureed butternut squash (just use baby food, it’s easier)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
4 oz. low-fat cream cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While the macaroni is cooking, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is a thick paste, but hasn’t started to turn brown.

Add the milk and continue to stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the puree, cheddar and cream cheese. Stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Stir in the macaroni and serve.

What does the family think? The boys love this stuff and it travels well in a thermos for them to take in their lunch boxes.

Did I change anything? I left out the salt, pepper and paprika that was in the original recipe. My kids like their mac and cheese without it.

from Deceptively Delicious


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It, Lent, Vegetarian

3 Responses to Lunchbox Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Rose Kopecky

    Love it! Reminds me of my butternut squash bowties recipe from Rachel Ray. I don’t “cook” much, but when I do, it’s a hit. I used to bake and take out my own squash and puree it, but no more thanks to this. A good reminder to me, and I should know better, because sometimes I sneak sweet potato baby food into spaghetti recipes. Just can’t let the kids catch me doing it 🙂 . Couldn’t you even just add some of it to boxed mac and cheese in a hurry to cheat?

  2. Nina

    I like the idea of putting the baby food in the boxed mac and cheese if you’re in a pinch. Smart thinkin’! 🙂

  3. jessica

    I like the idea of using olive oil instead of butter (makes the fat less bad for you!). I also like the idea of adding in the butternut squash (and yeah for baby food!). That’s way easier. Keep’m coming!!

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