Who says nostalgic foods like mac & cheese can’t co-exist with reaching your goals? At Stronger U, we enjoy whipping up popular dishes differently without sacrificing taste, flavor, and satiety. We love to eat around here, so we like testing out old recipes in new ways. We’ve taken this childhood favorite comfort food and given it a “grown-up” spin by adding butternut squash and chicken sausage. The result? A savory and hearty meal that provides protein but is lower in carbs and fat than traditional mac and cheese and can be ready in under 30 minutes.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC & CHEESE WITH CHICKEN SAUSAGE
170 Calories | 11P | 22C | 6F per ½ c (150 g)
Makes 11 servings
1 medium (~3 lbs) butternut squash
8 oz box Banza Elbow Pasta (or any elbow pasta)
4 Johnsonville Apple Chicken
Sausages (or any sausage – 600 cals | 48P | 20C | 36F used)
¼ c (32g) cheddar powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 c (240mL) unsweetened almond milk
*If you’d rather use real cheese, sub ½ – 1 c shredded cheddar (or any cheese) for the milk and cheddar powder.
1. Use a fork to poke holes all around the squash. Place it on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 6 minutes.
2. Cut the squash in half and those halves in half to make four pieces. The “guts” should be exposed. Scoop them out and place the squash pieces cut side down on the plate. Microwave for an additional 6-8 minutes. (Larger squash may require more time. The flesh should be easily pierced with a fork and easy to scoop out.)
3. While the squash cooks, prepare the pasta as instructed on the packaging..
4. Thinly slice the sausages before pan frying over high heat.
5. When the squash has cooked and cooled, scoop the flesh into a food processor and add the milk, cheddar powder, and spices. Blend until smooth.
6. Add the “cheese” sauce to the pasta and gently fold together before adding the fried sausage slices.
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