I have to share this recipe because
- It’s fall and fall means pumpkin
- It’s mac and cheese, plus
- Kelly loves this recipe – as in, he put it on The List.
So seriously…this mac and cheese is so cheesy and so creamy. It’s everything you want in a mac and cheese when you feel sad or cold or lonely or simply in the mood for cheese. In other words: All the time.
But here’s the secret – it’s not really very cheesy. It only tastes that way. The secret to the creamy is a fall-favorite: PUMPKIN.
Sure, the recipe calls for butternut squash. But why use that when pumpkin is everywhere?
When I made this for dinner, Kelly declared that it was his favorite mac and cheese ever. Little did he know (until I told him) that it’s lower calorie and lower cheesy.
And he still liked it – and me – after learning that.
If that isn’t a reason to make this, I don’t know what is.
- 1/4 c lower fat bacon bits
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 2 c low sodium chicken stock
- 1 c fat-free milk
- 10 oz pumpkin puree
- 10 oz elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 3 c frozen chopped broccoli florets
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
Heat bacon bits over medium heat until crispy (about 1 minute). Remove from pan. Saute garlic over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add stock, milk, and pumpkin to pan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add pasta; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli; cover and cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done and sauce is thickened. Stir in salt, pepper and half of cheese. Sprinkle bacon and remaining cheese on top. Cover and let stand 1 minute.