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What Is Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Images By: Yellowj, Bill, n/a
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2016
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Butternut squash mac and cheese is a new version of the traditional macaroni and cheese dish that adds a “whole food” component to what is generally a somewhat processed dish. Recipes for butternut squash mac and cheese bring a new technique to creating the pasta and cheese dish that has become a staple in some modern communities. This dish is similar to any number of other casseroles that are often baked in wide flat pans and served hot, either as meals or as side dishes.

The primary ingredients in most versions of butternut squash macaroni and cheese are macaroni pasta, cheese or cheese powder, and the cooked butternut squash, either in cubes, slices, or in a puree. Other dairy ingredients, like butter and milk, are frequent additions. The pasta and cheese powder used for these dishes can be offered as “organic” foods, or in regular, non-organic forms, according to how these basic ingredients were made and processed.

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In addition to pasta, squash, and dairy products, there are a few other elements that often get added to butternut squash macaroni and cheese for additional flavor. One of these is garlic. Spices like salt and pepper, or even more exotic ones, like nutmeg, are sometimes used. Green herbs like thyme, oregano, or basil may also contribute to this dish. Different herbs will often complement a main flavor profile, for example, where basil may be part of an “Italian” macaroni and cheese dish.

Making butternut squash mac and cheese involves cooking the pasta, and combining it with the other ingredients. For baked versions of this dish, raw ingredients such as onions can be added. For other versions that are not baked, all elements should be cooked before being mixed together in a serving bowl.

Butternut squash mac and cheese and other similar dishes have become popular on many cooking shows and in prominent cookbooks. The idea behind this sort of recipe is to add fresh vegetables or similar whole foods to the macaroni and cheese dish. When macaroni and cheese originally became popular as a nonperishable supermarket product, there was a focus on processed, easy-to-make food. Now, a significant number of shoppers are going back to using whole foods that take more preparation, but which deliver fresher ingredients for meals. This is part of the popularity behind more complex versions of macaroni and cheese that are now becoming popular in many communities as an alternative to traditional, out-of-the-box mac and cheese recipes.

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