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Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese

Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese
Serves 8

Tip: My local grocery store sells Butternut squash already peeled and chopped. This makes the vegetable just so much more “user-friendly” as I simply had to cook it in a pot of boiling water along with the peeled and chopped sweet potato. I didn’t need all of the prepared puree, so I stashed the extra in a sealed container and we enjoyed the leftover veggie mixture as a side dish with 2 more dinners that week.

Ingredients:
½ lb. Dreamfields or whole wheat elbow pasta, cooked according to package directions – $1.49
½ lb. sweet potato, peeled, cooked, and pureed – $1.01
1 ½ cups Butternut squash, cooked and pureed – $2.49
1 ¼ cups fat-free cottage cheese – $1.29
1 medium-large Vidalia onion, chopped – $1.19
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided – stock
1 (generous) cup shredded, low fat cheddar cheese – $1.19
2 slices fat free American cheese, optional
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Panko or “flavored” bread crumbs – stock
3 Tablespoons grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese – stock

Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $8.66
Total Per Serving: $1.08

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with Pam or other vegetable oil cooking spray.

2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, rinse under running water, drain, and set aside.

3. In a medium sauté pan set over medium flame, heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent and tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, using the steel blade of the food processor, puree the cooked sweet potato, squash, and cottage cheese until smooth. Set aside.

5.In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, onion, Cheddar and American cheese, and veggie-cottage cheese puree and then season with salt and pepper.

6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish.

7. In a custard bowl, combine the Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle on top of the mac ‘n cheese.

8. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until hot and beginning to bubble.