Butternut Squash and Chicken Mac and Cheese

What happens when you take the sweet goodness of butternut squash and mix it with the classic flavors of mac and cheese? You get a casserole that elevates comfort food to a new level! Instead of shells try penne or cavatappi for a change.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hourDifficulty: Medium


Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. medium shell-shaped pasta
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Cook pasta just to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oven to 400ºF. Season chicken breasts with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven, cool and then shred into bite-sized pieces. Reduce oven temperature to 375ºF.
  • Combine squash, chicken broth, milk, and garlic in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook until squash is tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Purée squash mixture using a blender, being careful to vent lid and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent burns. Return to the pot and stir in mustard, Cheddar, Gruyère, and remaining salt and pepper. Fold in pasta and chicken.
  • Pour mixture into a large baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, melted butter, and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta. Bake until the casserole is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.