Creamy Healthy 4 Minute Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese

My family loves macaroni and cheese it is a dish that is requested at least once a month. I am always trying new recipes but I always come back to this one. I made the ultra creamy stove top Macaroni and cheese from this book the last time I made Macaroni and Cheese, and while it was delicious it was insanely rich and made a ton. I had to be creative using up the leftovers. It is definitely a splurge recipe with the amount of cheese and butter in it, so it is a once a year recipe. I much prefer this healthier version that doesn’t make me feel terrible like I should head to the gym pronto after eating it.  I have cooked this dish both on the stove top (for years!) and in the pressure cooker. I prefer the pressure cooker because it is so incredibly FAST. I also love that it has a hidden vegetable that gets extra vegetables into my family. The squash give this dish the orange glow that boxed macaroni and cheese is known for ~ you can easily cut back on the amount of cheese that I have listed. If my husband is not eating it I cut back on the cheese and add extra squash. I always roast extra squash when I make it for other meals so I always have the puree in my freezer ready to use. For me this is a pantry/freezer meal where I ALWAYS have the ingredients on hand other than the sage (unless my garden is producing). I love a crunchy topping on mine while my kids prefer it without while still wanting the fried sage. If you have the time adding caramelized onions to this dish turns it to AMAZING so fast. Whichever way you love yours I hope that you enjoy this comforting side-dish. If you want it for a main dish I suggest doubling the recipe!

Cheesy Macaroni

Creamy Squash Macaroni and Cheese

2 Cups Macaroni
2 Cups Water
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Healthy pinch of Cayenne pepper
1/2 Cup pureed Roasted Squash ~ I prefer butternut or Kabocha *see note*
1/2 Cup Milk ~ more as needed
2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional Topping
Fried Sage
Panko Bread Crumbs
Browned Butter

1. Add the macaroni, water, salt, dry mustard and cayenne to the pressure cooker. Set pressure to cook for 4 minutes.

2. Quick release any remaining pressure and remove lid, allowing the steam to escape away from you.

3. Stir in the squash puree, milk, and cheese off of the heat. Add extra milk or squash to get the consistency you prefer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve as is or….

4. Melt browned butter and add panko bread crumbs stir until coated. I use 1 teaspoon browned butter per 1/2 Cup of breadcrumbs.

5.Place your hot macaroni and cheese in a broiler safe dish and top with breadcrumb mixture and place under the broiler until golden. Keep an eye on it, it will brown quickly. Top with optional fried sage and enjoy.

Recipe heavily adapted from Pressure Cooker Perfection.

Kabucha Squash ready to be roasted

Kabucha Squash ready to be roasted

*Note* Roast Sliced Squash at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until tender. Turning over halfway through. Puree in a food processor or high powered blender.

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