Creamy and Comforting Baked Mac-n-Cheese


 

Creamy and comforting, this baked mac-n-cheese just can’t be outdone by the boxed variety.

Traditional homemade recipes can require lots of time to prepare. Even when we make the time, they may provide the ‘comfort food’ we crave, but little in the way of nourishment – which is what our bodies crave most! 

This recipe features the stress-busting power of wheat germ in its crunchy, flavorful topping! 

Butternut squash in the prepared sauce lends rich creaminess and flavor without adding unhealthy fat. 

Preparing this baked dish requires about double the time of boxed mac-n-cheese – if you’re in a time crunch, note the QUICK STOVETOP instructions below for homemade healthy mac-n-cheese in half the time! 

BONUS TIME-SAVING TIP:  
Cook pasta ahead of time and store in refrigerator up to 7 days. Combine cooked pasta with prepared cheese sauce, for homemade baked mac-n-cheese in less than 30 minutes!

I often make a double batch of pasta, using half for this recipe and keeping half in the fridge to use during the week in other recipes like soups, casseroles, pasta salad, etc. 

NOTE ABOUT PORTION SIZES: 
The portion sizes for this recipe may seem smaller than what you’re used to, as eating according to serving sizes can be realllyyyy difficult – especially with pasta! 

The recommended serving size is 1/2 c. cooked pasta. Keep in mind, especially if you’re not used to eating whole wheat pasta, that this is much more filling than refined pasta. 

I suggest serving this with a nice big side of steamed veggies: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower – or seasoned grilled veggies: zucchini or yellow squash, mini sweet peppers, or eggplant. 

You could also serve the mac-n-cheese as a SIDE dish with veggies, alongside a lean protein like London broil (top round roast), oven roasted pork tenderloin, or grilled chicken (here’s one of my family’s favorite EASY recipes: Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Mojo).  

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Creamy and Comforting Baked Mac-n-Cheese
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23-28 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23-28 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat square baking pan or 2-qt casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain*, pour into prepared baking dish.
  3. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, wheat germ, and parmesan. Sprinkle mixture over pasta/cheese sauce.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
  6. Turn oven temperature to broil and cook 2-3 minutes, or until top is brown and crisp.
Recipe Notes

Savory Butternut Cheese Sauce RECIPE 

*If preparing pasta in batches, cook 2 boxes and reserve about 4 cups of the cooked pasta for this recipe. Store the remaining pasta in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in fridge up to 7 days.

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