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It’s a delicious, creamy dish, with a secret surprise inside…

Who would have ever thought I’d be adding green things to my mac and cheese?

Where, oh where has my little blog gone?

My goal was to create a comforting mac and cheese dish that packed a nutrient-rich punch and a whole slew of delicious autumn flavors. And it worked and worked and worked over again. I should know. I’ve only consumed that entire casserole dish.


Okay that is a tiny fib. I haven’t eaten all of it. Yet.

I’ve let Mr. How Sweet have a few tastes too. But just a few.

He doesn’t like fancy mac and cheese anyway. He only likes noodles + cheese sauce. Plain, plain, plain. That’s the name of Mr. How Sweet’s game. Well, at least it was until this past weekend.

He dug in with a spoon before I was even finished taking pictures. In fact, that very last picture waaaay down there is Mr. How Sweet digging in. Perhaps my foodieness is finally rubbing off on him?



Autumn Mac and Cheese

1 pound whole wheat pasta (I used shells)

1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 large apple, peeled and chopped

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

2 cups brussels sprouts, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

2 cups milk

8 ounces cheese, grated (I used smoked cheddar)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese + more for topping

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay chopped squash and apples on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Roast for 25 minutes, flipping once.

While the squash is roasting, heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions and brussels sprouts with a pinch of salt and pan roast for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently. Heat a large pot of water to a boil, and begin to cook your pasta.

Set aside squash/apples and sprouts/onion mixture. If pasta is cooked, set it aside as well. Reduce oven heat to 350.

In a medium saucepan, heat one tablespoon of butter on medium heat and whisk in the flour to create a roux. Add the milk while continuing to whisk, and begin adding cheese as well. I find that adding cheese in batches about 3 minutes apart works best. Continue to whisk together so the cheese melts and doesn’t stick to the bottom. The entire process takes about 10 minutes and you want the heat on medium-low, this will help thicken the cheese sauce. I find you don’t want it too thick, as it will thicken in the over.

Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray. Begin to layer pasta, vegetables and apples, and cheese sauce in batches, just mixing to make sure all is combined. Top with panko and another sprinkling of parmesan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.


Anyone else’s favorite part the crunchy crust on top? I definitely hurry up and hog that part before someone else can get to it. Bonus points if there’s bacon.

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97 Responses to “Autumn Mac and Cheese.”

  1. #
    51
    Nicole, RD — November 3, 2010 @ 11:54 am

    I’ve had troube loading your blog lately…finally got it to work!

    This looks awesome! Love brussel’s sprouts!

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    Kim — November 3, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    This will be in my belly soon. Going to the store for ingredients tonight!

    Thanks!!

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Camille — November 3, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    You may have just converted me to a Mac and Cheese lover! That is a huge feat that can only be accomplished through green stuff!

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Salah@myhealthiestlife — November 3, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    O-M-G…genius. end of story. I want this now. :-)

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Mary @ Bites and Bliss — November 3, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

    That looks incredible!! I always love adding broc to mac n cheese- after all, broc and cheese is just as yummy! but I love the loads of veggies you put in there..perfect!

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    Katie @ cozydelicious — November 3, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    Look at you with all those veggies! You’re going to turn into a brussels sprout on eof these days. I have never added them to mac and cheese, but it sounds so tasty!

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    Bianca @ south bay rants n raves — November 3, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

    Interesting take on mac & cheese! It’s a healthy version cuz of the veggies right? ;)

    Reply

  8. #
    58
    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — November 4, 2010 @ 7:01 am

    Wow! What a great way to healthify an otherwise terrible-for-you (yet absolutely delicious) dish! I’m making grown-up mac and cheese for my dinner party this weekend and cannot wait!

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    Lora @cakeduchess — November 4, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    Oh my goodness! I never made mac and cheese like this. Fabulous!:)

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    shelly (cookies and cups) — November 5, 2010 @ 6:54 am

    YAY!! This looks amazing! I want this for dinner…or breakfast, or whatever :)

    Reply

  11. #
    61
    Cate — November 6, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

    Oh my this sounds REALLY good. This is now on my “Recipes to Make” list!

    Reply

  12. #
    62
    rosi — November 7, 2010 @ 7:51 am

    This recipe looks great. I’m starting to look for “lite” cookie recipes to make for holiday presents.

    Reply

  13. #
    63
    Brooke Guthrie — November 8, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    Yum. I love mac and cheese. Hubs likes his plain too. I have all these veg from my CSA so I’ll try it out. I have some sausage too that I think I’ll add. Yum.

    Reply

  14. #
    64
    Katie — November 9, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

    I just HAD to stop over and give you all the praise in the world for this recipe – I saw it on eatliverun, made it tonight – veganized, and it’s great!

    Reply

  15. #
    65
    Jules — November 14, 2010 @ 12:01 am

    Thank you for this recipe! I made a 1/2 recipe, and got 2 dinners and 2 lunches out of it. It microwaves really well! I subbed spinach for brussel sprouts, and had to use normal bread crumbs instead of the panko ones, but it was a delicious work-week meal.

    Reply

  16. #
    66
    Pretty. Good. Food. — November 14, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

    Wow, this looks delicious! :) I’m adding this to my weeknight menu!!

    Reply

  17. #
    67
    Mari Sue — November 15, 2010 @ 4:36 am

    Wow! Am i ever glad my daughter-freshman in college sent me this website! cant wait to try your veggie mac…and the other recipes newly discovered, such as the better than crack brownies that I’ll be making when we head to Tuscaloosa for the Auburn/U of A game. Roll Tide….

    Defs will be a new regular on your site.

    Reply

    • Jessica — November 15th, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

      So glad you found me. Thank you! :)

      Reply

  18. #
    68
    Aliza — December 24, 2010 @ 2:44 am

    I just made this for dinner. It is so delicious! The apple lends just a bit of sweetness and the cheddar in the sauce is just enough to give it a little bite! Thank you for posting!

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 24th, 2010 @ 3:16 am

      So glad you liked it!

      Reply

  19. #
    69
    Jen — January 15, 2011 @ 3:42 am

    Made it and it was a hit! (IS a hit, we’re still chowing as I type)

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 15th, 2011 @ 4:05 am

      So glad you are liking it!

      Reply

  20. #
    70
    Terin — January 18, 2011 @ 1:08 am

    Sooo…finally got around to trying this and it. was. Amazing…definite hit and made for a great Monday meal…thanks for sharing it :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — January 18th, 2011 @ 3:05 am

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  21. #
    71
    Julia — October 27, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    This just came out of the oven and it looks DELICIOUS. I’m trying to be patient and wait for it to cool down, but it smells like it’s worth the too-hot mouth dance.

    Reply

  22. #
    72
    Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 29, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    Wow what an odd combo, maybe because I don’t like Brussels Sprouts, but I like cabbage, weird huh? However,my Husband doesn’t like Squash, so maybe I could make this and then we will both have to eat the vegetables we don’t care for. I honestly don’t get how no one like squash???

    Reply

  23. #
    73
    Laura — October 30, 2011 @ 8:27 am

    Confession: I’ve never had brussels sprouts. Covered in cheese with delicious squash may be the way to try them. This looks amazing!

    Reply

  24. #
    74
    Katelyn — November 1, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    This was WONDERFUL! I didn’t really know what to expect but I will definitely be making this again during the fall, although I may throw in some bacon next time because, why not?

    Reply

  25. #
    75
    Teresa — November 2, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

    Made this tonight and it’s delicious!!! Took a long time so we were eating late for a week night, but definitely worth the trouble. Thanks for the great ideas!

    Reply

  26. #
    76
    Sam — January 30, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    So, uh, I love you.

    Reply

  27. #
    77
    Hannah — November 2, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    Great idea with the veggies! I didn’t find good brussel sprouts at my market, so I subbed with radish. I also added half a can of pumpkin and used pumpkin pie spice instead of just nutmeg. Turned out great! My S.O. was hesitant about the squash in his pasta, but he came around after the second bite.

    Reply

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