Roasted Cauliflower Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes with Cheesy Butternut Sauce.
Whyyyy do I do this.
Just when I’m really getting in the groove of eating vegetables by themselves, without covered in something fabulous, probably how they should be, I throw it back and cover them in CHEESE SAUCE.
But at least it’s adult cheese sauce. And by adult cheese sauce I don’t mean vodka cheese sauce, though that doesn’t sound terrible. (does it? whomp.)
I mean butternut cheese sauce! Technically, I put another vegetable inside of my cheese sauce so I’m eating vegetables on vegetables.
In other words, brilliance?
Potatoes were my absolute FAVORITE food when I was growing up. Favorite, I tell ya. If you asked me what my favorite food was, I’d say scalloped potatoes, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes – even my mom’s cheesy potato chip topped potato casserole. POTATOES gave me all the feels.
It was a rare occasion that we ate fast food when I was a kid, but my brothers and I were desperately obsessed with the idea of happy meals. Apparently I have always been a marketer’s dream?
We had fast food maaaaybe if my mom was going out with her card club friends (who never play cards) or if my grandpa took us after school one day, but it was only a handful of times a year. I obviously see the good in that NOW, but back then it was a special kind of torture.
There was a hot minute when I had the biggest fascination with the Wendy’s baked potatoes. Do they even still have them? After dance class I would beg my mom to get me a broccoli cheese potato, but I’d remove all of the broccoli because it was broccoli. And I’d just eat the cheesy potato.
I was the worst.
But I figured out the solution. They should have been ROASTING(!!) their broccoli. Because then I probably would have eaten it.
Let’s talk about the sauce. Cheesy and melty, made with butternut squash and actual cheese. I’ve done this before in butternut mac and cheese recipes. But I know that most butternut cheese sauces you can find on the good old internets are vegan versions made with nutritional yeast. I will be the first to say how much I LOVE nutritional yeast – it really is super cheesy and is the only thing I put on my kale chips. However.
I was sold on making cheese sauce with freshly grated cheese. And my favorite squash. It’s been a minute since I’ve made anything with squash (typical after a full blow obsession, as usual. obsessed > forget about for four months > repeat.) and it’s still so abundant in my grocery store that I should be taking advantage.
So I am!
Over the years I have detailed my love for meatless meals when Eddie is away. Three years ago those meatless meals were very much centered on wine and cheese but today, it’s not just me that I have to feed.
With that, I’m absolutely wacky over this meal. I had one of these potatoes with my favorite house salad for dinner a few nights last week and it was so satisfying – not to mention incredible comfort food. And it was so much better than the drive thru potato my highlights-reading, tap-dancing twelve year old self wanted back in the day. Super glad I discovered that now.
- 6 yukon gold or butter potatoes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Poke holes in all of the potatoes with a fork. Brush the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet.
On another baking sheet, place the cauliflower and broccoli. Toss it with the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the garlic powder.
Roast both the potatoes and the veggies for about 20 to 25 minutes. Check the veggies – they might be done (totally depends on how roasted you like yours. I like mine VERY roasted.) Roast the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes more, until fork tender.
Remove the potatoes and cut them down the center. To serve, spoon some of the cheese sauce into the potato, then top with the cauliflower and broccoli. Pour more of the cheese sauce on top and sprinkle with scallions. Top with some freshly cracked black pepper or crushed red pepper. Serve immediately.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the squash cubes. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is fork tender and soft enough to be pureed. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Transfer it to a blender or a food processor, add the garlic and blend until totally smooth.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the milk. Cook until the milk is warm and bubbles appear around the edges, then whisk in the pureed squash. Heat again until warm, just a few minutes. Toss the grated cheese with the cornstarch until the cheese shreds are coated. Reduce the heat until the milk to low add in small handfuls of cheese, stirring until completely melted. Repeat with remaining cheese. Have patience! Stir in very small amounts of cheese slowly so it melts evenly and doesn’t get gritty and separate. If it does become too thick, whisk in a few teaspoons of milk.
Bacon next time. For sure.