the great thanksgiving recipe swap: autumn mac & 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.

Recipe and photo from How Sweet It Is

Learn more about The Great Thanksgiving Recipe Swap here!

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  • Amanda
    November 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I’ve been looking for squash recipes. This might be one to test out! Thanks for the idea.

  • jessica @ how sweet
    November 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for including my recipe jenna!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    November 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Mmmmm love the idea of mac and cheese with autumn veggies!!! Delicious!

  • chris
    November 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    looks great. Mac and cheese rules

  • Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes
    November 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I love squash with pasta and cheese…but I never thought to try adding apple…love the idea!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  • Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks
    November 5, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Oh heck yes! This is just the right balance of healthy veggies, hearty pasta and rich and salty cheese. Love dishes like this.

  • Hope
    November 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    what can I say? Yummo!

  • Cailin @ Stir Crazy
    November 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    LOVE this! My sister-in-law is a vegetarian and I think she’d love this at Thanksgiving, and I know she loves brussel sprouts! I may have to make it beforehand just to test it out and make sure it’s as yummy as it sounds… it’s a tough job πŸ™‚

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)
    November 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Jenna, this recipe sounds like the epitome of comfort food. Will def have to make this for Brian. He LOVES mac ‘n cheese!

  • laura
    November 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks for this recipe!!! I am making it tomorrow as it is rainy/snowy/wet here and my kids will LOVE that it has their favorite veggie-brussel sprouts πŸ™‚

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black
    November 5, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    This looks so good. I’m def going to try it!

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    November 5, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Mmm there can never be too many variations of mac n cheese πŸ™‚

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    November 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Talk about <3 in a casserole dish!

  • monicanelsonfitness
    November 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Do I love this idea? YES! Will I make it because I have all the ingredients right now? YES! Thank Jenna? ABSOLUTLEY!

    Great recipe! πŸ™‚

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    November 5, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I haven’t made or eaten mac & cheese for years but this may be too good to pass up!

  • Fit Chick in the City
    November 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    As soon as I saw the photo, I knew this recipe had to be from Jessica! Sounds amazing!

  • Cara Craves...
    November 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Jessica always has yummy creations!

  • Nora@LifeLifeEatRight
    November 5, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I love that this is a amped up mac and cheese–perfect as a side dish! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Dynamics
    November 6, 2010 at 12:48 am

    I just wanted you to know that I thoroughly enjoy your blog. It is amazing and brings me great joy! Thank you. : ~ )

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    November 6, 2010 at 5:23 am

    This looks *awesome*!! I’m so excited for Thanksgiving. πŸ˜€

  • eml
    November 6, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Butter? Squash? Pasta? Ohhhhh I could do that πŸ™‚

  • salah@myhealthiestlifestyle
    November 6, 2010 at 7:06 am

    I have to try this very very soon πŸ™‚

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    November 6, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Wow, if that ain’t comfort food I don’t know what is! There’s nothing like soothing and cheesy food to make a girl feel loved and happy.

  • Robyn @ Bliss in Print
    November 6, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Wow, this looks absolutely delish! I love mac and cheese, and I love squash so this should be the perfect combo for fall. Thanks!

  • s
    November 7, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    made this today, and loved it. thanks!

  • Project Life by Sue
    November 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Made this last night – was awesome. My hub who is a major carnivore – gave it an 8!! Definitely a make-again! Thanks for sharing.

  • Allison
    November 12, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Made it last night for a dinner party, and it was very well received! Even for people who aren’t fans of brussel sprouts. The only suggestions i have are maybe add a slice of bacon in when sauteeing the sprouts and onion. Also, I found that using a baking dish that’s more shallow than deep works better. The cheese doesn’t sink too much. Thanks for posting the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  • Melissa
    November 17, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Fantastic! I’m definitely making this recipe on Thanksgiving

  • Comfort Food | Kinda Bananas
    October 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm

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  • Autumn Vegetables « engineerscuisine
    October 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm

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