Squash and spinach macaroni cheese recipe

By Sal Henley

  1. Serves 4-6
  2. Takes 15 minutes to make, 30 minutes to cook
  3. Rating

Try this twist on one of the nation's favourite dishes, macaroni cheese. For a creamy tomato alternative, try substituting a can of chopped tomatoes for half the crème fraîche.

tried and tested
Squash and spinach macaroni cheese

Ingredients

  1. 500g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 300g macaroni
  4. 750ml vegetable stock, hot
  5. 500g half-fat crème fraîche
  6. 150g pot crème de St Agur cheese
  7. 200g bag baby leaf spinach
  8. 50g grated vegetarian Parmesan
  9. 50g walnut pieces
  10. A good grating of whole nutmeg

For the topping

  1. 40g wholemeal breadcrumbs
  2. 15g grated vegetarian Parmesan

Method

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 200°c/fan180°c/gas 6. Toss the squash and oil together in an ovenproof dish and roast for 25 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, make the topping by mixing the breadcrumbs and parmesan together in a bowl.
  2. 2. In a large pan, cook the macaroni in the stock (it needs to cover the macaroni by 2cm), according to pack instructions. Drain, add the crème fraîche and the crème de St Agur to the pasta and stir to melt.
  3. 3. Stir in the spinach and allow to wilt before adding to the roasted squash, along with the parmesan and walnut pieces.
  4. 4. Mix well and season with a good grating of nutmeg (nearly a quarter of one nutmeg), salt and black pepper.
  5. 5. Preheat the grill to high. Sprinkle over the breadcrumb topping and grill until golden. Serve with a salad.

Nutritional info

Per serving (based on 6): 584kcals, 33g fat (16.9g saturated), 21g protein, 54.6g carbs, 8g sugar, 1.6g salt

Chef's tip

To freeze this dish, make the macaroni cheese, but don’t grill the topping. Wrap in cling film and foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°c/fan180°c/ gas 6. Finish under the grill until bubbling and golden.

Comments

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laylap

July 9

Delicious. I have swapped the creme de st agur for low fat cream cheese and it's still tasty.

RAH_RAH

December 17

This was really easy to make, and pretty tasty! I think it would be nice with pine nuts instead of walnuts, too. I had to put the macaroni back on the heat after draining it so that the cheese would melt. I made it in advance and baked in the oven as per the freezing instructions, and suspect that grilling it may not keep everything warm enough after adding the cold creme fraiche and cheese. Worth a try! Easy and tasty!

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