- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash puree (less if you want the squash taste less pronounced)
- 1/2 lb elbow noodles of your choice
- 2 tablespoons butter (we used butter alternative to decrease the dairy amount in here for dairy intolerant Little Asher)
- 2 tablespoon flour or tapioca flour
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or reduced fat milk or other milk alternative)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- dash of salt
- dash of white pepper
- 1 3/4 cups cheese (I used a mixture of part skim mozzarella and reduced fat cheddar--the high fat content is what bothers lactose intolerant folks; If I could do what I wanted I would use WHITE CHEDDAR)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease a medium casserole dish.
- Cook the elbow noodles 2 minutes less than the box says. Drain and place in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat.
- Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a boil, add nutmeg, salt and pepper, then simmer. Cook for 3 minutes; stirring occasionally making sure the lumps mix out.
- Add cheese and squash and stir until cheese is melted.
- Stir cheese sauce into pasta and transfer to greased casserole dish.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes.
NOTE: You can top this with turkey bacon crumbles or buttered crumbled wheat crackers or more cheese. Get creative. This time I tried buttered crumbed wheat crackers and it added a nice texture/
Difficulty: 2 out of 5; with the puree already made this was easy peasy! I made it about an hour before I wanted to bake it, covered it in the oven and when it was almost time to eat I took the lid off and baked. You could also make this during nap time or in the morning and refrigerate until ready to bake. Increase the bake time if you refrigerate.
Timing: I would give this to mine as early as 9 months depending on their chewing abilities. Mine love finger foods so 9 months is good for mine---otherwise around 12 months is perfect!
Epicutie Rating (see left side of page for rating descriptions):
- Little Joy: Yummy in the tummy! She loved the crunch--she's my one with a bit of a mature pallete. She likes lots of flavors like her mommy.
- Little Asher: Yummy in the tummy! He does not have mac and cheese much because it is too much dairy but since there is not as much dairy to pasta with the squash in there, it is quite a treat! He gobbled up two hardy helpings.
Step 6: Whisk in milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper with butter and flour
My Squash Puree
Noodles awaiting sauce
Step 7: Add cheese and squash to milk mixture
Before adding a topping
And its done!
Served with ham and steamed peas
Little Asher going in...
Hows it taste?
"Watch me mommy" says Little Joy
And all she says is CHEESE after it