Butternut Squash & Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheese

I was just thinking about this mac ‘n’ cheese that I created last year and realized that it wasn’t on my blog yet. Yikes! I developed the recipe last year for a Good Things Utah segment and it is one of my favorite segments to date. Watch me make it here!

Getting ready on the set of ABC4’s Good Things Utah!

So many of my friends have made this and loved it. You could definitely say its “grown-up” or “fancy” mac ‘n’ cheese. It requires a bit of effort but is sooooo worth it! The combo of roasted butternut squash, crispy bacon, creamy gruyere, and fresh rosemary is perfection! This is amazing alongside roasted chicken or pork and is the perfect side dish to take to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. You will definitely impress your family and guests with this elevated take on classic mac ‘n’ cheese! If you make it (or any of my recipes) please comment on my blog and share my recipes on social media. It will help me grow!

Butternut Squash & Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheese

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

1 butternut squash – peeled, de-seeded, and cubed (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoons olive oil
8 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup shallots, finely diced
1 stick (8 TB) butter, divided
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (1%, 2%, or whole)
2 cups grated gruyere cheese, divided
2 cups grated sharp cheddar, divided
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
16 oz cavatappi pasta
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan
Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Heat a large pot of water over high heat for the pasta.
2. Place cubed squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven to roast for 20 minutes or until pieces are fork tender. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash half of the pieces (doesn’t have to be completely smooth). Leave on tray and set aside.
3. When water boils for pasta, add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to the water then cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
4. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and place on a towel-lined plate to drain. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the skillet.
5. Turn the heat for the skillet to medium then add diced shallots. Cook until translucent.
6. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the shallots. Once melted, whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour. Cook for about 1 minute or until the flour starts to brown. Whisk in milk with a slow, steady stream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
7. Once the sauce thickens (coats the back of a spoon), add 1 ½ cups of gruyere and 1 ½ cups of cheddar. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and about ½ teaspoon of pepper. Stir until cheese is melted then turn off the heat.
8. Add rosemary, bacon, butternut squash and drained pasta to the cheese sauce. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish.
9. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a bowl. Add panko and parmesan and stir to combine.
10. Add remaining gruyere and cheddar to the pasta then sprinkle the panko mixture on top.
11. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until topping starts to brown.
The GTU crew devoured my mac ‘n’ cheese after the show wrapped! Love these people!

Rosemary Parmesan Biscuit Pot Pie

I have been dreaming of making this for weeks and after making it just once, it is a new family favorite! My Chicken Pot Pie has been a favorite in our home for over 10 years. The first time I made it, I knew that was the end of trying out pot pie recipes. It is easy and perfect! Then last summer I created these Rosemary Parmesan Drop Biscuits that I now make ALL the time. A couple of weeks ago I thought, “What if I combine the two?” Well, here it is folks! My 16 year old food-loving son said it was one of the best things I’ve ever made and declared it the “definition of comfort food.” Success! I don’t think I could ever go back to using pie crust!

Rosemary Parmesan Biscuit Pot Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For the biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup melted butter
1 cup whole milk
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped and divided
For the chicken mixture:
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons butter (11 TB)
2/3 Cup flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 Cups water
1 1/3 Cup milk
4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (or 4 chicken bouillon cubes)
3-4 Cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
12 oz frozen mixed vegetables

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400° degrees. In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add ½ C melted butter and milk. Stir until just moistened. Fold in ½ cup parmesan and 2 TB rosemary. Set aside.

2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

3. Melt butter in a large skillet with high sides or a pot. Stir in flour, garlic, and S&P until blended. Gradually stir in water, milk, and bouillon. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes. Mixture will be thick. Remove from heat and stir in chicken and veggies.

4. Pour chicken mixture into prepared baking dish. Using a large scoop, drop biscuits on top of the chicken mixture. Makes about 12 large biscuits. Sprinkle remaining 2 TB of parmesan on top of biscuits.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and mixture is bubbly. After removing from oven, garnish with remaining rosemary.