A Macaroni and Cheese to Die For

Comfort food is the best.

On the top of my list is favorites is probably macaroni and cheese.  I love it out of the blue box [#noshame], classically baked, with fancy cheeses and with every twist in between.

This mac and cheese recipe I’ve made a few times and it’s always been a huge hit.  It feels decadent and rich, but in reality, it’s loaded with goodness.  I am huge on knowing where my food comes from before I put it in my mouth, and more importantly – putting my own twist on recipes [what’s a recipe? 🙂].  Rarely do I ever make the same dish twice.  This is one of those rare occasions where I will follow my own directions because it is that good.

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I mean, look at it.  Isn’t it mouth watering?

ACORN SQUASH, KALE, AND BACON MAC AND CHEESE

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 package macaroni pasta [I used some pasta I got from the HomeGoods specialty foods section]
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/2 bunch kale, chopped
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped [I used Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon]
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. cream cheese
  • 2 oz. parmesan
  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs [Trader Joe’s has the best!]
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut acorn squash in half and place open side up on a cookie sheet and roast for 45 minutes or until soft.  Allow to cool, then scoop out flesh and set aside.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package instructions to al dente.
  3. In a large pot, saute onion and bacon until bacon starts to crisp.  Add kale and cover for 5 minutes.  Continue cooking kale down for 10 minutes, then put into bowl and set aside.
  4. Add milk and butter to same pot and simmer.  Add cream cheese and stir until melted.  Add cheddar and parmesan. Add squash flesh and combine until smooth. [You might need to hand puree depending on how soft you cooked your squash].
  5. Add cooked pasta and the kale and bacon mixture into the cheese sauce.  Mix until just combined. Pour into a baking dish and smooth out.  Top with panko.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes with low broil for the last few minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

This is a great dish to bring for sharing to your next potluck or holiday outing – but I personally love eat this as the starring attraction.

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One thought on “A Macaroni and Cheese to Die For

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