Kicked up with chipotle pepper and bacon and made extra-creamy from butternut squash, this mac ‘n’ cheese will soon become your new addiction!
All hail the CHEESE to celebrate the fact that the week is not even half over. Bring it on.
Just to preface a little bit, you are probably either going to hate me or love me after we’re through with this post. And it’s all this mac ‘n’ cheese’s fault. Blame the cheese, the bacon, and all the 10034 other things I packed into one innocent pan of mac.
If you’re in the “hate me” category, then it’s probably because you realize there’s no fighting the mac and you just subject yourself to the fact that you WILL eat tons if not all of it. And diets are a completely foreign word here today.
But if you’re in the “love me” category? You understand that all of the above statistics are a GOOD thing. You embrace them and the mac. You’re my kind of person. 😀
So the point to all that rambling above? It’s that I come bearing the best mac ‘n’ cheese my face has met in a looooong time. And truthfully as of lately, this mac has met my face more times then I care to admit. 😲
It’s got bacon. It’s got chipotle because I’m recently obsessed. It’s got a plethora of cheese to cool down the chipotle kick. Heck I even threw butternut squash into the mix, because it is the BOMB in mac! Honest, don’t judge it til you end up eating the whole pan.
Which if you don’t, I totally will. Don’t make me do it.
Lookit all that cheesy love, guys. Are you feeling all the cheese feels as much as I am right now?
So freaking good. Don’t look at me now because I’m divin’ in. 😋😋😋
Facefirst. See ya.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups 1/2-in cubed butternut squash
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon canned diced chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 oz pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- 6 strips bacon, cooked and diced
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, saute butternut squash in olive oil, stirring occasionally until squash is very tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove squash from pan to a small bowl and wipe pan clean.
- In same saucepan, melt butter over medium heat then whisk in flour. Slowly add milk and half-and-half, whisking constantly until smooth and combined. Bring sauce to a low simmer over medium heat until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese, chipotle, nutmeg, and cooked butternut squash. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer sauce to a high-speed blender and blend on high speed until sauce is completely smooth.
- Meanwhile, place pasta in a greased 9x13 baking pan. Pour sauce over top and stir to coat. Sprinkle cooked bacon on top and sprinkle breadcrumbs over all.
- Bake mac 'n' cheese at 375F 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden and sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes, then serve hot. Enjoy!
Who’s ready to go live in the land of mac?