Butternut Macaroni and Cheese
with Swiss Chard and Garlic Breadcrumbs
This mac ‘n cheese has all of the nostalgic goodness of classic stovetop varieties, with a fraction of the guilt. We take things to the next level with sauteed swiss chard and super-crispy garlic breadcrumbs. Using the chard stems adds even more crunch and vegetable power to the meal. Plus, sweet butternut squash and silken tofu make the sauce extra creamy. All in all, it’s a great way to sneak extra protein and vegetables into your day!
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- 7 oz macaroni
- 8 oz butternut squash
- 5 oz rainbow swiss chard
- 1 shallot
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 6 oz silken tofu
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil*
- Salt and pepper*
- *Not included
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Fill a large pot with water. Salt the water, and place over high heat to boil. Once boiling, add the macaroni and cook until tender, about 10 to 13 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain the macaroni in a colander. Return the macaroni to the pot and toss with 1 tsp olive oil to prevent from sticking. Set aside.
While the macaroni is cooking, prep the vegetables. On a baking sheet, toss the butternut squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and slightly caramelized, about 18 to 20 minutes. Destem the swiss chard, and then cut the stems into ½-inch pieces. Stack and roll the leaves, and roughly chop into 1-inch pieces. Peel and mince the shallot and garlic.
In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add half the minced garlic (reserving the rest) and cook until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn heat to low and add the chard leaves, season with salt and pepper, and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add to macaroni.
Rinse and dry the lemon. Using a microplane or box grater, zest the peel. Wipe the skillet you used for the chard clean, put it back on over low heat, and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the shallot and remaining garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the panko and cook until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon zest.
Add the tofu, dijon mustard, paprika, vegan Worcestershire, nutritional yeast, and half of the roasted butternut to the blender. Add ⅓ cup of the reserved 1 cup pasta water, and turn blender on low. Slowly continue to add water and turn up the blender speed, until the sauce is smooth and silky. Halve the lemon and squeeze the juice of one half into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the butternut sauce and the remaining roasted butternut to the macaroni and chard. Mix well and heat on medium heat until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, divide the butternut macaroni and cheese between your plates, and top with garlic panko breadcrumbs. Enjoy!