Crab, Butternut Squash and Walnut Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter what life throws your way, after sitting down to a bowl full of macaroni and cheese, all your troubles seem to melt away.

No, I am not condoning eating your feelings.
But, I am not condoning not eating your feelings, either.

Food has a way of bringing about comfort. And memories. And joy.

For me, macaroni and cheese has a way of bringing about all three of the above. It was my favorite food as a child and it still remains tops for me to this day!

But sometimes, you may feel a little guilty about just eating noodles with some whizzy type of cheese on top for dinner, or even a side dish. It’s not the most fancy thing to eat. And you definitely won’t impress your boss or in-laws with that kind of dish.

Until now.

With just the simplest additions of crab meat, pureed butternut squash, walnuts, and broccoli, macaroni and cheese just got a promotion. It woke up and put on its fancy pants.

Er, nevermind. Well, we’ll just say macaroni and cheese just got kicked up a notch, or twelve.

Try this out for dinner. Or lunch. Or heck, instead of your bacon and eggs in the morning. You won’t regret it. Your boss won’t regret it. And your in-laws will love you even more because of it.

Crab, Butternut Squash and Walnut Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 lb pasta- any kind will do! I used penne
3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 cup broccoli, steamed
6 oz canned crab meat
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups pureed butternut squash
1 TBS brown mustard
2 TBS fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package’s instructions. Drain, and put aside in a large bowl. And add broccoli and crab meat to pasta.
3. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions, cook until translucent (3-5 minutes).
4. Place milk into a food processor with the thyme, mustard, salt and pepper, walnuts, butternut squash. Process for about 30 seconds, until well combined.
5. Add milk mixture to onions in sauce pan. Whisk in cheese.
6. Pour the cheesy mixture over the pasta-broccoli-crab mixture. Stir until well-combined.
7. Pour into a casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs.
8. Bake for 15 minutes.

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20 thoughts on “Crab, Butternut Squash and Walnut Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

  1. We are constantly experimenting with Macaroni and cheese. This certainly looks and sounds wonderfully delicious. I can’t wait to try this variation.

  2. I couldn’t agree more! Food is comfort..and this? Perfect. Your macaroni and cheese looks so good…and I’m so glad that my arm is better and I can visit and comment again! Thank you for being such an inspiration. Your words, recipes and photos…yum, yum, yum! Blessings from Austin

  3. Perfect! I grew up with mac and cheese too…This recipe is not however for me (hypersensitivity to crabs…)but for my husband (who is also a sucker for anything that resembles mac and cheese…)Thanks for giving a staple dish a different kind of twist! Bravo, chef!

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