This Butternut Squash Beefaroni is a simple and fantastic way to covertly bring healthy food to the dinner table. Kids and grown-ups alike will be completely dazzled!

This Butternut Squash Beefaroni is a simple and fantastic way to covertly bring healthy food to the dinner table. Kids and grown-ups alike will be completely dazzled!

Just like Mac ‘N Cheese, Beefaroni tends to be a winner in most households! Kids and adults alike usually can’t resist digging into such bowlfuls of comforting goodness!

This healthier version sacrifices none of the taste, while allowing you to sneak a few extra veggies into your family’s plates, in the form of butternut squash and cauliflower. 

But this, they don’t need to know… cuz this beefaroni, it’s so tasty and comforting, no one will be able to tell the difference. In fact, chances are they’ll like this version even better! 

Now, while you may find that this recipe calls for many, many steps, everything pretty much gets done simultaneously so in the end, it really isn’t that long or complicated to make.

Plus, I’ve no doubt that once you’ve made it a few times, it’ll become so easy, you’ll be able to make it with your eyes closed!

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

Your first step should be to preheat your oven to 375°F.

Then, you want to boil plenty of salted water to cook your pasta in. Follow the directions on the package but cook them for 2 minutes less than recommended, then drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the butternut squash, cauliflower florets and chicken broth in a medium saucepan and bring that to the boil. You’ll then want to lower the heat, cover and let that simmer until the vegetables are really tender and slightly overcooked, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

So now that you’ve got the pasta and butternut squash going, time to brown some meat!

Melt some ghee (or use your preferred cooking fat) in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook, stirring from time to time, until the meat is really crispy and nicely browned — about 7 to 8 minutes.

Make sure that you give the meat ample time to brown and crisp up before you move on to the next step; this will add tons of flavor and texture to the finished product.

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

When the meat is cooked to your liking, throw in the chopped onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

Next, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and sweet paprika, stir well and simmer for a few minutes.

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

Meanwhile, reduce the butternut squash and cauliflower a smooth puree with the help of a stick blender. Or, if you preferred, you could also use a food processor or blender…

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

Add the butternut squash puree to the meat and tomatoes and then stir until well combined.

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

Throw in the slightly under-cooked pasta…

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

…stir until well combined and then kill the heat. 

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

Technically, you could serve your Butternut Squash Beefaroni as is, after letting it rest for a few minutes to give the pasta a chance to absorb some of the excess liquid and finish cooking… 

Butternut Squash Beefaroni in the making - process shot

But if you want to take things to the next level, simply top your beefaroni with a handful of grated cheddar cheese and then bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden and the sauce starts to bubble on the sides.

This Butternut Squash Beefaroni is a simple and fantastic way to covertly bring healthy food to the dinner table. Kids and grown-ups alike will be completely dazzled!

All that’s left to do now is let your beefaroni to rest for a few minutes then garnish with a handful of chopped herbs, if you so desire, and serve.

Now just you look at this!!! If that doesn’t get the whole family running to the kitchen, I don’t know what will!

This Butternut Squash Beefaroni is a simple and fantastic way to covertly bring healthy food to the dinner table. Kids and grown-ups alike will be completely dazzled!

Butternut Squash Beefaroni

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
This Butternut Squash Beefaroni is a simple and fantastic way to covertly bring healthy food to the dinner table. Kids and grown-ups alike will be completely dazzled!
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups butternut squash, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F
  • Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water, but cook them for 2 minutes less than recommended on the package. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta is cooking, combine the butternut squash, cauliflower florets and chicken broth in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are really tender and slightly overcooked, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • During that time, melt some ghee (or use your preferred cooking fat) in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook, stirring from time to time, until the meat is really crispy and nicely browned — about 7 to 8 minutes.*
  • When the meat is cooked to your liking, throw in the chopped onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and sweet paprika, stir well and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, reduce the butternut squash and cauliflower a smooth puree with the help of a stick blender (alternately, you could also use a food processor or high-speed blender) and then add this to the meat and tomatoes and stir until well combined.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and remove from heat. Top with the grated cheese and then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden and the sauce starts to bubble on the sides.
  • Allow to rest for a few minutes then garnish with a handful of chopped herbs if desired and serve.

Notes

*Make sure that you give the meat ample time to brown and crisp up; this will add tons of flavor and texture to the finished product.

Nutrition

Calories: 561kcal, Carbohydrates: 65g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 606mg, Potassium: 1372mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 11155IU, Vitamin C: 56.9mg, Calcium: 281mg, Iron: 6.3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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