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Mac-n-Cheese Stuffed “Jack-O’-Lanterns”

The perfect pre-Trick-or-Treat meal idea! 

The kiddos (and hubby) will never guess there’s a secret ingredient in this mac-n-cheese (it’s butternut squash… shhhh).

Listen, I’m a realist. What’s mac-n-cheese without cheese? Well, it’s not. It’s mac-n-boring.

 

Since I’m all about taste AND nutrition, I chose to upgrade this recipe by doing two things:

  1. Cut the cheese (hee, hee 😜) in half and incorporate cooked butternut squash. 
  2. Use chickpea pasta because of its rich fiber and protein content.  

The orange peppers are raw and serve as a fun container for the meal…and also a great way to get your children to eat more veggies (don’t be surprised if they munch on it as they enjoy the contents)!

Adults…try adding a dash or two of hot sauce. Oh, and eating it out of a “Jack-O’-Lantern” is totally optional…but why would you not? 🎃

Happy Halloween my friends! 👻

Print Recipe
Mac-n-Cheese Stuffed “Jack-O’-Lanterns”
The perfect pre-Trick-or-Treat meal idea! The kiddos (and hubby) will never guess there's a secret ingredient in this mac-n-cheese. 1 Earthfood per serving: 💚 (two if you eat the pepper!)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 box Banza pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 1 tbsp. Kerrygold butter
  • 1 cup Red onion, sliced thin
  • 5 cups Butternut squash, cubed (about one small) To save time, purchase peeled and cubed butternut squash!
  • 5 cups Organic chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened nut milk Almond, coconut, cashew, macadamia nut are all good choices.
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • 2/3 cup Cheese I use a blend of Parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large Orange bell peppers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 box Banza pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 1 tbsp. Kerrygold butter
  • 1 cup Red onion, sliced thin
  • 5 cups Butternut squash, cubed (about one small) To save time, purchase peeled and cubed butternut squash!
  • 5 cups Organic chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened nut milk Almond, coconut, cashew, macadamia nut are all good choices.
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • 2/3 cup Cheese I use a blend of Parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large Orange bell peppers
Instructions
  1. Heat butter in skillet on low to medium heat and add onions. Saute for 15-20 minutes until fragrant and brown.
  2. While onions are cooking, remove the skin and seeds from squash and cut flesh into cubes (or purchase already peeled and cubed butternut squash). Bring broth to a boil in a large pot and add squash. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Drain squash, reserving 1/2 cup of broth. Add squash, reserved broth, milk, sea salt and cooked onions to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
  4. Pour sauce over pasta, stirring to coat (see Recipe NOTE below). Stir in cheese and mix until melted throughout. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cut tops off of peppers, clean out seeds and carve! Stuff each pepper “Jack-O’-Lantern" with equal amounts of mac-n-cheese and serve with stem on top. Enjoy! 🎃
Recipe Notes

This recipe makes a bit more sauce than you will need. No worries...store in an airtight container and refrigerate for later in the week.

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