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Cheesy Bowtie & Butternut Squash Bake3

This Cheesy Bowtie & Butternut Squash Bake was born out of ingredients already on hand.  It’s loaded with veggies and I promise you even the youngest members of the family will love this dish.  Butternut squash, fresh mushrooms & spinach, an open box of pasta and the end of a hunk of cheddar cheese came together in a snap.

Cheesy Bowtie & Butternut Squash Bake1

This recipe is completely adaptable to what’s already in your fridge and pantry.  Broccoli and/or cauliflower would be delicious additions, as would carrots or green peas.  Sweet potato in place of butternut squash is an easy substitution.  I had an open box of bowtie pasta, but penne or rotini work too.  You get the idea. I crumbled a little bacon on top of our Cheesy Bowtie & Butternut Squash Bake because in our house everything is better with bacon.  Leave the bacon off and you’ve got a fantastic Meatless Monday Meal.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta Bake2

adapted from BHG.com

Cheesy Bowtie & Butternut Squash Bake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces dry bowtie pasta or favorite
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 Tbl. butter
  • 8-10 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves or ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar and 2 Tbl. goat cheese)
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach or kale
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (omit for vegetarian version)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain and reserve.
  3. Peel and cubed butternut squash. Place in a microwave safe bowl covered with water. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Use fork to test for doneness. If necessary, microwave an additional 3-5 minutes until just fork tender. Drain and reserve.
  4. If topping with crumbled bacon, cook bacon until browned and crispy. Reserve. (omit for vegetarian version).
  5. Melt butter in the skillet and add sliced mushrooms and thyme. Cook over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Dust mushrooms with flour, stir until well coated. Whisk in milk and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and add in cheeses, stirring until melted. Season to taste.
  6. Stir in fresh spinach, butternut squash, and pasta. Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with crumbled crispy bacon (optional). Bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
This recipe makes two generous servings but can be easily doubled or tripled to feed a larger crowd.

 

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