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.
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.
adapted from BHG.com
Cheesy Bowtie & Butternut Squash Bake
- 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 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 Tbl. flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 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)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain and reserve.
- 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.
- If topping with crumbled bacon, cook bacon until browned and crispy. Reserve. (omit for vegetarian version).
- 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.
- Stir in fresh spinach, butternut squash, and pasta. Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with crumbled crispy bacon (optional). Bake for 20 minutes.
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