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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

Libby with Lemony Thyme
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 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 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)

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

This recipe makes two generous servings but can be easily doubled or tripled to feed a larger crowd.

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