Healthy butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheese with dijon chicken
For the Mac ‘n’ Cheese
- 60g pasta shape of choice (I used fusilli)
- 100g chopped butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon plain flour
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 120ml plant-based milk (or dairy if you prefer)
- 25g vegan cheese (or dairy if your prefer)
For the Chicken
- 1 medium chicken breast
- 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
For the salad
- Large handful baby leaf salad
- Large handful cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon honey and mustard dressing
- Preheat oven to 200ºC. Toss the butternut squash in olive oil, paprika then season with salt and black pepper. Line a baking tray with parchment paper then carefully arrange the squash on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until browned and tender.
- Allow the squash to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a food processor with half the milk. Blitz into a smooth sauce then set aside.
- While the sauce is cooling, combine the wholegrain mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in a bowl.
- Put the chicken breast in a resealable freezer bag. Use a mallet, rolling pin or the base of a frying pan to flatten the chicken slightly. Pour half of the mustard honey dressing over the chicken in the bag, seal the bag then agitate to coat the chicken in the marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate for 25 minutes. You can either bake in the oven (for 15 minutes) or fry the chicken breast in 1 teaspoon of oil for 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Add the remaining marinade and cook for a few more minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Start cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour and mustard powder and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk to get a smooth sauce. Add the cheese and pureed butternut squash. Stir in the cooked pasta, season with black pepper and salt if necessary.
- Combine all ingredients for the salad then serve alongside pasta and chicken. Garnish with fresh parsley and chilli flakes for extra heat. As always, enjoy!
Read the whole recipe before you start cooking. It is wise to marinate your chicken beforehand or while the butternut squash is baking in the oven. This way you can bake your chicken while completing the mac ‘n’ cheese and all components will be ready around the same time.
You can replace the butternut squash with pumpkin or cauliflower. You can also use nutritional yeast in place of vegan or dairy cheese.
Keywords: Dijon, Chicken, Pasta, Mac 'n' Cheese, Butternut squash