Butternut Bisque with Crispy Bacon and Gluten free Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

I am a big fan of Cooking Light Magazine. I find many inspirations including today’s dish. Gluten free butternut squash mac-n-cheese.

Perfect with a glazed ham or roast over the holidays, this gives a great smooth and creamy dish that actually starts as a bisque soup. We can make two recipes using the base of butternut squash bisque for the casserole.

Butternut Bisque with Crispy Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash, (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 pound medium leeks
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • Splash light cream

DIRECTIONS

Cut the squash in half across its width. Cut these pieces in half lengthwise. Place the squash, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet and pour ½-cup water over the squash. Roast for 50 minutes, moving the pieces around with a spatula after 30 minutes so they do not stick. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside.

Cut the leeks into ½-inch pieces and add to a 4-quart pot. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly to release some of the fat, for about 1 minute. Add the chopped leeks to the pot with the bacon; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the leeks are well-softened and beginning to color, about 10 minutes.

Scoop the squash out of the flesh from the squash shells and add it to the pot with the leeks. Add 3 cups chicken stock and ½-teaspoon salt to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes. In two batches, transfer the soup to a blender.

Process until very smooth and velvety. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Return the soup to the pot and reheat gently before serving. Gently add cream. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, cook the remaining 2 slices of bacon until crisp. Drain and discard the fat. Pat the bacon dry with paper towels, coarsely crumble and scatter on the soup. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

Gluten free creamy butternut squash macaroni and cheese

1- 9 ounce box Banza Rotini (made from Chick peas (The Fresh market carries this brand)

Butternuts squash bisque (2 cups) you may omit bacon from the recipe but for the holidays I love some crispy diced pancetta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 TBSP. plain Greek yogurt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Fresh ground sea salt or Kosher salt to taste
  • 4 ounces grated gruyere cheese
  • 4 ounces Pecorino-Romano
  • 1 ounce Parmesan, grated
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS

Boil pasta according to box. Drain

In a medium sauce pan add milk, yogurt, butternut squash bisque and gruyere. Stir on low heat. Season and add Romano and ½ of the Parmesan.

Stir cooked Chickpea pasta into mixture and pour into greased baking dish.

In a small sauté pan, melt butter and add gluten free breadcrumbs. Toss to coat with butter and toast gently until golden brown.

Place on top of mac-n-cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes until bubbly.

Remember you can always add more bisque to the dish if you like it even creamier!

Add ½ cup chopped pecans to the breadcrumbs

Add 1 Tbsp. canned chipotle for a Southwestern flare

You can substitute regular curly pasta and panko breadcrumb if you aren’t going Gluten free but trust me- follow the recipe and children won’t even know it is chick pea pasta

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at www.mysuncoast.com