Roasted butternut squash adds nutrition and complex flavors to your typical trail mac and cheese. I made a butternut squash pasta last fall for a dinner party, and since then I’ve been trying to figure out how to adapt that dish for the trial.  Below is the result of that labor!  This dish is creamy, savory, and has a wonderful squash flavor in addition to the cheese.  I use a few different cheese powder blends in this recipe.  They each had something specific to the recipe, but if you can’t find all of them, just use one powder instead.

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Serves 2 (Print trail instructions PDF)

At home:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the butternut squash cubes with the olive oil and garlic.  Spread out evenly on a cookie sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes (until squash is browned, and soft). Cool.

Puree squash mixture in a blender or Cuisinart, slowly adding the broth.  You should have a smooth paste, a little thicker than gravy.

Spread butternut squash paste out on to dehydrator trays and dry at 135 degrees for 6-8 hours (check after first 4 hours, and then every hour after that).  Paste will be done when there are no wet spots left, and it begins to crack.

Once dry, divide evenly between two bags.  Add 1 1/2 cups of macaroni to each bag.  Add 1 Tbsp of white cheddar powder and 1/2 Tbsp of regular cheese powder to each bag. Add 1 Tbsp of freeze dried cheddar to each bag.  Divide the pepper between each bag to taste.

On the trail:

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

Heat-Proof Bag Method: divide hot water between bags. Stir.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

heat resistant bag

Pot & Stove method: pour both servings in to boiling water.  Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.  Put on lid and let sit for another 5 minutes.

Great additions: sprinkle some crumbled croutons and extra parmesan on top, or stir in some bacon.