Swap out the cheese for a secret ingredient in this guilt-free rotini! Toss in pops of perfectly roasted broccoli for a side dish that is only 208 calories per serving! (7 SP)
If you’ve read my blog before you know that I’m obsessed with cheese. And if you haven’t then you’ve been here for 2 seconds and hi, I’m already talking about cheese. *shrug girl emoji*
So when it comes to swapping out cheese for another ingredient in a recipe it seems like cruel and unusual punishment. However, my love is not blind and I know how fattening and high in calories my beloved cheese is, and sometimes it is necessary for us to part ways.
In this secret ingredient roasted broccoli rotini, we swap out my long time love affair with an ingredient I’ve actually never even tasted: butternut squash. I’ve seen multiple recipes on Pinterest that use butternut squash as a “cheese sauce” in pastas and decided to finally give it a try! I figured if I can save myself some calories and keep pasta in my diet all while tricking my brain into thinking we are eating cheese then it’s worth a shot!
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SECRET INGREDIENT ROASTED BROCCOLI ROTINI
208 calories per serving
7 SP per serving
So let’s first talk about the fact that I had NO idea how to even cut a butternut squash. I’m not too proud to admit that. If you’re like me that’s okay…I wrote a post on how to cut a butternut squash so you can learn, too!
Now that we know how to cut a butternut squash we can start our recipe! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Cube 2 C of butternut squash (about 1/2 of a medium-sized squash) and place on half of the baking sheet. On the other half place 3 C of fresh broccoli florets
Drizzle with about 2 T olive oil and salt/pepper to taste (I used One & Done Seasoning since we always have that in the house thanks to my fiancé BBQ Brother). Roast for about 20 minutes or until tender.
In a large pot, prepare 12 oz of rotini according to the directions on the box. I used wheat to make it a little healthier!
While you’re making the rotini, on a separate burner, add a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1/4 C of butter or margarine (I used margarine) then add in 2 cloves of minced garlic. Saute for about 1 minute then whisk in 3 T of flour. Slowly whisk in 1/2 C heavy whipping cream and 1 1/2 C of milk (I used skim) until smooth.Continue to heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally until thickened. Remove from heat then whisk in 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese until melted.
Once the squash is done roasting, place it in a blender and add the sauce on top. Blend on high until completely smooth. Pour back into the skillet then add in the rotini and roasted broccoli. Season with salt and pepper, top with 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley and enjoy! We served this as a small side dish to chicken and steak all week and it was a perfect meal! Andrew chose to add a little hot sauce in to kick it up a notch but I thought it was perfect as is. I definitely recommend pairing this with a protein, though, for a perfectly well-rounded dinner! 🙂
- 2 C butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes (about ½ of a medium-sized squash)
- 3 C fresh broccoli florets
- 2 T olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 oz of wheat rotini
- ¼ C of butter or margarine (I used margarine)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 3 T flour
- ½ C heavy whipping cream
- 1½ C milk (I used skim)
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ C grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Cube butternut squash and place on half of the baking sheet. On the other half place the broccoli florets. Drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Roast for about 20 minutes or until tender.
- In a large pot, prepare the rotini according to the directions on the box.
- While you're making the rotini, on a separate burner, add a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter or margarine and add in the garlic. Saute for about 1 minute then whisk in flour.
- Slowly whisk in heavy whipping cream and milk until smooth. Continue to heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally until thickened.
- Remove from heat then whisk in nutmeg and grated parmesan cheese until melted.
- Once the squash is done roasting, place it in a blender and add the sauce on top. Blend on high until completely smooth.
- Pour back into the skillet then add in the rotini and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper, top with fresh parsley and enjoy!
*Link for How to Cut a Butternut Squash in post!
**Recipe adapted from Whole and Heavenly Oven
What do you think? Did this recipe make the cut for you or did it crumble? What would you do differently? I look forward to reading your opinions!