Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese is a creamy & flavorful version of a comfort food classic. It is perfect for sneaking in extra veggies!

This Butternut Squash Macaroni And Cheese is not only delightfully creamy, it is also as nutritious as it is delicious. Use that delicious puree all week long in Butternut Squash Bisque, Butternut Squash And Quinoa Chili, or Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese served in a rustic bowl

Light + Creamy Pasta dish

One of my favorite types of squash to cook with has to be butternut squash. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used in just about every way imaginable (even ravioli or chili!).

This time around I made a creamy pot of lightened-up comfort food: butternut squash macaroni & cheese.

I have to admit, my husband was super skeptical about how this dinner recipe would turn out, and I was too. I wanted to make sure that the flavor of the squash was present, but not overpowering. By subbing out some of the cheese for squash, it gave this macaroni a really thick and creamy base.

I think this has to be my new favorite macaroni. I mean how can I not love it? It’s cozy, comforting, and best of all lightened up!

The flavor and texture of the butternut squash is perfect for a dish like this—we loved it!! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try, I think you’ll love it too!

roasted squash for Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Making butternut squash macaroni and cheese

BUTTERNUT SQUASH. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds or “guts,” brush it with olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and then place the halves face down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees until fork tender. Place the squash into a food process or blender (or use an emulsion blender) to puree it and then use it in whatever you want! 

PASTA. Fill a dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot with water, bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

SAUCE. In a glass measuring cup heat the 2 c. of milk for 45 seconds on HIGH in the microwave, set aside. Return the pot to low heat, melt the butter and sauté garlic and onion until translucent, then whisk in the flour. Bring the heat up to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble (but not brown). Add 1½ c. of the warm whole milk and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, it will thicken substantially.

CHEESE. Add the butternut squash puree, salt and spices, continue whisking. Turn the heat down to low and add the cheddar cheese and parmesan, stirring constantly until it has melted into the sauce. Stir in the remaining ½ c. of milk.

COMBINE. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat. Remove from the heat and garnish with additional cheese or desired toppings.

cooked macaroni pasta for Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Tips + Variations

  • Add in any extra veggies that you like. Broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus would all be especially good choices.
  • Canned pumpkin puree can be used instead of squash in this dish.
  • Add in some protein with some cooked ham, chicken, or sausage.
  • Smoked gouda, pepper jack, Mexican blend, or Mozzarella cheese can be used instead of the sharp cheddar.
  • Add a bit of dried sage, dijon mustard, fresh rosemary, or extra garlic for some added flavor.
  • Add some diced jalapenos or sprinkle in a little hot sauce for some extra spiciness.
fork full of garnished Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Storing Info

STORE leftovers wrapped tightly for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.

To FREEZE leftovers, wrap them tightly with aluminum foil and store for up to 4 months.

To REHEAT frozen leftovers, bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, OR microwave on high for 3 minutes stirring halfway through cook time.

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese served in a rustic bowl

for More Macaroni And Cheese Recipes, try:

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese is a creamy & flavorful version of a comfort food classic. It is perfect for sneaking in extra veggies!
5 from 2 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 407kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup whole milk - warmed
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese - grated
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese - grated
Garnishes
  • Toasted breadcrumbs
  • Crisp bacon pieces
  • Freshly minced herbs

Instructions

  • Fill a dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot with water, bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  • In a glass measuring cup heat the 2 c. of milk for 45 seconds on HIGH in the microwave, set aside.
  • Return the pot to low heat, melt the butter and sauté garlic and onion until translucent, then whisk in the flour. Bring the heat up to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble (but not brown). Add 1½ c. of the warm whole milk and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, it will thicken substantially.
  • Add the butternut squash puree, salt and spices, continue whisking. Turn the heat down to low and add the cheddar cheese and parmesan, stirring constantly until it has melted into the sauce. Stir in the remaining ½ c. of milk.
  • Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat. Remove from the heat and garnish with additional cheese or desired toppings.

Notes

-Feel free to use any type of pasta you have on hand (we used whole wheat elbows). To take this recipe to the next level, turn your oven on to broil, place it in for a few minutes to brown the cheese on top (we put ours into a cast iron skillet).
-You can easily make your own puree buy cutting a small butternut squash in half, scraping out the seeds, rubbing with olive oil and placing face down on a parchment lined baking sheet and roasting at 425 for 25-30 minutes or until fork-tender.
-This recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd.

Nutrition

Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 572mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2990IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 1mg

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Comments:

  1. I’ve got butternut squash on my mind too! Made an enchilada casserole using butternut squash and black beans the other day.

    I’ve been meaning to make butternut squash mac and cheese. I keep chickening out because i’m not sure how my hubby would like either. Yours looks delicious, perfectly creamy. There is nothing worse than dry mac and cheese.

    P.S. I have the same dutch oven, same color and everything!

    1. That enchilada casserole looked sooo good! I can’t wait till you post that! Don’t you love that color?! I’m dying to add to my collection 🙂

  2. I had a rest of butternut squash purée “noisette” (with browned butter), and I used it for this recipe. The macaroni was sooo delicious! Loved it 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This is really easy to make and tasted super delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing butternut squash macaroni cheese recipe! Will surely have this again, highly recommended!

  4. 5 stars
    I love that there is butternut squash in this mac and cheese recipe! My kids didn’t even complain that there was veggies in this too.