Indulge in pure comfort with our Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese! Creamy, dreamy, and bursting with the rich, nutty flavor of roasted butternut squash, this cheesy delight takes classic mac and cheese to a whole new level of deliciousness. A perfect blend of savory and sweet, it's a taste of Autumn in every bite!
There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of mac and cheese on a cold Winter's night in January or February! It's so delicious, silky, and filling!
This butternut squash mac and cheese is a hit in my house every time I make it. I'm always surprised when my kids want another serving of butternut squash! When I want to try to get some extra veggies into my kid's diet, this butternut squash mac and cheese recipe is number one on the list!
This is a great dinner as is, or you can serve it as a side dish on a slow, Sunday. Either way, it's sure to be a dinner your family will be asking for again and again. Don't forget the whole wheat dinner rolls to soak up all the extra sauce at the bottom of the bowl!
Why You'll Love This Mac and Cheese Recipe
- It's a great way to hide veggies! If you are like me and have little kids that you are always trying to get to eat their veggies, hiding them is a great idea. This mac and cheese is so good they will think it was from a box, not filled with delicious squash!
- It's easy to make! To be honest, there isn't anything easier than a box of mac and cheese, but this comes close! If you have never made homemade cheese sauce, I think you are going to be surprised by how simple it is to make.
- It's a great make ahead dinner! You can make this mac and cheese recipe on the weekends, cover it with plastic wrap, and keep it in the refrigerator. When you are ready to bake it, bake it for 20 minutes or until heated through and enjoy for dinner any day of the week.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Ingredients
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this easy dinner recipe!
- Butternut Squash. When Fall comes around, butternut squash is everywhere! You can easily find it in the grocery store, but it can be intimidating. Grab one from the grocery store and bring it home. It will keep on the counter for a while, so you don't have to worry about making it immediately.
- Olive oil and butter. This will be used to sauté the onions in. If you don't have both, you can use one or the other.
- Pasta. One pound of your favorite pasta. Penne pasta, rigatoni pasta, large shells, or rotini pasta are all great options for this easy weeknight dinner.
- Broth. Vegetable broth, chicken broth, chicken stock, or vegetable stock can all be used in this recipe.
- Milk. This is classic in any macaroni and cheese recipe. Whole milk, cream, or half and half can be used. It gives the sauce a creamy texture and helps the cheese melt.
- Seasoning. Salt, ground black pepper, and dry mustard will all be used. Dry mustard gives the macaroni and cheese a depth of flavor and brings out the flavor of the butternut squash.
- Cheese. To get the most flavor, we are using a sharp cheddar cheese. A mixture of cheeses would be great too! Use Colby jack, Monterrey jack, or white cheddar cheese for a whiter sauce.
See printable recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step By Step Instructions
Lynn's Tip! To remove the flesh from the butternut squash, you can either scoop out the butternut squash with a spoon or you can peel the skin from the squash. Once the skin is peeled, you can chop it and add it to the pan or you can add it whole since we will use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth.
- Use frozen butternut squash. At the grocery store you can often find frozen butternut squash. One bag would be great in this butternut squash recipe. Sometimes you can find cubed butternut squash too that is already out of the shell. That's an easy way to cut down on the cooking time and the prep. Roast the cubes of butternut squash for 20 minutes before adding them to the sauce.
- Change the pasta. You can use your favorite gluten free pasta, chick pea pasta, or whole wheat pasta instead of white flour pasta.
- Add more cheese. Sharp cheddar cheese is classic in mac and cheese recipes, but you can use gruyere, parmesan cheese, white cheddar cheese, Colby jack cheese, Monterrey jack cheese, or a combination of your favorite cheeses.
- Add protein. This is a great meatless Monday meal, but if you want to add meat, you can add some leftover rotisserie chicken to the pasta. You can also sauté up some diced up chicken breast and mix it right into the cheese sauce. You'll be adding protein for a full, well rounded dinner for your family.
- Add a crispy topping. Top the mac and cheese with 1 cup of breadcrumb and ½ cup of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture over the pasta before baking. This will add a crispy, crunchy element to your dinner.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat the pasta in a microwave safe bowl or in an oven safe bowl in the oven.
You can also freeze this pasta right in the baking dish for future use. Make the pasta dish completely and then cover it with aluminum foil. Freeze the baking dish for up to 3 months. To reheat, place the baking dish in the refrigerator until it is defrosted and then bake it for 30 minutes.
What to Serve With Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- As a side dish to Instant Pot Chicken Thighs, Instant Pot Turkey Tenderloin, Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin, or Instant Pot Chicken Legs.
- With brioche dinner rolls, sourdough dinner rolls, or Instant Pot dinner rolls to soak up all of that delicious sauce.
- Alongside Instant Pot broccoli, Instant Pot asparagus, baked brown sugar carrots, or Instant Pot Brussel sprouts.
It tastes like regular mac and cheese, but with an upgrade. The butternut squash adds a little bit of sweetness that you can't get from regular mac and cheese.
Sure! Use almond milk or your favorite nondairy milk in place of the whole milk. Use all olive oil instead of butter, and use your favorite vegan shredded cheese instead of cheddar cheese.
Yes! Pour the sauce mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Then pour the sauce back into the nonstick skillet and add in the shredded cheese. Then pour the mixture over the pasta and serve or bake for a crispy topping.
More Pasta Recipes
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 Butternut Squash 2 Cups cooked
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoon Butter
- 1 Onion Chopped
- 3 tablespoon Flour
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 ½ teaspoon Ground Mustard
- 1 box Whole Wheat Pasta I used Penne
- 2 ½ cups Sharp Cheddar Shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the butternut squash and cut the ends off. Cut the squash lengthwise and discard all of the seeds that are on the inside by scooping them out with a spoon. Oil a baking sheet and place the squash flesh side down on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until the squash is soft. Let that cool a bit so it is easy to handle.
- While the squash is cooling, fill a large pot with water and place that on the stove to boil.
- Meanwhile, in the bottom of another large saucepan or Dutch oven, add the olive oil and the butter. Let the butter melt. Add the chopped onions and let that sauté for a 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent. Once they are translucent, add the 3 tablespoons of flour and mix that around. Cook that for 2-3 minutes until the flour just starts to cook.
- Add the vegetable broth and the milk to the pan. Lower the heat on the stove to low so the mixture does not boil.
- When the butternut squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the peel with a large spoon. Use a knife to cut off some of the skin if it gets left on the squash. Place the squash into the pot with the milk mixture and let that cook for about 10 minutes. With an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth.
- Salt the water for the pasta and add the box of pasta. Give that a little stir and let that cook according to the box instructions.
- When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and place it in the pot with the butternut squash sauce. Mix everything around so it is combined. You could either serve it just like this out of the pot, or you could place it in a 9x13 pan, top it with some more cheese, and bake it for about 15 minutes to allow the cheese on top to brown. Serve immediately.
- If you do not have a fresh butternut squash, you can use a bag or box of butternut squash instead.
- Use your favorite type of pasta in this recipe. Penne or rigatoni is class, but you can use shells or farfalle too.
- This is a great make ahead meal too! Put the pasta together and place it in a baking dish. Cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and when you are ready to bake it, remove the plastic wrap and bake until warm.