Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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  • The healthier twist on mac and cheese! This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is made with lots of good-for-you stuff and ready in just 30 minutes!

    overhead of butternut squash mac and cheese with crispy topping

    It’s SO cozy. It’s SO creamy. And it’s SO delicious.

    I don’t know about you, but I am ready for fall and everything delicious that comes with homemade comfort foods!

    Butternut Mac and Cheese Recipe

    Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? This recipe is easy to follow, creamy and delicious, and will be on the table in under 30 minutes.

    This homemade mac and cheese is TO DIE FOR…and did I mention, healthy…well, healthier!

    corner shot of baked mac and cheese

    Prep those aprons ladies (and gents), it’s time to celebrate the comings of autumn with a warm serving of the best comfort food around!

    Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Ingredients

    • butternut squash, cubed
    • cinnamon
    • paprika
    • cayenne pepper
    • garlic clove
    • cavatappi pasta
    • panko bread crumbs
    • flour
    • whole milk
    • nutmeg
    • gruyere cheese
    • white cheddar cheese

    The full list of ingredients and measurements for this recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page!

    How to Make Mac and Cheese

    Start by roasting the butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

    baking sheet with roast butternut squash

    Sprinkle the seasoning over the butternut squash and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is easy to poke with a fork.

    Add the butternut squash to a food processor with garlic and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as you go.

    squash puree in a food processor

    Next cook the pasta. Boil a tall pot of water and cook the pasta according to box instructions, until al dente.

    Then toast the panko. In a large non-stick skillet with olive oil, toast the panko bread crumbs until golden brown.

    Finally make the cheese sauce. Using the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and milk, stirring until it begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in nutmeg, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.

    tray of healthier mac and cheese

    Mix in the squash puree, stirring until fully combined. Gradually add both cheeses, stirring well to combine until cheese is completely melted.

    Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Mix in half the panko and sprinkle the rest on top with fresh chopped chives.

    bowl with butternut squash mac and cheese

    Protein and Veggies to Add

    I am a BIG fan of fancy mac and cheese. You can definitely add:

    spoon with butternut squash mac and cheese

    If you want to dress the recipe up, but you aren’t looking for a meat or fish, add:

    • cooked broccoli
    • cauliflower
    • mushrooms
    • or anything else that’s calling your name!

    Variations

    If Gruyere is not your flavor you can definitely change up the cheese! Feel free to experiment with what you like best. Parmesan is always a winning cheese. I also recommend smoked gouda as a substitution!

    I know a lot of folks follow a gluten free diet. So to make this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe gluten free, just swap out your pasta with a certified gluten free pasta and use almond flour instead of all purpose flour.

    butternut squash mac and cheese for pinterest

    More creamy homemade mac and cheese recipes:

    Truffle Mac and Cheese
    A bowl of truffle mac and cheese
    Delicious mac and cheese using smoked gouda, white cheddar and truffle oil. The perfect side dish.
    Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
    Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is an easy-to-make low carb mac and cheese that follows keto guidelines. A kid-friendly cauliflower side dish! #cauliflowermacandcheese #ketomacandcheese #lowcarbsidedishes www.savoryexperiments.com
    Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is an easy-to-make low carb mac and cheese that follows keto guidelines. A kid-friendly cauliflower side dish!
    Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
    Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is a quick and spicy baked mac and cheese recipe the whole family will love. Perfect as a potluck recipe or for a BBQ side dish! #buffalochickenmacandcheese #macandcheese www.savoryexperiments.com
    Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese is a quick and spicy baked mac and cheese recipe the whole family will love. Perfect as a potluck recipe or for a BBQ side dish!
    creamy mac and cheese for pinterest

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    tray of butternut squash mac and cheese
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    5 from 6 votes

    Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

    The healthier twist on mac and cheese! This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is made with lots of good-for-you stuff and ready in just 30 minutes!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time50 mins
    Course: Main Course, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: butternut squash mac and cheese, healthier mac and cheese
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 864kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    Butternut Squash

    Panko Topping

    Cheese Sauce

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, 1 tablespoon paprika, and 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning over the butternut squash and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is easy to poke with a fork.
      roast butternut squash
    • Add the butternut squash to a food processor with 1 clove of garlic and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as you go.
      pureed butternut squash
    • In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add panko and stir to combine. Arrange panko in an even layer in the skillet and let it toast for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a plate or small bowl and set aside.
    • Using the same pan you used for the toasted panko, melt remaining 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and milk, stirring until it begins to thicken.
    • Reduce the heat to low and whisk in nutmeg, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Mix in the squash puree, stirring until fully combined. Gradually add both cheeses, stirring well to combine until cheese is completely melted.
    • Add pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Mix in half the panko and sprinkle the rest on top with fresh chopped chives.
      tray of butternut squash mac and cheese
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!

    Notes

    Add more milk if you need to thin out the cream sauce.
    If you don’t have chives, you can also garnish with fresh parsley, oregano or crispy sage leaves.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 864kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 338mg | Potassium: 624mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 7647IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 599mg | Iron: 3mg
    healthier mac and cheese with crispy topping

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