Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
This cheesy hearty butternut squash mac and cheese is the perfect blend of tender pasta, gooey cheeses and butternut squash! It is perfect for a cozy comfort food meal , for Thanksgiving or just when you are looking for new and exciting ways of incorporating butternut squash into your dinnertime menu.
I originally shared this recipe on October 19, 2012. I have updated the images and some of the text today.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe For Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
If you are a fan of Butternut Squash, then you probably have already had my Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoked Paprika and maybe even this Butternut Squash Lasagna. Well, today I have a brand new butternut squash recipe- this one is a Mac and Cheese and it is loaded with cooked butternut squash. And we are smitten with it!
I have added mashed squash to the cheesy creamy sauce. The sweetness of the squash with the tangy cheese, rosemary and shallot is an unbeatable combo. But then there are also tender chunks of cooked squash mixed with the macaroni to make it even better! The crunchy breadcrumb topping pushes this casserole right over the top!
Serve this delicious homemade Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese recipe with the other sides for your Thanksgiving Dinner, or serve it with a hearty winter salad like this Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Kale!
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
- Pasta- If you don’t want to use macaroni, feel free to use any shape of whole-grain pasta. You could also use gluten-free macaroni.
- Butternut squash-You’ll need an entire medium-sized butternut squash, about 1 1/4 pounds.
- Gruyere cheese-gruyere makes this a more sophisticated and gourmet mac and cheese. It’s rich, salty, nutty and super creamy. If you like cheddar better, that would work really well! I’ve tried it and it is delish!
- Rosemary and Shallot: To Season
- Milk-I used low fat milk for the cheese sauce, although you can whole milk for a creamier result.
- Crunchy topping-A blend of breadcrumbs, oil, salt and paprika is sprinkled over top. It is the deal sealer.
Step-by-Step Instructions For This Recipe
Step 1: Preheat oven
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
Step 2: Cook squash
Meanwhile, bring several inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer attachment. Add the squash and steam, covered, until very tender 8 to 12 minutes.
Step 3: Mash Half of the Cooked Squash
Mash about half of the squash in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Meanwhile, Cook Macaroni
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook macaroni for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Step 5: Make cheese sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, and cook, stirring often until softened and starting to brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk the remaining 1 cup milk, flour, mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.
Whisk the flour mixture into the simmering milk, whisking constantly. Continue to cook just until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from the heat.
Step 6: Assemble mac & cheese
Whisk the Gruyere cheese into the thickened milk mixture until it is melted. Add the mashed squash and whisk until combined. Stir in the macaroni and the remaining squash. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.
Step 7: Add breadcrumbs
Mix breadcrumbs with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the paprika and stir until evenly moist and bright orange. Sprinkle over the macaroni.
Step 8: Bake
Transfer to the oven and bake until bubbling hot and browned on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
FAQs and Expert Tips
If you can’t find any good whole squash you can buy pre-cut in the produce section or frozen butternut squash.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Yes! Macaroni and cheese is a great make-ahead recipe. Fully assemble and store, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can freeze it for up to 2 months.
Cold macaroni and cheese that’s been made ahead might take 20 to 30 minutes to heat up. If frozen, you might need to cook at 375 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes.
Variations To Try
- Add a protein: Add cooked chicken, sausage or bacon as a side or mixed in before baking.
- Add more veggies: Veggies like peas, broccoli or cauliflower would taste great in this butternut squash macaroni and cheese.
- Make it gluten-free: You can make this dish entirely gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
What to Serve with Mac and Cheese
- A green side salad: This Chopped Winter Salad and Massaged Kale Salad with Apple are both super simple and delicious.
- Side veggies: You can never go wrong with Skillet Green Beans or Roasted Brussels Sprouts. For a savory balance try Sauteed Portobello Mushrooms.
- Dessert: Finish off the meal strong with an Apple Cake or this Maple Cranberry Apple Pie!
Additional Macaroni and Cheese Recipes To Try
- This Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli is a long-time reader favorite.
- My Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower, Peas and Edamame is bursting with veggies, but that doesn’t stop kids from loving it!
- This ultra-creamy Gluten Free Mac and Cheese with prosciutto looks too good to be true!
- Stove Top Kale Mac and cheese is always an easy weeknight option and so much better than boxed!
- Try This Veggie Pasta Bake with Ricotta Cheese or this Stuffed Shells with Spinach. Technically neither are mac and cheese recipes, but since they are both baked pasta casseroles, I figured you may like them!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
This butternut squash mac and cheese uses an entire squash and is the perfect addition to any fall meal. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping!
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash, about 1 ¼ pounds
- 2 cups whole-grain macaroni, 8 oz.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon avocado oil or organic canola oil, divided
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 cups low-fat milk, divided
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 6 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese, about 2 cups
- 3 tablespoons whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs, such as Ian’s
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Meanwhile, bring several inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer attachment. Add squash and steam, covered, until very tender 8 to 12 minutes.
- Mash about half of the squash in a small bowl and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook macaroni 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, and cook, stirring often until softened and starting to brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups milk and bring to a simmer. Whisk the remaining 1 cup milk, flour, mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk the flour mixture into the simmering milk, whisking constantly. Continue to cook just until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk the Gruyere cheese into the thickened milk mixture until it is melted. Add the mashed squash and whisk until combined. Stir in the macaroni and the remaining squash. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.
- Mix breadcrumbs with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the paprika and stir until evenly moist and bright orange. Sprinkle over the macaroni.
- Transfer to the oven and bake until bubbling hot and browned on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
Make-ahead: Macaroni and cheese is a great make-ahead recipe. Fully assemble and store, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can freeze it for up to 2 months.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 generous cup each
- Calories: 401
- Sugar: 10 g
- Sodium: 459 mg
- Fat: 15 g.
- Saturated Fat: 6 g
- Carbohydrates: 52 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 19 g
Keywords: butternut squash mac and cheese,macaroni and cheese with butternut squash
More Comfort Food Recipes:
Healthy Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cornbread Stuffing with Apples and Pecans
Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Gravy
This recipe is excellent, and I adore it
Thanks so much for the five-star review! I appreciate it!
Absolutely love butternut squash! This is a wonderful cozy dinner. Thanks!
Me too, Faith! Hope you’re having a warm and safe holiday season.
So delicious and makes it taste even better thinking of all the nutrients that are in it!
I could not agree more. Thanks, Janet!
Delicious as written or switched up a little bit! This time, I left out the cubed squash and added about 1½ cups of chopped imitation crab. I placed a plate of it in front of my husband. He dug in and ate every bit of it! Amazing!
This was so delicious!!! I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s far from my mother’s mac and cheese! but we truly loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!
My while family enjoyed this. The flavors are beautiful, balanced, and a step up from regular mac n cheese without being weird or expensive. The squash combined with the ample sauce to create a decadent dish that was filling and luxurious without taking center stage. I was worried the cheese wouldn’t come through, but it definitely did. Will make again.
Thank you so much for coming back to review Abbie. I really appreciate it and I am thrilled you like the recipe! Yipee!
This is a winter favorite for me.!
I’m so happy you like it Cindy. Thank you!
I watched the tutorial for this on Healthy Seasonal’s Instagram account. Otherwise, I would have never tried butternut squash Mac and cheese. It was so good. I took it to a family gathering. It was a hit! Katie is an inspired chef. The flavors are subtle. This is a keeper.
That’s great feedback to know that’s how you discovered this Susan. I have been having fun making recipes on my IG account, but it is a lot of work. Glad to know it helps inspire folks like you! Hope you have a great week!
I would love to try this recipe however I am allergic to avocado. Can you suggest a substitute oil?
How about canola oil, sunflower or olive oil? Any would work just fine.