Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

butternut squash mac and cheese overhead

This butternut squash mac and cheese recipe strikes the proper weeknight stability. It’s creamy, it’s tacky, it’s comforting and utterly scrumptious. This mac and cheese is not so wealthy that you just’ll get a stomach ache or go to sleep instantly after dinner.

This recipe is redeeming, too—it’s stuffed with luscious roasted butternut squash, which amps up the golden hue with out overwhelming the flavour. This mac and cheese is an actual crowd pleaser. Our toddler loves it and so will we.

butternut squash before and after roasting

The cooking technique is a thrill. This pasta comes collectively in one pot. You don’t ever pressure the pasta. You don’t need to fuss with a béchamel sauce. You don’t need to get out the blender for the butternut.

Should you roast your squash upfront, this recipe comes collectively in about half-hour. It is a unicorn of a pasta dish and I’m so excited to listen to the way it seems in your kitchen.

mashing butternut and toasting pasta

Butternut Mac and Cheese Elements

You’ll discover the total recipe under. Right here’s what you need to find out about the important thing substances earlier than you head to the shop.

Butternut Squash

Roast your squash upfront and this recipe comes collectively shortly. You’ll be able to roast it a day earlier than or earlier within the day—merely let it cool, then cowl and refrigerate it for later.

Roast a big squash, and also you’ll have twice as a lot squash as you want for this recipe. Freeze the opposite half for a future batch of mac and cheese! This recipe is versatile—use wherever from one to 2 cups of mashed butternut squash per batch. (The recipe specifies two cups for max veggie energy, however you definitely can use much less.)

We’ll merely minimize the squash in half and roast it till tender. Then peel off the pores and skin, mash up the squash that you just want, and drop it into the boiling water. Any little lumps will work themselves out whereas the pasta cooks. It’s like magic.

In a rush? You need to use one 15-ounce can of puréed butternut squash instead of the roasted squash. When you’ve got a leftover can of pumpkin purée (not pie filling), that will work, too.

Quick-Reduce Pasta

Once more, this recipe is versatile and I’ve used quite a lot of pasta noodle shapes with success. My favourite, which you’ll see within the pictures, is pipe rigate. Different choices embrace macaroni noodles, casarecce, cavatelli, fusilli, and the like. To make this recipe gluten free, we efficiently used Jovial model’s brown rice-based fusilli.

Tip: “Quick-cut” pasta refers to compact noodle shapes, versus lengthy strands like spaghetti.

Cream Cheese

No béchamel required for this mac and cheese. Cream cheese stirs proper into the pot and makes this pasta creamy, frivolously tangy, and opulent. You’ll use half of a typical block of cream cheese for this recipe, and I don’t find out about you, however I’m all the time glad to have some additional cream cheese readily available for my toast.

Cheddar Cheese and Parmesan

Use a flavorful cheddar cheese for this mac and cheese. My favourite is Kerrygold, which annoyingly is available in a 7-ounce package deal fairly than a fair 8-ounce, however 7 ounces will do!

Parmesan cheese additional amps up the flavour. Mud your particular person servings with just a little extra Parmesan, if you happen to’d like.

Tip: Grate your individual cheese fairly than shopping for pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in powder that may trigger the cheese to clump when it melts.

A Few Extra Fundamental Elements

You’ll additionally want olive oil (for roasting the squash), butter, garlic and onion powder, water and salt. Simple sufficient.

adding cream cheese to butternut mac and cheese

Safely Slice Your Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is giant and dense, so it may be troublesome to handle. Listed here are some recommendations on the best way to put together it safely:

  1. Begin with a pointy chef’s knife and a secure reducing board. You’ll be able to place a frivolously damp tea towel beneath your reducing board to maintain it from transferring round.
  2. Use the knife to chop off the tip-top and really backside ends of the squash.
  3. Stand the squash upright with the thickest flat facet as the bottom.
  4. Rigorously slice by means of the squash from high to backside to divide it in half. Your fingers ought to by no means be within the blade’s manner.
  5. Lastly, use a big spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them (we received’t want them for this recipe).

stirring cheese into pasta

Serving Strategies

Serve inexperienced salad on the facet—maybe my Tremendous Easy Arugula Salad, Favourite Inexperienced Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas, or any improvised salad with a easy French dressing.

This recipe yields various pasta (eight servings). It reheats properly for packed lunches and leftover dinners. Whereas I haven’t tried,  I imagine you would minimize the recipe in half and prepare dinner it in a medium-sized pot.

butternut squash mac and cheese recipe

Love this butternut mac and cheese?

You’ll additionally take pleasure in these recipes on Cookie and Kate:

Please let me know the way your butternut mac and cheese seems within the feedback! That is the primary one-pot pasta dish of this nature on the weblog, and it definitely received’t be the final.

butternut squash mac and cheese with parmesan sprinkle


Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  • Creator: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: quarter-hour
  • Prepare dinner Time: 1 hour
  • Complete Time: 1 hour quarter-hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Class: Pasta
  • Methodology: Stovetop
  • Delicacies: American
  • Weight loss program: Vegetarian

4.9 from 45 critiques

This butternut squash mac and cheese is a delight! It’s good—tacky and creamy however not too wealthy, with delicate roasted butternut squash taste. To assist this recipe come collectively shortly for a weeknight dinner, roast the squash upfront. Should you select a big squash, you’ll have about twice as a lot as you want—freeze it for future use. Recipe yields 8 servings (rather a lot!) and leftovers are nice.



  • 1 medium to giant butternut squash (1.5 kilos or bigger), halved
  • 1 teaspoon additional virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pound short-cut pasta (pipe regate, macaroni noodles, casarecce, cavatelli, fusilli)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon high-quality salt, to style
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed 
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving


  1. To roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425 levels Fahrenheit. Line a big, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for simple clean-up. Scoop out the squash seeds with a spoon (we received’t want them for this recipe). Rub the olive oil over the minimize sides of butternut, then place them on the ready pan, flat sides down.
  2. Bake till the squash flesh is definitely pierced by means of with a fork, about 40 to 60 minutes. As soon as it’s cool sufficient to deal with, peel off the pores and skin and discard it. Use a potato masher to mash up the squash—don’t fear about getting it completely clean. You’ll want about 2 cups mashed squash for this recipe (you’ll probably have lots additional, which you’ll be able to freeze for future mac and cheese). Put aside, refrigerate and/or freeze the squash till prepared to make use of.
  3. To arrange the mac and cheese: Soften the butter in a big pot or Dutch oven over medium warmth. Add the garlic and onion powder and prepare dinner for two to 4 minutes, stirring typically, till the butter is aromatic and also you see little brown flecks forming within the pan. Add the dry pasta and gently toss to coat it in butter.
  4. Pour within the water and salt. Add 2 cups of the mashed butternut squash. Cowl the pot and convey it to a boil over excessive warmth. As soon as boiling, take away the lid and set the timer for 8 minutes.
  5. Prepare dinner, stirring often, till the timer goes off. Don’t drain the water. Stir within the cream cheese. Prepare dinner till the cream cheese has melted and the pasta is al dente (cautious if you style, it’s fairly scorching), about 4 to five extra minutes. Flip down the warmth as essential to keep away from scorching however preserve a gentle simmer.
  6. Scale back the warmth to low. Add the cheddar and Parmesan, and stir till the combination is melted and creamy. Take away the pot from the warmth.
  7. Season with salt, to style (I normally add ¼ teaspoon extra). Serve the pasta in bowls with additional Parmesan grated on high, if desired. Leftovers preserve properly, coated and refrigerated, for as much as 5 days.


Make it gluten free: Gluten-free pastas range broadly. Select a spiral-shaped gluten-free brown rice pasta, akin to fusilli, over different pasta sorts (my tester was happy with Jovial model). Stir gently and don’t prepare dinner the pasta any longer than crucial or it might begin to lose its form.

▸ Diet Data

The knowledge proven is an estimate supplied by a web based diet calculator. It shouldn’t be thought of an alternative choice to knowledgeable nutritionist’s recommendation. See our full diet disclosure right here.

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