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 filled 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 can we.

butternut squash before and after roasting

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

When you roast your squash upfront, this recipe comes collectively in about half-hour. This can be 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 Components

You’ll discover the complete recipe beneath. Right here’s what you must learn about the important thing substances earlier than you head to the shop.

Butternut Squash

Roast your squash upfront and this recipe comes collectively rapidly. You possibly can 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 anyplace 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 lower 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 should utilize one 15-ounce can of puréed butternut squash rather than the roasted squash. You probably have a leftover can of pumpkin purée (not pie filling), that might work, too.

Quick-Minimize Pasta

Once more, this recipe is versatile and I’ve used a wide range 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, evenly tangy, and opulent. You’ll use half of a normal block of cream cheese for this recipe, and I don’t learn about you, however I’m at all times glad to have some further 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 quite than a fair 8-ounce, however 7 ounces will do!

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

Tip: Grate your personal cheese quite 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 Primary Components

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

adding cream cheese to butternut mac and cheese

How one can Safely Slice Your Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is massive and dense, so it may be tough to handle. Listed here are some recommendations on methods to put together it safely:

  1. Begin with a pointy chef’s knife and a secure chopping board. You possibly can place a evenly damp tea towel beneath your chopping 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 aspect as the bottom.
  4. Fastidiously slice via 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 gained’t want them for this recipe).

stirring cheese into pasta

Serving Strategies

Serve inexperienced salad on the aspect—maybe my Super Simple Arugula Salad, Favorite Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas, or any improvised salad with a easy vinaigrette.

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

butternut squash mac and cheese recipe

Love this butternut mac and cheese?

You’ll additionally get pleasure from 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 gained’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
  • Technique: Stovetop
  • Delicacies: American
  • Weight-reduction plan: Vegetarian

4.9 from 52 opinions

This butternut squash mac and cheese is a delight! It’s good—tacky and creamy however not too wealthy, with refined roasted butternut squash taste. To assist this recipe come collectively rapidly for a weeknight dinner, roast the squash upfront. When 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 massive butternut squash (1.5 kilos or bigger), halved
  • 1 teaspoon further 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 superb 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 straightforward clean-up. Scoop out the squash seeds with a spoon (we gained’t want them for this recipe). Rub the olive oil over the lower sides of butternut, then place them on the ready pan, flat sides down.
  2. Bake till the squash flesh is well pierced via 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 possible have a lot further, 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 organize the mac and cheese: Soften the butter in a big pot or Dutch oven over medium warmth. Add the garlic and onion powder and cook dinner for two to 4 minutes, stirring usually, 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 sometimes, 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 gradual simmer.
  6. Cut 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 further Parmesan grated on high, if desired. Leftovers preserve nicely, 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, reminiscent of fusilli, over different pasta sorts (my tester was happy with Jovial model). Stir gently and don’t cook dinner the pasta any longer than obligatory or it might begin to lose its form.

▸ Vitamin Data

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

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