Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

5 from 5 votes
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Butternut squash macaroni and cheese is an update to a classic comfort food dish. This delicious gluten free casserole recipe puts a healthy twist on mac and cheese with the addition of butternut squash.

Take a favorite recipe from your childhood and add lots of veggie power for even more nutrition. It’s an update on the comfort food classic in this Two Cheese Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese recipe.

Two Cheese Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - add some veggies to your favorite cheese comfort food recipe. You can make it gluten free too! | cupcakesandkalechips.com

Note: Originally published on April 3, 2012. Photos updated on February 14, 2016.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, meaning that if you click and make a purchase, the cost to you is the same, but I will receive a few pennies. I use the money to help maintain this website and to bring you new recipes!

I’m kinda cracking up rereading this post. The Bug, who had just started pre-school when I wrote it is now 5 1/2 and in Kindergarten. I now have Little Dude, and he is almost three and in pre-school. And I pack both of their lunches everyday. You can actually see them posted just after noon on my Facebook page as well as on Instagram, where you can also check out the hashtag #BugsLunchbox. But I hope you’ll enjoy going back in time to where I was as a first-time mom.

And I realllly hope you’ll enjoy this butternut squash macaroni and cheese recipe, because I know we do…

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - add some veggies to your favorite cheese comfort food recipe. You can make it gluten free too! | cupcakesandkalechips.com

A few months ago, The Bug started going to pre-school. Technically, since the isn’t even two, it is daycare, but I prefer to call it “pre-school” because it makes me feel like a less lame stay-at-home mom. I am sending him for educational purposes, not to get a bit of a break in order to get some blog posting and photographing chores and errands done, without feeling like I am ignoring him or boring him. To tell you the truth, though, he loves it. Everyday he asks to go to school, and he is always talking about Miss Tracey and Miss Mia. He also loves the food. He will eat things at school that he won’t eat at home, like green beans. And they actually give the kids a pretty wide variety of foods, and a fruit and vegetable with lunch everyday. So really I can’t complain. But the one thing that they do have quite often is some form of pasta.

The Bug has had spaghetti and other pasta dishes before, but until I first ventured into gluten-free pasta (with this veggie tomato sauce recipe), we didn’t eat many noodles around here, other than spaghetti squash. Now, after having them so often and loving them at school, he can’t get enough “noodles”. He asks for them ALL.THE.TIME! So when The Hubby, said he was in the mood for macaroni & cheese with the roast chicken I made, I thought I should make him and The Bug happy, but I didn’t quite want to go with the super-cheesy fat-, calorie-, and cholesterol-bomb that mac and cheese usually is.

I checked out a few recipes, then added a little parmesan and some peas, skipped the flour, and, in my case, used gluten free pasta.

You can use any type and shape of pasta you like in this butternut squash macaroni and cheese recipe. I just think mac and cheese is classic with elbow macaroni.

And I baked it, because I LOVE baked macaroni & cheese.

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - add some veggies to your favorite cheese comfort food recipe. You can make it gluten free too! | cupcakesandkalechips.comIt was awesome! The Bug scarfed up plates and plates of it. But then again, he is yet to meet a noodle that he doesn’t like. And I wasn’t too upset that he wasn’t eating much chicken, since he was getting lots of protein from the quinoa pasta. By using extra sharp cheddar and good parmesan cheese, it definitely had that tang and cheesy flavor, and the butternut squash gave it the creaminess that you usually get from butter, flour, and whole milk. It isn’t quite as cheesy and gooey as your traditional macaroni & cheese, but it is still delicious and creamy, and a little bit healthier. This is even a good way to sneak in extra veggies for your picky eaters.

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - add some veggies to your favorite cheese comfort food recipe. You can make it gluten free too! | cupcakesandkalechips.com

If we had bottomless stomachs, we probably could have finished it all, it was that good. But The Bug and I were happy to devour the leftovers for dinner last night, as part of our parade of leftovers this week.Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - add some veggies to your favorite cheese comfort food recipe. You can make it gluten free too! | cupcakesandkalechips.com

Do you try to sneak in extra healthy stuff for your kids (and significant others)? What is your favorite comfort food?

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A couple of things to help you make this butternut squash macaroni and cheese recipe:

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5 from 5 votes

Two Cheese Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Add some veggies to make a healthier version of your favorite cheesy comfort food. You can make it gluten free, too! 
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 1 hr
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 8 oz dry quinoa pasta or other gluten free-pasta, or half of a 1 lb. box of regular pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk I've used 1% and 2%
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese divided
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Steam or microwave the butternut squash until it is soft and can be mashed easily, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F. and cook the pasta according to package directions, leaving it slightly under cooked, or al dente.
  • In a blender or food processor, puree the butternut squash with the broth, adding enough so that it becomes a smooth puree.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the squash puree, milk and butter, and heat over medium heat until it just barely comes to a boil.
  • Add the dry mustard, cheddar cheese, and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, and stir until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
  • Add the frozen peas, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Add the pasta to the cheese sauce, and stir to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a glass or ceramic baking dish, and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, and the top is slightly browned.
Nutrition Facts
Two Cheese Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 384 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 377mg16%
Potassium 565mg16%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 13825IU277%
Vitamin C 31.6mg38%
Calcium 413mg41%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - add some veggies to your favorite cheese comfort food recipe. You can make it gluten free too! | cupcakesandkalechips.com

Here are some more comforting casseroles…

Eggplant-Parmigiana-Parmesan-Pasta-Casserole-1-title.jpg Sicilian-Chicken-and-Mushrooms-Spaghetti-Squash-Casserole-Recipe-9734-title.jpg Slow-Cooker-Buffalo-Chicken-Quinoa-Casserole-recipe-1-title.jpg

And these collections on Parade’s Community Table…

Side Dish Vegetable Casseroles Square Collage Pasta Casseroles Square Collage

 

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - add some veggies to your favorite cheese comfort food recipe. You can make it gluten free too! | cupcakesandkalechips.com

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - add some veggies to your favorite cheese comfort food recipe. You can make it gluten free too! | cupcakesandkalechips.com

It’s always fund and kinda scary to look back at the original photos!

Two Cheese Butternut Squash Macaroni Cheese with captionOverflowing Bowl of Two Cheese Butternut Squash Mac CheeseCrock of Butternut Squash Mac CheeseTwo Cheese Butternut Squash Mac Cheese Collage

32 Comments
  1. Seema

    This looks great! Do you think I could make a batch & freeze some of it? Maybe put it in muffin tins & then freeze them afterwards? Thank you!!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Thank you, Seema! I think this recipe would freeze wonderfully! If you’re going to freeze it in muffin tins, I would suggest lining them with plastic wrap so that they pop out more easily. Once they’ve frozen, wrap them in the plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag.

  2. Elizabeth

    5 stars
    I made this and it was AMAZING!!! I been on a squash kick and this was the perfect addition to my fall lineup! Absolutely amazing. My fiancé loved it 🙂 Thanks for this awesome share!!!

  3. Miriam

    -19 stars
    It does not say where to incorporate the squash puree in the directions. I just added after stirring the cheese and mac together. just wanted to let you know or maybe I missed something, either way it looks really good and my kids are about to try it. Thank you

  4. I have never had butternut squash macaroni and cheese. This looks really good. I think this is a great recipe for kids, without them knowing they are eating really healthy. Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday and I can’t wait to see what you have to share at the next party!

  5. 5 stars
    This is a beautiful dish and a meal in one, I look forward to making this delicious recipe! Hope you have a wonderful week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. This looks delicious, I love how you made it healthier too. Now if only I can find quinoa pasta, I bet I would love it. thanks for sharing on Newlyweds recipe linky, I pinned this recipe too!

  7. I made a Martha Stewart recipe once for butternut squash mac and cheese. It was so good! The kids loved it until I told them it had squash in it. Now every single night, no matter what I make, they say “Is there squash in this?”.

  8. I’ve been mac & cheese obsessed the past 2 days! Except mine didn’t look as good as this! Mine was kraft Sponge Bob Mac & Cheese in a cup! lol But I did add a slice of pepper jack and a minced sun-dried tomato to give it some flare!
    Great post!

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