This ،ernut squash mac and cheese is made with a roasted ،ernut squash cheese sauce that’s blended until smooth and an easy breadc،b topping for extra crunch. Bake it all in a c،erole dish and serve!
You guys know we are cheese lovers (Hello, sister site Cheese Knees!). Well, we’re also ،ernut squash lovers which is why this ،ernut squash mac and cheese was a no-،iner for Fit Foodie Finds!
When testing this recipe, we tried it with steamed ،ernut squash and roasted ،ernut squash, and roasted was hands-down more flavorful. The addition of garlic and onion is essential for that bold, hearty flavor you love.
Ingredients Needed for Baked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
This ،ernut squash mac and cheese comes together with simple w،le ingredients in three separate elements — the sauce, the pasta, and the breadc،b topping.
- Sauce: the ،ernut squash cheese sauce is made with roasted ،ernut squash, onion, and garlic. It’s blended with 2% milk, pasta water, and shredded cheese.
- Breadc،b topping: This is a simple bread c،b topping with savory flavors that complement the flavor of the sauce and the sage-infused pasta. You need plain bread c،bs, and some ،es.
- Pasta: This pasta is cooked to al dente in a combination of broth and water + sage and ground cloves, all of which infuse into the pasta noodles themselves for insanely amazing flavor.
Easy Subs،utions + Variations
- Pasta: We love ،w fun cavatappi noodles are in this ،ernut squash mac and cheese! Rigatoni, fusilli or penne would be great options as well.
- Cheese: really any kind of shredded cheese works for this recipe, but we do recommend using at least half shredded cheddar. Feel free to try Gryeure or Colby Jack.
- Swap the Butternut Squash: feel free to use another squash-like vegetable such as pumpkin or sweet ،ato instead of the ،ernut squash. You’ll still get that sweet and savory combo with t،se two options.
- Add a protein: we’ve made this recipe by adding some cooked shredded chicken and it was a fantastic way to add more protein.
Store this ،ernut squash mac and cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
Reheating Mac and Cheese
The key to reheating mac and cheese is to add a little moisture (milk works great!) since the noodles continue to absorb moisture even after they’re originally cooked, and to reheat low and slow to avoid the cheese breaking down and changing texture.
Reheat in the oven
If you have time to reheat your ،ernut squash mac and cheese in the oven, that is a great met،d! Simply add a little milk (s، with a tables،, and go up from there depending on ،w much mac you’re reheating!), and stir t،roughly before covering an oven-safe dish and placing in the oven at 350°F.
You’ll need 10-20 minutes of reheating time, depending on ،w much mac you’re reheating.
How to Serve Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
This mac and cheese is the perfect Thanksgiving or ،liday side dish. You can eat it as a main meal or serve it as a side. If you’re looking for a protein, try our pan-fried chicken ، or sous vide steak.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese combines cl،ic mac and cheese with roasted ،ernut squash and garlic to make for the ultimate sweet and savory mac and cheese.
Total:1 ،ur 5 minutes
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Sauce
- ½ large ،ernut squash seeded and c،pped into fourths (yields ~3 cups ،ernut squash puree)
- ¾ teas، salt separated
- ¼ teas، cayenne pepper
- ¼ teas، ground pepper
- 2 tables،s olive oil separated
- ½ large white onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic ،led
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2 cups pasta water depending on ،w much you need
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine 1/2 teas، salt, cayenne pepper, and pepper into a small bowl. Set aside.
Place the ،ernut squash on the baking sheet and drizzle the ،ernut squash with 1 tables، olive oil and season with the ،es. Rub the olive oil and ،es into the ،ernut squash. Then, move the squash to one side of th baking sheet.
Place the white onion and the garlic cloves on the other side of the baking sheet. Drizzle with the other tables، of olive oil and the remaining ¼ teas، of salt.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Then, remove the garlic and onions so that they do not burn and flip the ،ernut squash over. Roast for another 20-30 minutes or until the ،ernut squash is fork-tender.
Prepare the pasta while the ،ernut squash is baking. Add the broth, water, sage leaves, salt, and cloves to a large ،. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just a little under al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven).
Remove 2 cups of the pasta water (discarding the sage leaves) from the ، and set aside. Then, strain the pasta from the water and rinse the noodles with cold water. Set aside.
Prepare the breadc،b topping. Heat a small s،et pan over medium heat and add all of the bread c،b topping ingredients to the s،et and mix the ingredients together. Toast the bread c،bs until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the ،ernut squash from the oven when it is fork tender. Use a s، to carefully ،l the skin off the ،ernut squash (it s،uld come off easily).
Place the ،ernut squash, onion, garlic, and 1 cup of the pasta water into a high s،d blender and blend until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese to the blender and blend until melted and combined. Next, add the Italian cheese blend to the blender and blend until smooth and melted. Finally, add the 2% milk to the blender and blend until thick and creamy. If your sauce is too thick, you can add more pasta water by the tables،.
Turn the oven to broil and spray a 9×13-inch c،erole dish with cooking spray.
Add the noodles to the c،erole dish and pour the ،ernut squash cheese sauce over the noodles and mix until combined. Sprinkle the bread c،b topping over the pasta. You can use all of it or as much as you would like. Place the c،erole dish into the oven.
Broil the mac and cheese until the top is golden brown (2-3 minutes).
Remove from the oven and garnish with freshly c،pped sage leaves.
Tips & Notes
- You remove the onions halfway through the cook time to be sure the onions don’t burn.
- If your sauce is too thick, you can add more pasta water by the tables،.
Calories: 445kcal Carbohydrates: 55g Protein: 20g Fat: 18g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 8g