This One Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is rich, extra creamy, and loaded with so much incredible flavor! Easily prepared in just 30 minutes for a cozy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!
It doesn’t get much better than rich and creamy macaroni and cheese on a lazy fall day, but did you know this dish is loaded with a whole pound of butternut squash?! Not only does butternut squash add such delicious flavor to this mac and cheese, but it also gives this dish such a beautiful golden color and makes the sauce extra silky smooth and creamy! Healthy comfort food at its finest. Feel free to use gluten-free pasta to keep this dish GF-friendly, or dairy-free cheese to make it vegan.
Why you will love this recipe
- Healthy meal prepared in just 30 minutes!
- The butternut squash gives his mac and cheese a nice golden color and makes the sauce extra creamy!
- You only need to use one pot, making cleanup a breeze.
- Kid friendly! Picky little eaters will never know there are hidden vegetables.
ingredients you need
- Butternut Squash – the real star of this dish and you will need 1 pound of diced butternut squash. You can also use pumpkin or even acorn squash
- Onion – this adds so much flavor and you can use a white or yellow onion
- garlic – You can use fresh chopped garlic or chopped garlic from the jar
- vegetable broth – I used a low-sodium vegetable broth, but you can use chicken broth or whatever broth you have in your pantry. Water would also work, but you would lose some of the flavor
- milk – I used almond milk, but any kind of milk will work in this recipe
- greek yogurt – adds a protein boost and a bit more creaminess (if you don’t have any on hand, you can omit this)
- Cheese – I used freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, but gruyere, gouda and Monterey Jack cheese are also great options. You just want a good melty cheese and feel free to use a combination of cheeses in it if you like. I highly recommend getting a block of good quality cheese and grating it yourself rather than buying a bag of pre-shredded cheese, as freshly grated cheese melts better and prevents clumping
- pasta – You can use any type of tube-shaped pasta or shellfish in this mac and cheese as they are perfect for sticking to that cheese sauce. I also love using chickpea noodles!
- Fresh thyme – This is optional but adds some earthiness and flavor. Freshly chopped sage or rosemary would also taste great!
- salt + pepper
How to cut butternut squash
To make this recipe easier to prep, you can purchase pre-chopped butternut squash directly from the store. However, not all stores carry pre-chopped squash, so here’s my easy method for peeling and slicing your own butternut squash.
- Start by cutting off the bottom part of the squash. This will help stabilize the squash so you can start peeling it. Make sure you have a good vegetable peeler and work your way down from the stem. Butternut squash skin is thin and smooth so this is really easy!
- Next, cut off the stalk and halve the pumpkin lengthwise with a sharp chef’s knife. If your squash is really thick and difficult to cut, you can simply pop it in the microwave or oven to warm it up for a few minutes to make it easier to cut through. Then simply scoop out any seeds and stringy bits with a spoon.
- Place your halves, cut-side down, on a cutting board and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. You want them to be as large as possible so the squash cooks evenly. And that’s it!
How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Cook butternut squash. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil (or butter) over medium-high heat and sauté the onion until fragrant and translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then mix in the butternut squash and mix in the onions and garlic. Pour in the vegetable stock and milk and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover butternut squash and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
- cook noodles. While the squash is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once cooked, add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. While your pasta is cooking and the squash is simmering, this is also a great time to shred your cheese.
- Puree butternut squash. Add Greek yogurt, nutmeg, salt and pepper, then use an immersion blender (10/10 recommend getting this handy little gadget!) or you can put the squash mixture in a regular blender or food processor until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Mix together and serve! Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the mashed butternut squash along with the shredded cheese. Mix well until cheese is melted and pasta is completely coated. Feel free to add a little more milk or vegetable stock to adjust the consistency and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with fresh thyme or other herbs, serve and enjoy!
preparation and storage
To store: This butternut squash macaroni and cheese keeps in a sealed, airtight container in your fridge 4 to 5 days. You can simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop for a quick, delicious meal.
Freeze: If you plan to freeze this mac and cheese, I recommend placing it in a casserole dish and letting it cool completely. Cover tightly with foil and store in the freezer until ready 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let mac and cheese thaw completely in the refrigerator. You can either pop it in the oven until heated through or reheat individual portions in the microwave. You can also mix in a tablespoon or two of water to add some moisture back into the sauce if needed.
More Butternut Squash Recipes You’ll Love
I hope you all enjoy this creamy butternut squash mac and cheese and if you love this recipe as much as we do, please leave me a five star rating below and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny to mark! I love seeing all your delicious recoveries!
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Total time: 35 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 Garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 cups diced peeled butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk of your choice
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups freshly grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
- 1 box (1 lb) uncooked pasta (I used cavatappi)
- Fresh thyme, garnish if you like
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion until fragrant and translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then mix in the butternut squash and mix in the onions and garlic.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and milk and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover butternut squash and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
- While the squash is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once cooked, add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. While your pasta is cooking and the squash is simmering, this is also a great time to shred your cheese.
- Once the butternut squash mixture is ready, turn off the heat and add the Greek yogurt, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Using an immersion blender (or you can put the pumpkin mixture in a regular blender or food processor), puree until mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Drain the pasta and add to the pot with the mashed butternut squash along with the shredded cheese. Mix well until cheese is melted and pasta is completely coated. Feel free to add a little more milk or vegetable stock to adjust the consistency, and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Sprinkle with fresh thyme or other herbs, serve and enjoy!
- Serving size: 1/8 of the recipe
- Calories: 354
- Sugar: 3.4g
- Sodium: 299.4mg
- Fat: 12.3g
- Saturated Fatty Acids: 6.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 51 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 14.1g
* Please note that all nutritional information is an estimate only. Values vary by brand, so we recommend you calculate them yourself for the most accurate results possible.