Butternut squash mac and cheese is a rich creamy dish that brings a new flavor to a creamy pasta casserole.
This doesn’t taste like traditional mac and cheese, it’s creamy and with lots of sweet winter squash flavor. In this recipe, roasted butternut squash is tossed with pasta and a cheesy sauce. It’s all topped with breadcrumbs and baked to golden perfection in the oven.
A Squash Fave
- This cozy squash dish is so good because it still has the creamy and cheesy texture of mac and cheese with a totally different flavor.
- Because of the butternut squash, this recipe has more nutrition than the typical mac and cheese. Also, the butternut is oven-roasted, giving this pasta dish an extra boost of yum.
- Better than Trader Jo’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, everything tastes better made at home!
SQUASH: Butternut squash is very similar in color and taste to a sweet potato. The best squash to buy is one that is heavy for its size. It should also be free of blemishes.
If you can find cubed butternut squash (or even canned) that will work just fine in this recipe.
CHEESE SAUCE: The base for this cheese sauce is a roux, but with added cheese to give it that thick and extra cheesy taste! Gruyere is a mild swiss cheese and pairs well with butternut squash.
How to Prep Butternut Squash
- Place the squash vertically on a cutting surface and cut down the middle from the top stem to the bottom and all the way through (lengthwise).
- Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them.
PRO TIP: If the squash is too hard to cut, poke a few holes in it with a fork and microwave for 5 minutes. This makes cutting easier!
How to Make Butternut Mac and Cheese
- Season the squash and roast in the oven per the recipe below.
- Scoop the flesh out of the cooked squash. Mash until smooth.
- Cook the pasta and make the cheese sauce. Add the mashed squash to the sauce.
- Toss the sauce with pasta and place in a 9×13 pan.
- Add the crumb topping and bake.
Any leftovers will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Mac and cheese also freezes very well. It can be frozen in individual portions to be taken out for lunches or quick on-the-go dinners for 1 or 2 people.
More Mac & Cheese to Try!
- Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole – a reader favorite
- Extra Creamy Lobster Mac and Cheese – so rich & creamy
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese – extra cheesy with a kick
- Baked Jalapeño Mac & Cheese – the ultimate comfort food
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese – ready in 20 minutes
Did your family love this Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 butternut squash 2 ½ cups, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 pound dry pasta macaroni, shells, etc
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup onion finely diced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 cup light cream about 10-12% MF
- ½ cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- 3 cups sharp cheddar shredded, divided
- 1 cup gruyere cheese shredded, or Havarti
- ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese shredded
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper each
- 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Brush the squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking pan and roast 45 minutes or until tender.
- While the squash is roasting, cook pasta al dente (firm) according to package directions. Drain well.
- Once squash is done, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the squash and mash until smooth. Set aside.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook until tender.
- Whisk in flour and let cook 2 minutes while stirring. Add milk a little bit at a time stirring until smooth after each addition.
- Add cream, broth, mustard powder, & cayenne. Continue stirring until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 2 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the stove and stir in cheeses until melted. Taste and generously season the sauce with salt & pepper.
- Combine cheese sauce, mashed butternut squash and pasta. Spread into a greased 9×13 pan.
- Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle overtop.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and the top is browned. Do not over cook. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)