Enjoy the best of fall flavors with this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. A delicious and healthy alternative to traditional baked mac and cheese, even the pickiest eaters will enjoy.
Why You’ll Love Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Autumn is the season when we start to crave comfort food, and this ‘healthy’ mac and cheese recipe is the perfect cozy dish packed with melty cheese and nutrient-rich ingredients like butternut squash and cauliflower. This creamy butternut squash mac is a staple in my house. Even my picky eater, who usually asks for boxed mac and cheese, will happily eat this homemade version. It’s a recipe the whole family can agree on.
The best part? It only takes 25 minutes to make!
What kind of milk do you use for mac and cheese?
Heavy cream will always yield the best-tasting and creamiest mac and cheese. It is also least likely to curdle (or separate) when lightly boiled, so it’s the easiest to cook with. Unfortunately, it’s also the heaviest and least healthy. Try using half-and-half, or whole milk, instead. Plain unsweetened soy milk is a great plant-based option. I suggest avoiding coconut milk because it has a slight sweetness that can make your savory dish taste funky.
How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
To start, preheat your oven to 375F.
In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the butternut squash with the milk. Bring it to a gentle boil, being very careful not to burn the milk. Reduce it to low heat and simmer until the squash is tender.
Next, blend the milk and squash in a blender or food processor, creating a butternut squash puree before returning to the pot. Whisk in the flour and ricotta cheese and salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, and half of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta and cauliflower of choice according to package instructions and drain well.
Return the prepared pasta and cooked cauliflower back to the pot. Pour the prepared squash and cheese mixture over the top and mix well to combine. Give it a quick mix and taste for salt and pepper.
Grease a large baking dish (or dutch oven) and carefully pour in your butternut squash mac n cheese. Sprinkle with the Italian bread crumbs and the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until your cheesy pasta is golden brown and bubbly!
The best part of this mac and cheese is that you can easily customize it. Sneak in some extra veggies or add a little more protein. Here are a few options:
- Shredded Chicken
- Aged Gouda
- Sweet Potato
- Fresh Sage
More Mac and Cheese Recipes:
If you try making this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe, please leave me a comment below! I always love to read your thoughts and feedback!
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 butternut squash - peeled, seeded and cubed
- 4 cups milk - cow, goat, almond soy (more if it’s too thick)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese - full fat or low fat
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cheddar cheese - shredded
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese - finely shredded
- 1 large head of cauliflower - finely chopped
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large saucepan combine the squash and milk. Slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, making sure not to burn the milk. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until squash is tender, approximately 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Blend the milk and squash in a blender or food processor and return to pot. Over low heat whisk in the flour and then the ricotta cheese. Once fully incorporated, add the salt, pepper, 2 cups of cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Stir.
- In a large stock pot, cook the pasta and cauliflower according to package directions. Be careful not to overcook your pasta. Drain well.
- Return the pasta and cauliflower back to the stock pot and add the cheese. Give it a quick mix and taste for salt and pepper.
- Lightly grease a large casserole dish (or dutch oven) and carefully pour in your butternut squash mac n cheese. Sprinkle with the Italian breadcrumbs and remaining 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)