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butternut squash mac and cheese in a white bowl
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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Now you can enjoy mac & cheese with VEGGIES in it...who knew?! The butternut squash adds a subtle flavor and tons of nutrition. Don't worry, it's plenty cheesy too!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword butternut squash, cheesy, easydinner, easymacandcheese, hiddenveggies, macandcheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 333kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. whole-grain macaroni noodles (or whatever noodle you prefer!) uncooked
  • 3 cups pasta water
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 3 Tbsp. whole-wheat flour (or All-Purpose flour)
  • 2 (10 oz.) bags frozen butternut squash, slightly thawed*
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup milk or heavy cream (optional for more creaminess)

Instructions

  • Cook noodles according to package directions. IMPORTANT: Drain pasta but reserve 3-4 cups pasta water.
  • First make the roux: In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour until combined, about 15-20 seconds. (Be sure not to let it burn). Then, slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the reserved pasta water, whisking thoroughly. It should look thinner than an Alfredo sauce at this point.
  • Add in cubed butternut squash and then add in the remaining pasta water.
  • Using an immersion blender (or blender of choice), blend mixture until smooth. Must blend; this step cannot be skipped.
  • Add in shredded cheese and stir until melted. Taste and add in salt and pepper to taste (I add about 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. (Heavy pinch of salt recommended!) May taste bland if you don't add enough salt so be sure to season as desired.
  • Stir in cooked noodles until noodles are coated. Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Video

Notes

 
 
  • You can also buy washed, pre-cut fresh butternut squash in the store. Use a 20 oz. container. You will need to boil the butternut squash cubes if using fresh or pre-cut in boiling water until tender. If using frozen, thaw butternut squash on the counter prior to adding into the pot.
  • *Blend up the butternut squash all the way for a smooth mac & cheese, or leave some of the cubes whole for more texture. I personally like it smooth but have enjoyed it both ways!
  • I recommend using an immersion blender to get it "cheesy" and smooth if you have one but if not, blend mixture in a blender or use a potato masher to mash up the butternut squash. It will not be as creamy if you don't blend it though!
  • Mac and cheese may taste bland if not enough salt is added. Taste and adjust as desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.7g | Protein: 13.6g