This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is ultra creamy and lightened up with the addition of butternut squash! This is a family friendly side dish everyone will love!
Does your household have a picky eater? My sister was always the pickiest–She couldn’t handle a single vegetable. Her version of “eating her greens” involved green gummy bears. Recipes like this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese are for the precious picky eaters in our lives!
To the untrained eye, this looks like (and tastes like) a delicious pasta dish soaked in cheese and topped with buttered crackers. However, it is so much more.
It’s a super creamy disguise for nutritious and delicious butternut squash! If you’re looking for more ways to sneak vegetables into your family’s diet, this cheesy squash sauce is sure to be your new favorite way to do it!
What makes this even better is that it works well with fresh OR frozen butternut squash. If your garden is producing more than you can handle in the fall or winter, this kind of recipe lets you enjoy those goods all year long!
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
As always, this is an overview of the ingredients you will need for this recipe. The full recipe and instructions are below, just keep scrolling.
- Elbow pasta: I used Barilla gluten free
- Butternut Squash: frozen or fresh, the squash is boiled until soft, so either option work.
- Milk and Heavy Cream
- Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese and parmesan
- Optional: Crackers and butter for the topping: I used Schar gluten free crackers
How do you cook Butternut Squash?
You’d never guess this cheesy pasta dish is loaded with healthy squash! I have always been a big fan of butternut squash. It is great roasted, or sautéed. For this recipe we simply boil or steam the squash until it is soft.
If preparing fresh squash it is a bit faster to just boil the squash until fork tender. However, there are freezer bags of already cut up butternut squash that can just be steamed in the microwave for a quick short cut.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Absolutely. Simply follow the instructions for this mac and cheese and pour into a casserole dish, but do not add the cracker crumb topping until ready to bake. You can make this up to 48 hours in advance.
What to serve with Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?
This dish will compliment just about any entree! Some of my favorite dishes to serve are:
Other Vegetable Side Dishes
- Healthy Air Fryer Carrot Fries
- Crispy Zucchini Fries
- Broccoli Cheddar Rice
- The BEST Instant Pot Collard Greens
- 2 cups dry elbow noodles, cooked until al dente
Butternut Squash Cheese Sauce
- 1 (10 ounce) bag frozen butternut squash cubes
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Topping
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup crushed crackers
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large pot bring salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the 2 cups of elbow noodles according to the directions until al dente, drain and set aside.
- Cook the frozen butternut squash until soft (this can be steamed in the micorwave or boiled until fork tender)
- In a blender combine the tender butternut squash and 1 cup of milk, blend until smooth.
- In the same pot you cooked the pasta in heat to medium heat and melt the butter and sauté the garlic. Pour in the butternut squash and milk mixture, bring to a simmer. Stir in the spices, cheddar cheese and parmesan and stir until smooth.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat.
- Scrape the pasta into a greased 7x11 baking dish and top with the remaining shredded cheddar.
- Combine the melted butter and cracker crumbers. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
- Bake 20 minutes.
I made this recipe gluten free using Barilla Gluten Free Elbow Noodles and Schar Entertainment Crackers.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 19.8gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 457mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 3.2gProtein: 13g