Kids Friendly Recipe

Kids Healthy Recipe-Creamy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This One Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is rich, extra creamy, and loaded with so much incredible flavor!  Easily made in just 30 minutes for a cozy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!

This One Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is rich, extra creamy, and loaded with so much incredible flavor!  Easily made 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 cozy fall day, but did you know this dish is loaded with a whole pound of butternut squash?!  Not only does butternut squash add such a delicious flavor to this mac and cheese, but it gives this dish such a beautiful golden color and makes the sauce extra silky smooth and creamy!  Wholesome comfort food at its finest.  Feel free to use gluten-free pasta to keep this dish GF-friendly or dairy-free cheese to make this vegan.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Wholesome dish easily made in just 30 minutes!
  • The butternuts squash adds a beautiful golden color to his mac and cheese and makes the sauce extra creamy!
  • You only need to use one pot which makes cleaning up a breeze.
  • Kid-friendly!  Picky little eaters will never know there are hidden veggies.

This One Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is rich, extra creamy, and loaded with so much incredible flavor!  Easily made in just 30 minutes for a cozy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Butternut squash – the true star of this dish and you’ll need 1 lb of cubed butternut squash.  You could use pumpkin or even acorn squash as well
  • Onion – this adds so much flavor and you can use a white or yellow onion
  • Garlic – you can use fresh chopped garlic or minced garlic from the jar
  • Vegetable broth – I used a low sodium vegetable broth, but you could also use chicken broth or any stocks you have in your pantry.  Water would work as well, but you would lose some of the flavor
  • Milk – I used almond milk, but any type of milk will work in this recipe
  • Greek yogurt – adds a boost of protein and some extra creaminess (if you don’t have any on hand you can leave this out)
  • Cheese – I used freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese, but gruyere, gouda and Monterey jack cheeses make great options as well.  You just want a good melty cheese and feel free to use a combination of cheeses in this if you’d like.  I highly recommend getting a block of good quality cheese and grating it yourself as opposed to purchasing a bag of pre-shredded cheese as fresh grated cheese melts better and it will prevent clumping
  • Pasta – you can use any type of tubular pasta or shells in this mac and cheese as they are perfect for holding onto that cheesy sauce.  I also love using chickpea pasta too!
  • Fresh thyme – this is optional, but adds some earthiness and flavor.  Fresh chopped sage or rosemary would taste great too!
  • Salt + pepper

This One Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is rich, extra creamy, and loaded with so much incredible flavor!  Easily made in just 30 minutes for a cozy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!

How to Cut Butternut Squash

To make things easier when preparing this recipe, you can purchase pre-chopped butternut squash right from the store.  However, not all stores carry pre-chopped squash so here’s my simple method for peeling and cutting your own butternut squash.

  1. Start by cutting off the bottom portion of the squash.  This helps stabilize the squash so you can start peeling it.  Make sure to 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 to do!
  2. Next cut off the stem and slice your squash in half longways using a sharp chef’s knife.  If your squash is really thick and hard to cut, you can just pop it in the microwave or oven to warm it up for a few minutes to make it easier to slice through.  Then just scoop out all the seeds and stringy parts using a spoon.
  3. Lay your halves cut side down on a cutting board and slices the squash into 1-inch cubes.  You’ll want them to be as close in size as possible so that the squash cooks evenly.  And that’s it!

How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  1. Cook butternut squash.  In a large pot 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 garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds then mix in the butternut squash, tossing with the onions and garlic.  Pour in the vegetable broth and milk and let everything come to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and let the butternut squash simmer for about 20 minutes, until squash is fork tender.
  2. Boil noodles.  While the squash is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.  While your noodles are boiling and squash is simmering this is also a great time to shred your cheese.
  3. Puree butternut squash.  Add in the Greek yogurt, nutmeg, salt and pepper, then using a hand immersion blender (10/10 recommend getting this handy little device!) or you could transfer the squash mixture to a regular blender or food processor, blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  4. Mix together and serve!  Drain the noodles and add them to the pot with the puréed butternut squash along with the shredded cheese.  Mix well until cheese is melted and the pasta is completely coated.  Feel free to add a little extra milk or vegetable broth to adjust the consistency and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme or other herbs, serve and enjoy!

This One Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is rich, extra creamy, and loaded with so much incredible flavor!  Easily made in just 30 minutes for a cozy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!

Prepping and Storage

To Store:  This butternut squash mac and cheese will last in your fridge in a sealed, airtight container for 4 to 5 days.  You can easily reheat it in the microwave or stovetop for a quick, delicious meal.

To Freeze:  If planning to freeze this mac and cheese, I recommend transferring to a casserole dish and letting it cool completely.  Cover tightly with foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.  When ready to enjoy, let the mac and cheese thaw completely in the fridge.  You can either pop it in the oven until heated through or re-heat individual servings in the microwave.  You can also mix in a tablespoon or 2 of water to add some moisture back into the sauce, if needed.

More Butternut Squash Recipes You’ll Love

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 using the hashtag #eatyourselfskinny! I love seeing all your delicious recreations!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups freshly shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
  • 1 box (1 lb) uncooked noodles (I used cavatappi)
  • Fresh thyme, garnish as desired

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion until fragrant and translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds then mix in the butternut squash, tossing with the onions and garlic.
  2. Pour in the vegetable broth and milk and let everything come to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and let the butternut squash simmer for about 20 minutes, until squash is fork tender.
  3. While the squash is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.  While your noodles are boiling and squash is simmering this is also a great time to shred your cheese.
  4. Once the butternut squash mixture is ready, turn the heat off and add in the Greek yogurt, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Using a hand immersion blender (or you could transfer the squash mixture to a regular blender or food processor), blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  5. Drain the noodles and add them to the pot with the puréed butternut squash along with the shredded cheese.  Mix well until cheese is melted and the pasta is completely coated.  Feel free to add a little extra milk or vegetable broth to adjust the consistency and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh thyme or other herbs, serve and enjoy!



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