Classic and comforting mac & cheese …with a healthy seasonal twist!
This Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese has all the elements of the classic, comforting dish and more! This recipe is quick to make and only uses a few simple ingredients. It is perfect to serve on a crisp fall night or whenever you’re in need of a healthier version of your favorite comfort meal. This Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese is great served alone or along side of our Healthy Homemade Meatloaf Sheet Pan.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
- 2 cups butternut squash cubed
- 8 oz pasta of choice I used a chickpea cavatappi
- 1 cup milk of choice I used Fairlife 2%
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika optional
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I recommend using freshly shredded from a block)
- Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, peel and cube butternut squash into approximately 1-2 inch pieces (or buy pre-cut).
- Boil the squash, uncovered, until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain squash into a colander. Let cool for approximately 10 minutes.
- Refill the same pot with water and bring water to a boil. Cook pasta according to the package. Drain pasta into a colander once it is done cooking.
- While pasta is cooking, add squash to a blender along with the milk, salt, pepper, and paprika. Blend for 1 minute, or until a smooth sauce is formed.
- Add the sauce back into the pot and heat on medium heat until warm. Add cheese slowly and stir until it is fully melted.
- Add pasta and stir until evenly coated. If sauce becomes too thick, add another splash of milk. If you'd like the sauce to be more "cheesy" feel free to add additional shredded cheese.
- Garnish with additional shredded cheese, if preferred. Serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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The Ingredients and Swap Outs
- Butternut Squash
- One of the main ingredients of this recipe! If you’re not a butternut squash fan, you can replace with sweet potato or even pumpkin!
- Pasta of choice
- The other main ingredient of this recipe! I used a chickpea cavatappi for additional protein and fiber, but any short pasta would work great (ex. elbows, rotini, etc).
- Milk of choice
- I used Fairlife 2%, but you can use any milk of choice! I have also experimented with dairy-free milk including an unsweetened oat milk and cashew milk and both work great! They result in a slightly thinner sauce, but still taste amazing.
- This recipe is simple, short and sweet. The only spices you need to have on hand are salt, pepper, and paprika (which is optional!).
- The ingredient that qualifies this as a mac and CHEESE. If you’re following a dairy free diet, feel free to swap with a dairy free cheese or even nutritional yeast!
- Boil cubed butternut squash until tender
- While pasta is cooking, blend cooled butternut squash, milk, and spices
- Pour sauce back into pot and stir in cheese until fully melted. Add pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Season to taste, garnish with additional shredded cheese, and serve warm!
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU TRY IT!
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