25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (2024)

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5 from 6 votes

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By: Sarah Bond 10 Comments

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When the mac and cheese cravings hit, this lightened up butternut squash mac and cheese recipe will do the trick (and it’s ready on the stove in under 25 minutes!) It’s such a fall comfort food that can be prepared on the stove quickly and with just a handful of ingredients.

25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (1)

I was raised onmac and cheese. But for us, mac and cheese was something you made from the box. You had your dried pasta and your bag of dehydrated cheese product and together they formed my childhood.

But with the modern day being what it is, we like to hide vegetables in seemingly innocent dishes (no? just me?) So this mac and cheese has a healthy little secret. It packs in a few servings of veggies with pureedbutternut, and is lightened up with rich and creamy yogurt! It’s a healthy pasta recipe that I think you’re going to love!

Why you’ll love this butternut mac

  • It’s ready in 25 minutes
  • It’s family-friendly (you don’t taste the hidden veggies!)
  • It’s stovetop (with options for adding crunch in the oven)
  • It makes good leftovers
25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (2)

How to make this butternut mac and cheese

Alright so making this butternut squash mac and cheese is super easy. You’ll need: 1 big pot, 1 medium pot, 1 blender. The process goes like this:

  1. Make your flavor base by sautéing garlic and onions
  2. Add you butternut and broth, cooking until it’s tender
  3. Cook your pasta in a separate pot
  4. Blend your butternut sauce carefully in a blender
  5. Mix it all together and serve hot!

How to cut a butternut

Honestly, the most difficult thing about this recipe is safely chopping the squash, so we made a guide for you! Here’s how to cut butternut squash 👈

25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (3)
25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (4)

How do you make healthy mac and cheese?

The secret to a healthier mac and cheese is all in the sauce (though you would never know it from tasting this rich and creamy butternut squash sauce)! To make this butternut squash mac and cheese sauce, you’ll need:

  • Olive Oil: This heart-healthy oil forms the base of our flavorful mac. We’ll use it to saute those onions and garlic!
  • Onion & Garlic: And good sauce needs a great flavor base. Onions and garlic are my go-to!
  • Vegetable Broth: We’ll cook the squash in vegetable broth to infuse it with even more flavor (make your own vegetable broth with this guide!)
  • Butternut Squash: This star ingredient brings a delightful nutty sweetness, balanced by its tender, creamy texture when cooked. It’s a versatile vegetable that lends both flavor and creaminess to the mac and cheese.
  • Salt and Pepper: These essential seasonings act as flavor enhancers, ensuring a well-balanced taste. The salt heightens the natural flavors, while the pepper adds a subtle kick of heat.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: The shredded sharp cheddar contributes a bold, tangy flavor and a creamy texture.
  • Plain Yogurt: The yogurt introduces a luscious creaminess that complements the richness of the cheddar.
25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (5)

Make It Baked

Prefer a baked mac and cheese because you like a little crunch? To make a baked butternut squash mac and cheese:

  1. Prepare this recipe as described above, being sure to cook the pasta just barely to al dente (it should still have a little bite to it)
  2. Transfer mac and cheese to a greased baking dish.
  3. Make a breadcrumb topping. Combine panko breadcrumbs with a little melted butter and spread it evenly over the mac and cheese.
  4. Broil! Place in the oven and set to “broil”. Watch closely, letting it cook just until breadcrumbs are golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes
25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (6)

Common Questions

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Absolutely! While sharp cheddar adds a bold flavor, you can experiment with other types of cheeses like Gruyere, fontina, or even a smoked cheese for a unique twist.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Note that the texture may change upon reheating.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, simply swap out regular pasta for a gluten-free variety. Ensure the broth and any other ingredients you use are also gluten-free.

What can I substitute for yogurt?

The best replacement for the yogurt is cream cheese, though it does make this mac and cheese a bit more decadent. You can also use sour cream or a dairy-free alternative like coconut or almond yogurt.

25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (7)

Love Mac?

Looking for a lower carb macaroni? Try this Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese or this one with hidden cauliflower! Ready to level up your meal? Try adding truffle oil to your macaroni! I’ve even done a vegan macaroni and cheese (oxymoron? maybe. delicious? absolutely.)

25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (8)

Stovetop Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

5 from 6 votes

Prep: 10 minutes minutes

Cook: 15 minutes minutes

Total: 25 minutes minutes

Author: Sarah Bond

Calories: 491kcal

Servings: 4 servings

Print Rate

When the comfort food cravings hit, this healthy butternut squash mac and cheese recipe does the trick (ready on the stove in 25 minutes!)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
  • ½ cup diced white onion about ½ of a medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth 354 mL
  • 3 cups diced butternut squash about half of a medium squash
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb uncooked pasta any shape, 453 g
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 100 g
  • ½ cup plain yogurt 120 g
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard optional

Instructions

  • Flavor Base: Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large pot and set over medium heat. Add ½ cup diced white onion and 2 cloves garlic, cooking until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

    25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (9)

  • Butternut: Add 1 ½ cups vegetable broth, 3 cups diced butternut squash, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Cover and let simmer until butternut is tender, 7 to 10 minutes.

    25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (10)

  • Cook Pasta: Meanwhile, boil 1 lb uncooked pasta according to instructions on package, cooking until al dente.

    25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (11)

  • Blend: Using a handheld immersion blender (or working carefully with a countertop blender), puree the butternut mixture until smooth.

    25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (12)

  • Mix: Mix the butternut puree into the pasta. Add 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and stir to evenly combine, then add ½ cup plain yogurt and continue stirring until evenly mixed. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Optionally stir in dijon mustard*.

    25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (13)

Tips & Tricks

*Dijon mustard in mac in cheese is one of my favorite mac & cheese hacks! While it doesn’t actually add any detectable mustard flavor, it elevates the flavors of the cheese and salt. Try it next time you make this!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 491kcal (25%) Carbohydrates: 69.2g (23%) Protein: 20.1g (40%) Fat: 16.5g (25%) Saturated Fat: 7.8g (49%) Cholesterol: 36mg (12%) Sodium: 633mg (28%) Potassium: 559mg (16%) Fiber: 4.9g (20%) Sugar: 7.7g (9%) Calcium: 240mg (24%) Iron: 3.4mg (19%)

Did You Make This?

Leave a comment below and tag @liveeatlearn on social media! I love seeing what you’ve made!

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Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment

  1. Elizabeth says

    This receipt looks amazing! Any thoughts on cheese substitutes? Cheddar cheese is not always easily accessible where we are currently living. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sarah says

      Thanks Elizabeth! If you can get yours hands on gouda, gruyere, or fontina those would all work great 😀

  2. Be erly Andrea says

    The pictures of making the butter not squash pasta mac & cheese were excellent so wish me good luck in making it thank you so much!!!!
    Beverly

    Reply

    • Sarah says

      Thanks so much, Bev! Enjoy!! 😀

  3. Namita says

    Made this last night, and OH MY GOD! It’s so amazing! Tastes as good as the real thing, so satisfying!25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (18)

    Reply

  4. Tiffany R says

    I was a bit leery about a mac and cheese that skimps on the cheese in favor of a vegetable I didn’t inherently think of for something like this, but I gave it a go anyways and I’m glad I did! I added some smoked paprika to the butternut squash puree to make sure it was fully incorporated and then mixed everything together. So tasty and, again, it’s something you can feel good about since it’s a healthier alternative to pure cheese and noodles.25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (19)

    Reply

    • Sarah says

      I’m so happy you gave it a shot (and even more so that you enjoyed!!) 😀

  5. Matthew says

    Delicious, easy prep, and healthy to boot! I substituted wheat pasta for lentil pasta, and it really made it the complete meal. I also added some hot sauce and cilantro to top it off. Thanks for the lovely recipe and the easy directions!25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (20)

    Reply

  6. Lynn says

    My husband grows butternut squash and have been eating for years. Just discovered a great hack to make peeling and cutting so much easier. Just microwave the whole squash for 5 minutes. Both peeling and cutting are so much easier.

    Reply

    • Sarah Bond says

      That’s such a great idea, thanks for sharing Lynn!

25-Minute Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe (2024)

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