Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

February 18, 2013

Ever since the delicious outcome of putting butternut squash in broccoli cheese soup, I’ve been trying to combine cheese and squash as often as possible.  Macaroni and cheese is usually a fatty, calorie dense food with little actual substance – but too delicious to resist.  Using squash in the base of the soup adds a touch of sweetness and a boost of nutrition.  Broccoli helps bulk up the macaroni, plus I just think it’s delicious covered in cheese sauce.



I put my mac and cheese in a wide, shallow casserole dish because I like a high ratio of crispy topping to actual noodles, but feel free to use a smaller, deeper dish.  The texture of these noodles and sauce is oddly reminiscent of Stouffer’s mac and cheese or even KFC, but the taste is a million times better and it’s, of course, healthier.



Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

  • 1 c uncooked macaroni (whole wheat or gluten free)
  • 2 c fresh broccoli florets
  • 12 oz frozen butternut squash puree, thawed (can use microwave)
  • ½ c fat free cottage cheese
  • ⅓ c fat free sour cream
  • 5 oz reduced fat sharp cheddar (block is best)
  • dash nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • splash milk, if needed
  • Optional topping: dash garlic, ½ c panko breadcrumbs, ⅓ c grated Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and prepare casserole dish by spritzing with nonstick spray.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package instructions and steam broccoli to desired level of cripsness.
  3. Meanwhile, combine squash pure, cottage cheese, sour cream, cheddar (chopped into cubes, if using block), nutmeg, and garlic. Bring to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until cheese is melted. Add a splash of milk, if needed, to provide a smooth consistency.
  4. Drain pasta and add along with broccoli to cheese sauce. Mix well and pour into casserole dish.
  5. Mix together optional topping and pour over mixture, spritz with nonstick spray to encourage browning.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese starts to bubble. Switch to broil to brown and crisp topping.
  7. Remove from oven and serve.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 270 Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 34g Fiber: 4g Protein: 18g


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    Reeni Feb 25, 2013

    I too love veggies in my mac and cheese! Broccoli totally rocks with cheese sauce. This looks insanely delicious!

    makingthymeforhealth Feb 20, 2013

    Good idea adding broccoli like the soup! I made a butternut squash mac n cheese too that I was going to post tonight. It must be something in the water making us crave squash in our mac n cheese. 🙂

    Joanne Feb 20, 2013

    Cheese and squash are the best! the two really compliment each other perfectly so that you barely even realize you’re not eating full fat mac and cheese!

    Erin @ The Speckled Palate Feb 20, 2013

    Oh my goodness, girl. You had me sold with it being mac and cheese a little healthier… and then you had to go and make the comparison to Stouffer’s Mac ‘n Cheese, which was byfar one of my favorite unhealthy/comfort foods during childhood and into college. I haven’t had it in years, but I want to make this now so I can reminisce without feeling too guilty. 😉

    Thanks for sharing this! I cannot wait to give it a try!

      Kelly Feb 20, 2013

      I wasn’t even going for Stouffers but when I took a bite, I was ridiculous happy about it 🙂 This is definitely going to be something I make all of the time

    Nina Feb 19, 2013

    Wow this looks great. Lovely recipe…perfect way to add veggies and kids will never know. I am gona try this for my little one….thanks for sharing this:)

    Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen Feb 19, 2013

    My mouth is literally watering. I’m definitely trying this recipe next time I have friends over. That way I don’t eat it all! 😉

      Kelly Feb 19, 2013

      Ha! I quickly put the rest into containers for lunch after Josh and I each took a portion, couldn’t trust myself! Let me know if you try it out

    Colleen Feb 19, 2013

    Butternut squash mac and cheese is definitely in my top three all-time types of mac and cheeses! Your version looks fantastic!

    Becky @ Olives n Wine Feb 19, 2013

    Oh I love butternut squash! I bet it is delicious in a macaroni and cheese recipe.

      Kelly Feb 19, 2013

      It adds a wonderful flavor, but also (kind of unexpectedly) adds a richness to the cheese sauce, as well!

    angela@anotherbiteplease Feb 18, 2013

    this is such a great idea to add in this recipe…i’ve done the pasta with broccoli and cheese…and now add butternut..gotta try!

    Erin | The Law Student's Wife Feb 18, 2013

    LOVE butternut squash in pretty much everything, including mac n cheese. Comforting AND healthy. Bonus!

    Julia Feb 18, 2013

    Gasp! I’ve been wanting to try butternut squash mac for some time now and yours looks like it turned out fantastically! I love the added nutrients, the broccoli…the cheese…I love how deliciously great for you this dish is!! Brilliant thinking and another tasty “hidden veggies” dish!

    thatskinnychickcanbake Feb 18, 2013

    This looks so rich and decadent…who would guess that it’s full of nutritious ingredients? Well done!

    Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry Feb 18, 2013

    Butternut squash mac and cheese is my favorite! It doesn’t make you feel as if you need to take a nap afterwards.

      Kelly Feb 18, 2013

      Thanks! Hope you try it out 🙂

    cleaneatingveggiegirl Feb 18, 2013

    I LOVE butternut squash mac and cheese. I made a vegan version a little while back and it was such a success. The sweetness of the squash makes it so, so tasty!

      Kelly Feb 18, 2013

      I never realized how delightful the flavor combo was until recently. I feel like I’ve been missing out!

    Sally Feb 18, 2013

    I simply LOVE butternut squash mac and cheese! I’ve never added broccoli though. Now I’m wondering why. The extra veggie for a nutrition kick and for a nice green color to break up the orange. I am in love with this!

    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel Feb 18, 2013

    Good god, woman. I am salivating! I LOOOOVE butternut squash. And in mac and cheese? Tooootally genius.

      Kelly Feb 18, 2013

      I’m so glad you like squash! Everytime I post a recipe like this I get a little afraid someone will say “Yuck, seriously? Leave the veggies out of my mac and cheese!”

    crazyforcrust Feb 18, 2013

    I should totally try this! Delish. 🙂

    Em @ Love A Latte Feb 18, 2013

    What a fun recipe and easy to make vegan!! Great idea 🙂

      Kelly Feb 18, 2013

      I planned on experimenting with nutritional yeast in this recipe, but it just didn’t happen. I promise to figure out a delicious vegan version ASAP (without the super processed fake cheeses)

      Kelly Feb 18, 2013

      PS my work filters out your blog as having “potentially damaging content”. Not sure what that’s about because I’ve gone on my phone and on my home computer and never had a problem.

        Em @ Love A Latte Feb 18, 2013

        Thanks for letting me know that – that does not make me happy! I have no idea why that’s the case…I will be looking into that with my site. I need to experiment with nutritional yeast as well!!

          Kelly Feb 18, 2013

          Let me know if you figure anything out. I just realized the same thing is happening to a work friend. (can’t access her own blog while at work! A little extra annoying!)

            Em @ Love A Latte Feb 19, 2013

            I’ve been thinking about this cheesy recipe for the last 24 hours – must make it soon! haha

            Kelly Feb 20, 2013

            ha! Let me know if you try it out. PS my work computer will let me go to your blog now! 🙂