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Up close photo of Butternut Mac and Cheese.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is the ultimate healthy cozy comfort food that is also perfect for Holiday meals. The butternut squash takes the place of the traditional béchamel sauce but is no less luxurious.
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Healthy Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 368kcal
Author Heather


  • 1 medium butternut squash *peeled, deseeded and cubed See Note #1 below
  • 1 medium brown onion (aka yellow onion) *diced, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves *chopped
  • 1 bay leaf See Note #2 below
  • 4 cups chicken broth *or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk See Note #3 below
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper *see "Making Kid Friendly Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese" section above for less spicy alternatives.
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar
  • 1 pound pasta


Cooking Squash

  • In a large pot sauté onions in olive oil over medium high heat until lightly translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.
  • To the onions and garlic add the bay leaf, butternut squash and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling lower heat to medium low, cover and cook until squash is fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Drain the squash into a colander placed over a bowl to reserve the broth. Remove bay leaf.

Butternut Mac and Cheese

  • About halfway through cooking the squash place a large pot of water on to boil. Once boiling, cook the pasta to al dente following the directions on the package.
  • Transfer cooked squash back into original pot. To the squash add milk, salt, pepper, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and sage. Bring to a simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender (See Note #4 below), process squash until smooth. Add in just enough of the reserved broth to loosen the consistency to a thick soup.
  • Turn off the heat and add cheese. Stir well.
  • Add cooked pasta and stir well.


Recipe Notes
Note #1- Once the butternut squash is peeled, deseeded and cubed it will be about 2 pounds. 
Note #2- Use 2 bay leaves if small. 
Note #3- Low-fat, nonfat and dairy free milks may be substituted but will not be as creamy as whole milk. 
Note #4- For an extra smooth sauce transfer to a high speed blender rather than using an immersion blender. 


Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 817mg | Potassium: 533mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8342IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 315mg | Iron: 2mg