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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese makes a wonderful dish during the winter months.  Every now and then we crave for a dish of mac and cheese, only this one is even better.  Oh, and it’s positively delicious.  It contains 2 kinds of cheeses, one pound of butternut squash, and it’s made on stove-top!  The butternut squash is completely melted and hidden in this mac and cheese making it smooth and creamy.

I think you will all agree when I say mac and cheese = comfort food!

With this recipe, you will need 4 cups of cubed butternut squash.

Butternut squash is a winter squash.  It is considered part of the pumpkin family, with a similar sweet and nutty taste to it, only this squash has a very light colored skin, almost pinkish or tan color, but with a deep orange pulp and flesh inside.

Loaded with nutrients like all other squashes, butternut can be cooked in so many ways.  We have made delicious recipes using it, including our creamy butternut squash soup,  butternut squash risotto, along with a few different side dishes and casseroles.  

 

A Kitchen Tip:  Some supermarkets will sell butternut squash already chopped and cubed, and that saves so much time!

 

 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Ingredients and NOTES for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.

To make this butternut squash mac and cheese, you will need:

1.  Butternut Squash:  1 small butternut squash, about 1 pound, or 4 cups of diced or cubed.

2.  Fresh Herbs:  use only fresh sage, about 8 leaves to flavor the sauce.  Fresh sage gives a lovely, subtle flavor to this mac and cheese.  If you don’t like sage, you may use a different herbs like basil, rosemary or thyme for flavoring.

3.  Cheeses:  2 kinds of cheeses, 8-ounces of sharp cheddar cheese grated, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.  I prefer to grate a block of cheddar, at least 75% of it,  and then I finely chop the rest.  Freshly grated cheddar melts instantly and tastes better than the already grated and packaged cheese.

4.  Vegetables: one small onion and 2 garlic cloves are sauteed with the butternut squash.

5.  Olive Oil:  just enough to saute the vegetables.

6.  Liquids:  water, vegetable broth and skim milk are needed to make the sauce.  Don’t worry, if you don’t have any vegetable broth, you can use more water in its place when simmering the butternut squash.

7.  Seasonings:  salt, black pepper and a dash of nutmeg is all you need.

8.  Pasta:  I used semolina mini fusilli pasta, but you can use any small pasta.

 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Directions for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese:

  • First, use a large pot to make the sauce.  Heat olive oil and saute the garlic and onion until softened.  Toss in sage leaves and simmer on low heat sauteing for about 2 minutes.  With a fork, fish and remove the sage leaves, discard them.

  • NEXT, toss in butternut squash and saute for one minute.  Pour in the water along with vegetable broth and add the salt.  Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.  Butternut squash will be softened.  Turn off heat.

  • Pour in the milk, and use an immersion hand-held blender to puree the mixture.  Or you can puree the mixture in your blender, doing it only in small batches and with a kitchen towel held on top of the blender while you pulse a few times.

  • Add both cheeses to the pureed mixture, and stir until the cheeses completely melt.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings with salt and black pepper, if needed.

  • Meanwhile, in a second large pot filled with water, add 2 teaspoons of salt; bring to a boil and toss in the fusilli pasta.  Cook the pasta until al-dente.  The pasta must be tender to the bite.  Use a large slotted spoon to scoop up the pasta and transfer to the creamy cheese sauce.  Continue until all the pasta has been transferred.

  • Stir the pasta, until it slowly absorbs the sauce.  The sauce will appear to be on the watery side, but will slowly thicken as the pasta absorbs and the mixture cools down a little.

  • Serve immediately.

 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

 

What Kind of Pasta do we use for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

Our butternut squash mac and cheese is made with mini Italian semolina fusilli pasta (aka: rotini pasta).  Small curly pasta like fusilli cooks up quickly, and it absorbs and holds this luscious creamy sauce very nicely.

With that said, keep in mind you can use a variety of small pastas with this recipe, such as: shells, mezzi rigatoni, elbows and even mini penne pasta.  Make sure the pasta is al-dente, since it will continue to cook as it mixes with the sauce.

Do not use egg noodles.  They will not work because they will get mushy and not hold up very well with the sauce.

 

 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

Your family will love our butternut squash mac and cheese.

This is a delicious dish!  The flavors in this mac and cheese recipe is what makes it so worthy to go the extra effort to make it!  It freezes well and reheats beautifully too!

An easy stove-top recipe that is ready in less than 30 minutes, makes this a great meal and a tastier version for mac and cheese; what’s not to LOVE!

ENJOY!!

 

 

 …Thanks for Pinning!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Hey everyone!  If you make our butternut squash mac and cheese, let us know and leave a comment and a star rating below.  Sharing your experience and insights will not only help those who reads them but will helps us too!

We’d love to hear from you!  Thanks again!  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

Yield: 4 to 6

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese by 2sistersrecipes.com

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese makes a wonderful dish during the winter months. A delicious dish of creamy mac and cheese is quick and easy, made on stove-top, and it's healthier for the whole family to enjoy!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced ( approx. 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1 small onion - diced ( approx. 2/3 cup)
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 cups diced butternut squash (1 pound)- diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1+ 1/3 cups of low-fat or skim milk
  • 8-ounces sharp cheddar cheese - grated
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 pound uncooked small pasta ( I used mini fusilli )

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot filled with water, add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a second large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat and add the diced onion and garlic. Stir and saute for 1 minute to soften.
  3. Toss in the sage leaves and saute for a 2 to 3 minutes to flavor the mixture. Use a fork to fish out and remove the sage leaves. Discard them.
  4. Toss in butternut squash, vegetable broth and water and salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Butternut must be softened.
  5. Turn off the heat, and pour in the milk. Use an immersion hand-held blender to blend the butternut squash to a creamy mixture. Or use a blender, only doing it in small batches, and with a kitchen towel held on top while pulsing a few times to puree the mixture.
  6. Stir in both grated cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, and a dash of nutmeg. Stir until the cheeses completely melts into the sauce. Taste the sauce and season with salt, to taste.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al-dente, tender to the bite. Mini fusilli pasta cooks up quickly, about 4 to 5 minutes, but you will need to keep on eye on it. When pasta is ready, turn off heat.
  8. Take a large slotted spoon and in small batches, transfer the pasta into the pot with the cheese mixture. Stir until well combined. The sauce will thicken as it starts to cool down. Season with fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
  9. Serve warm with some grated Parmesan cheese, at the table.
  10. Serves 4 to 6

 

You might also enjoy our Macaroni and Cheese with Pancetta and Caramelized Onions!  It’s an easy and delicious mac and cheese with smoky flavors. 

macaroni and Cheese with pancetta and Caramelized onions by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

And, our Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower, it too is a stove-top dish made quick and easy.  Best of all, the cauliflower is completely melted and hidden in this dish. 

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

 

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Thanks for stopping by!  ๐Ÿ™‚

 xo Anna and Liz

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