This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe is easy and delicious! This recipe is great for an easy weeknight dinner or any tailgate event in the fall.
Butternut squash and Mac and cheese are a delicious combination! We love this easy recipe that levels up standard Mac and cheese to a fall classic.
This recipe has roasted butternut squash cubes a well as pumpkin puree to give the Mac and cheese flavor and color. It's delicious year round, but especially in the fall!
My favorite part is the butter cracker crust that sets this recipe apart. It's SO delicious that you'll need to go back for seconds!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Delicious - This butternut squash Mac and cheese recipe is so delicious. Each bite is packed with flavor that your family will truly love! It's really a perfect dish for the whole family. Great for entertaining too!
Approachable - This recipe is approachable and is easy to make. Any home cook can make this dish! You'll only need a few kitchen tools to make this recipe.
Kid Friendly - This is a great recipe for adults and children! It's a great way to sneak in extra veggies into your child's meal.
Here are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:
- Butternut Squash - Cubed
- Olive Oil
- Pasta - I recommend a smaller pasta for this Mac and cheese recipe
- Butter - Unsalted
- Whole Milk
- Pumpkin Puree - Adds color and flavor in the recipe
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese - Shredded
- Butter Crackers - For the crunchy topping. You can also use bread crumbs if you prefer.
- Rosemary or Sage - For serving
Let's make this recipe together!
Heat oven to 350F. Grease a casserole pan and set aide.
Toss butternut squash cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, until tender.
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta and set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mix constantly for 3 minutes.
Add milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Add salt, black pepper, ¾ of the shredded cheese, pumpkin and roasted butternut squash. Add cooked pasta and mix well.
Transfer to a casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Combine 2 cups butter crackers and 2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter. Top Mac and cheese with cracker mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Expert Tips and Tricks
Here are some expert tips to make this delicious recipe perfect.
Keep Stirring the Roux - Continuously stir the rough to ensure it doesn't burn!
Complete the Meal - Complete the meal with an arugula salad and a glass of white wine!
Utilize Leftovers - Use leftovers for meal prep. Add grilled chicken and a handful of spinach or arugula for a delicious prepared lunch for the entire family!
Here is some kitchen equipment you will need for this recipe. You can find all of these products on Amazon.
Large Pot - This large dutch oven is perfect for making large recipes like this one. And the best part - you can make the Mac and cheese in this pot and then also bake it for easy clean up!
Pasta - These are the cavatelli I used in this recipe. It's such a great shape for Mac and cheese!
Pumpkin Bowls - I can't resist - these pumpkin bowls are absolutely adorable and would be great to serve this recipe in.
Here are some common recipe substitutions and variations for this easy recipe.
Make it Vegan - Make a vegan butternut squash Mac n cheese by using oat milk or cashew milk, vegan cheese, vegan butter, and nutritional yeast in this recipe. You can kick up the flavor with onion powder and garlic powder as well.
Cheese Variation - You can substitute white cheddar cheese, gruyere cheese, or mozzarella cheese in this recipe. You can also top with parmesan cheese!
Squash Variation - You can use butternut squash puree instead of roasted butternut squash in this recipe if you prefer a smooth butternut cheese sauce. Or, remove the butternut chunks and make pumpkin Mac and cheese with only the pumpkin puree.
Frequently Asked Questions
Butternut squash Mac and cheese is cheesy, savory, slightly sweet, and nutty. It's a great blend for off of these flavors that are a perfect dish for the falls season.
Butternut squash is delicious with a variety of sweet and savory flavors. It's great with brown sugar and cinnamon, but also delicious with sage, cheese, and pasta like in this recipe.
Small pasta shapes are best for Mac and cheese. Rigatoni, shells, cavatappi, and elbows are all excellent choices for Mac and cheese.
Recipe Storage and Reheating
Here are storage and reheating instructions for this recipe.
Refrigerator Storage: Store in an airtight continuer and eat leftovers within 4-5 days.
Freezer Storage: Freeze in a freezer-safe, airtight container and keep for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator and reheat as instructed below.
Reheating Instructions: The best way to reheat this recipe is to heat in a skillet with a little olive oil over low heat until warm. You can also microwave with a little water added to the bowl.
Other Recipes to Try
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 4 cups butternut squash cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound small pasta
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 cups whole milk warmed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated (about 4½ cups)
- 2 cups butter crackers crushed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Fresh rosemary or sage for serving
- Heat oven to 350F. Grease a casserole pan and set aide.
- Toss butternut squash cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, until tender.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mix constantly for 3 minutes.
- Add milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Add salt, black pepper, ¾ of the cheese, pumpkin, and roasted butternut squash. Add cooked pasta and mix well.
- Transfer to a casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
- Combine 2 cups butter crackers and 2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter. Top Mac and cheese with cracker mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.