Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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We’re about to head into PEAK fall cooking season and butternut squash mac and cheese needs to be on your mind and probably on your Thanksgiving table!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Here’s the thing – I’m not really into “hiding” vegetables in Poppy’s food or any of the kids I’ve cooked for in my past life as a private chef. I always want kids to be able to learn what they’re eating and appreciate the different colors, textures, etc. That said, blending the butternut squash into the cheese sauce of this mac and cheese is straight-up luscious and delish, and we all need it in our lives. The butternut squash makes the sauce creamy and colorful – you’ll be obsessed. 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese questions… let’s get into it!

Q: How to make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

  • Arrange the butternut squash, shallots, and garlic on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer into a 425° F oven and roast for 25-30 minutes until the squash is fork tender.
  • While the butternut squash is roasting, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Once the squash is tender, remove and transfer to a blender with the garlic and shallots with chicken stock. Blend until smooth. Add the cream, cheese, nutmeg, and reserved cooking liquid and continue to blend. Once smooth, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add to the cooked pasta. And serve with more parmesan, herbs, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Q: Can you freeze Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

A: Sure can! Once the recipe is done, transfer the mixture to an airtight container and freeze. When ready to serve, transfer the pasta to the fridge to thaw for a few hours and reheat in a saucepan or a microwave. You can also reserve only the sauce and freeze it in an airtight container. Then defrost in a saucepan or microwave when ready to serve and add pasta.

Q: What cheese do I use for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

A: The key here is to use a cheese that melts really easily. I like to use parmesan, but you could also substitute it with Cheddar, Pepperjack, Gouda, Fontina, or Gruyere.

Q: What to serve with Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

A: I like to serve Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with a protein like Grilled Chicken and a vegetable like Crispy Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Garlic Butter Broccoli.

More Mac and Cheese Recipe Ideas:

  • Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta – A fresh spin on classic Alfredo pasta. It’s just some steamed cauliflower that gets pureed in the blender with some milk, brown butter, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Top it with some fried sage and parmesan cheese, and Voila! It’s the perfect thing to serve this time of year because it feels impressive, but it’s actually quite easy!
  • Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese – This super Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese will rock your world. The cheese sauce is uber cheesy and creamy. The buttered panko topping gives it that extra crunch you’re looking for. The thyme brings it up another level so you can feel a tiny bit fancy. The cheeses used are easily found at any market, so you don’t have to search for any kind of fancy cheese. And it makes for incredible leftovers if you are lucky enough to wind up with any!
  • Spinach Artichoke Mac and Cheese – It’s your fav game day dip (spinach dip) meets mac and cheese. And it is absolutely the right thing to do.
  • Italian Mac and Cheese Bake – You only need a few ingredients: pasta (any short variety will work), tomato sauce, plenty of onions and garlic to give it a good base, and LOTS OF CHEESE. Pretty simple right? And it comes together in under 30 minutes to make for an impressive dinner that really was no sweat off your back. 
  • Four Cheese Stovetop Mac and Cheese – This Stovetop Mac and Cheese comes together so quickly and only requires 1 pot!! I know – 1 pot! Can you even?
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is so creamy and delish! It's a great quick and easy weeknight meal that everyone is sure to love.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes (about 4 cups once cubed)
  • 2 shallots halved
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cups chicken stock plus more as needed
  • 1 pound small elbow pasta
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Serve with:

  • Grated parmesan
  • Fresh herbs like thyme, basil, chives, or parsley

Instructions
 

  • On a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange the butternut squash, shallots, garlic and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer into a 425-degree oven and roast for 25-30 minutes until the squash is fork tender.
  • While the butternut squash is roasting, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
  • Once the squash is tender, remove and transfer to a blender with the garlic and shallots with chicken stock. Blend until smooth. Add the cream, cheese nutmeg and reserved cooking liquid and continue to blend. Once smooth, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add to the cooked elbows.
  • Serve with more parmesan, herbs and freshly cracked black pepper.

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