Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese

This butternut squash mac and cheese is made with a super creamy butternut squash cheese sauce and baked to perfection with a savory bread crumb topping. Enjoy!

butternut squash mac and cheese in a casserole dish topped with fresh sage

Super Cheesy Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Is there a better combination!? We think not! You’re going to love this ultimate fall comfort dish that brings together the sweet and savory flavors of roasted butternut squash and CHEESE.

Specifically, a sharp cheddar cheese and a 6 cheese Italian blend from our friends at Crystal Farms Dairy Co. that creates the base for the perfect butternut squash cheese sauce.

Toss this butternut squash cheese sauce with sage and cloves infused pasta and bake it with a simple breadcrumb topping. We hope this recipe becomes a family favorite in your home for weeknight meals and holidays such as Thanksgiving.

butternut squash mac and cheese ingredients ready to be mixed together

Let’s Hear it For Crystal Farms

We’re midwesterners through and through over here at Fit Foodie Finds, which is why we’re so dang excited about this recipe collaboration with Crystal Farms, who also hails from the midwest and sources all of their dairy from family farms across the heartland.

Made with love from the midwest — just like this butternut squash mac and cheese that features two of our favorite Crystal Farms shredded cheese varieties.

Why We Love Crystal Farms

We love that farm and family is at the heart of everything Crystal Farms does — from sourcing from a collection of family dairy farms throughout the midwest to making high-quality cheese the whole family can enjoy.

Where to Find Crystal Farms Cheese

Crystal Farms cheese is available at major grocers nationwide, and if you’re in the midwest like us, you’ll likely find a great variety of their cheeses in store 😀 Check out their store locator to see exactly what’s available near you.

Varieties of Crystal Farms Cheese

Crystal Farms offers such an amazing variety of cheeses — from shreds, chunks, slices, and cheese sticks, their cheese is perfect for everything from snacks to favorite family recipes like this butternut squash mac and cheese.

butternut squash and chopped onion on a baking sheet ready to be roasted

Ingredients – What You Need

This butternut squash mac and cheese comes together with simple whole ingredients in three separate elements — the sauce, the pasta, and the breadcrumb topping.

For the Sauce

Make sure you taste test a spoonful of this incredibly delicious butternut squash cheese sauce before tossing it with the pasta — seriously! You need:

For the Breadcrumb Topping

This is a simple bread crumb topping with savory flavors that complement the flavor of the sauce and the sage-infused pasta. You need:

  • Plain bread crumbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • Dried sage leave
  • Dried thyme
  • Garlic powder

For the Pasta

This pasta is cooked to al dente in a combination of broth and water + sage and ground cloves, all of which infuse into the pasta noodles themselves for insanely amazing flavor. You need:

  • Cavatappi pasta
  • Broth
  • Water
  • Fresh sage leaves
  • Salt
  • Ground cloves 
shredded cheese being poured in a blender

How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

For the full recipe, scroll down to the recipe card for a list of ingredients and instructions.

Prep & Roast Squash, Onion, Garlic

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Combine the spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet and drizzle the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with the spices. Move the squash to one side of the pan.
  4. Place the white onion and the garlic cloves on the other side of the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
  5. Roast for 40 minutes. Flip the squash over at 20 minutes and remove the onions and garlic at 20 minutes.

Pasta Time

  1. Prepare the pasta while the butternut squash is baking. Add the broth, water, sage leaves, salt and cloves to a large pot, and bring to a boil. 
  2. Add pasta and cook until just a little under al dente.
  3. Remove 2 cups of the pasta water. You’ll use this deliciousness in the sauce later.
  4. Strain the pasta from the rest of the liquid and set aside.
bread crumb topping in a skillet

Prepare Breadcrumb Topping

  1. Prepare the breadcrumb topping. Heat a skillet over medium heat and all all of the breadcrumbs ingredients.
  2. Toast the bread crumbs until they’re golden brown. Set aside.

Blend Mac and Cheese Sauce

  1. Remove the butternut squash from the oven when it is fork tender. Use a spoon to carefully peel the skin off the butternut squash — it should come off easily! 
  2. Place all of the roasted veggies and 1 cup of the pasta water into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. 
  3. Add the cheddar cheese to the blender and blend until melted and combined. Next, add the Italian cheese blend to the blender and blend until smooth and melted. Because the squash is still warm, the cheese will melt easily when blended!
  4. Finally, add the 2% milk to the blender and blend until it’s thick and creamy.

Pro tip: If your sauce is too thick, you can add more pasta water by the tablespoon.

butternut squash sauce being poured over cavatappi noodles

Mix All Together, Now

  1. Turn the oven to broil and spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. 
  2. Add the noodles to the casserole dish and pour on the delicious cheese sauce. Mix until everything is combined.
  3. Sprinkle the bread crumb topping evenly over the pasta and place the casserole dish into the oven.

Broil Mac and Cheese

Broil the mac and cheese until the top is golden brown.

Every oven is different, but we broiled for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish & Enjoy!

Remove from the oven and garnish with freshly chopped sage leaves. Serve immediately, and enjoy with your family and friends!

butternut squash mac and cheese in a casserole dish topped with a breadcrumb topping

Easy Substitutions

  • Pasta: We love how fun cavatappi noodles are in this butternut squash mac and cheese! Rigatoni, fusilli or penne would be great options as well.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Crystal Farms has a whopping 15 varieties of cheddar cheese, and while we opted for the Wisconsin sharp cheddar variety, feel free to sub for any cheddar!
  • 6 Cheese Italian Blend: Crystal Farms also offers an asiago & parmesan blend that would lend itself nicely to this mac and cheese if you’re in need of a substitution for the 6 cheese Italian blend. Both contain saltier cheese varieties, which is crucial to the flavor of this mac!
  • Swap the Butternut Squash: feel free to use another squash-like vegetable such as pumpkin or sweet potato instead of the butternut squash. You’ll still get that sweet and savory combo with those two options.

Storage Instructions

Store this butternut squash mac and cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Reheating Mac and Cheese

The key to reheating mac and cheese is to add a little moisture (milk works great!) since the noodles continue to absorb moisture even after they’re originally cooked, and to reheat low and slow to avoid the cheese breaking down and changing texture.

Reheat in the oven

If you have time to reheat your butternut squash mac and cheese in the oven, that is a great method! Simply add a little milk (start with a tablespoon, and go up from there depending on how much mac you’re reheating!), and stir thoroughly before covering an oven-safe dish and placing in the oven at 350°F.

You’ll need 10-20 minutes of reheating time, depending on how much mac you’re reheating.

butternut squash mac and cheese in a bowl

mac and cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese combines classic mac and cheese with roasted butternut squash and garlic to make for the ultimate sweet and savory mac and cheese.

Prep: 20 minutesTotal: 20 minutes

Fat 18 Carbs 55 Protein 20

Yield 810 1x

Ingredients

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Sauce

Pasta 

  • 4 cups broth, any kind
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 16-oz. cavatappi pasta (any kind of pasta works!)

Bread Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage leave
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and pepper into a small bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Place the butternut squash on the baking sheet and drizzle the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with the spices. Rub the olive oil and spices into the butternut squash. Then, move the squash to one side of th baking sheet. 
  4. Place the white onion and the garlic cloves on the other side of the baking sheet. Drizzle with the other tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt. 
  5. Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Then, remove the garlic and onions so that they do not burn and flip the butternut squash over. Roast for another 20-30 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork-tender.
  6. Prepare the pasta while the butternut squash is baking. Add the broth, water, sage leaves, salt, and cloves to a large pot. Bring to a boil. 
  7. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just a little under al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven). 
  8. Remove 2 cups of the pasta water (discarding the sage leaves) from the pot and set aside. 
  9. Strain the pasta from the water and rinse the noodles with cold water. Set aside. 
  10. Prepare the breadcrumb topping. Heat a small skillet pan over medium heat and add all of the bread crumb topping ingredients to the skillet and mix the ingredients together. 
  11. Toast the bread crumbs until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  12. Remove the butternut squash from the oven when it is fork tender. Use a spoon to carefully peel the skin off the butternut squash (it should come off easily). 
  13. Place the butternut squash, onion, garlic, and 1 cup of the pasta water into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. 
  14. Add the cheddar cheese to the blender and blend until melted and combined. 
  15. Next, add the Italian cheese blend to the blender and blend until smooth and melted. 
  16. Finally, add the 2% milk to the blender and blend until thick and creamy. If your sauce is too thick, you can add more pasta water by the tablespoon.
  17. Turn the oven to broil and spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. 
  18. Add the noodles to the casserole dish and pour the butternut squash cheese sauce over the noodles and mix until combined.
  19. Sprinkle the bread crumb topping over the pasta. You can use all of it or as much as you would like. Place the casserole dish into the oven.
  20. Broil the mac and cheese until the top is golden brown (2-3 minutes).
  21. Remove from the oven and garnish with freshly chopped sage leaves. 

Tips & Notes

  • You remove the onions halfway through the cook time to be sure the onions don’t burn.  

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/10 Calories: 445 Sugar: 8 Sodium: 1193 Fat: 18 Carbohydrates: 55 Fiber: 5 Protein: 20 Cholesterol: 26

Author: Lee FunkeCategory: Lunch and DinnerMethod: OvenCuisine: ItalianDiet: Vegetarian

Keywords: butternut squash mac and cheese

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Crystal Farms Dairy Co. We were compensated and all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting Fit Foodie Finds!

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