With just 10 ingredients, a kid favorite gets a veggie boost in this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese!
Whether you’re looking for a way to sneak more veggies into your (or your kid’s) diet or you’re simply looking for a festive side dish, this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is for you!
Now for the most part I’m a big proponent of encouraging your kids to enjoy vegetables without having to hide them in dishes. But sometimes you just want to eat a meal without negotiating. So I’m all for giving your kids’ favorite meal a sneaky veggie boost now and then!
But sneaky veggies aside, this is also a great idea for a fall or Thanksgiving side dish. It’s cheesy and creamy and rich! And the butternut squash gives it a seasonal flare.
Let me show you how to make it:
Ingredients for making Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make butternut squash mac and cheese: elbow macaroni, half of a yellow onion, butternut squash puree, whipping cream, butter, Parmesan cheese, Colby or Jack-style cheese, and sharp cheddar cheese.
Let’s pause for a moment to talk about whipping cream!
Choosing high-quality animal products is another factor that makes this mac and cheese healthier. I’m all for getting in your veggies, but of equal importance in my opinion is eating organic/grass-fed cheese, butter, cream, etc.
As you guys know, my go-to cream is Kalona SuperNatural organic whipping cream. It’s the highest quality cream that I’ve found on the market.
Here’s why I love it:
- It’s non-homogenized.
- It’s vat Pasteurized to just 145° F, which preserves more of the nutrients.
- The cream comes from cows that are on pasture for at least 120 days of the year. Plus it’s certified organic, which means the cows get zero GMO feed.
- It tastes amazing!
Here’s a quick tip: Kalona SuperNatural whipping cream tends to form a thicker layer of cream at the very top of the bottle. You can either give it a vigorous shake to mix the cream in, or scoop it off the top! My kids call this the “creamies” and fight over it. I think of it kind of like Devonshire cream!
How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese:
Back to making the mac and cheese:
First of all, you’ll want to saute the onions in a bit of butter. As you can see, I got a little carried away (I was nursing Anya while I was cooking these and it got away from me…). Actually, I really like it when the onions get a bit charred. However, you can cook them less if you prefer.
After that, remove the onions to a plate. In the same pot, cook the elbow macaroni noodles according to the package instructions. Make sure to salt the water quite generously!
Next, add the pasta back to the pan. Add the remaining ingredients.
Cover and set the pan on a very low heat for a few minutes. Give everything a good stir. You may need to cover the pan again if the cheese and butter haven’t completely melted.
Once everything is warm and melty, a lovely sauce develops.
Devour serve immediately!
- The sauce in this recipe is kissed with butternut squash. You can definitely add more puree if you wish, but just know that the flavor of the squash will be more prominent. Which is wonderful if you are already a butternut squash lover! But if you’re looking to sneak this into your kids’ diet, you might want to start with the lower amount.
- You can serve this with bacon to make it more of a main dish.
- If you’re serving this as a main dish, it will make about 3-4 servings (depending on how hungry you are). If you’re making it as a side dish, it will serve more like 8.
- Also, you could add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon to give this a spicy vibe!
- Not an onion fan? You can totally leave them out!
More Mac and Cheese Recipes:
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese gets a veggie update with butternut squash!
- 5 tbsp unsalted Kalona SuperNatural butter, divided
- 1/2 organic yellow onion, finely chopped
- 8 oz organic elbow macaroni pasta
- 4 oz organic sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 oz organic Colby or Jack-style cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup organic grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup Kalona SuperNatural whipping cream
- 1/3 cup butternut squash puree
- salt and pepper, to taste
- parsley and bacon for serving, optional
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and turning brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Fill the now-empty pot 2/3 of the way with water. Bring to a boil. Generously salt the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and return to the pan.
Add the remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Let sit for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and give everything a good stir. Continue letting it sit covered, and then stirring until it forms a smooth sauce. Serve immediately. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve with bacon to make it more of a main dish.