Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

5 from 22 votes

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a tasty 30-minute homemade cheesy pasta dish with a bit of subtle sweetness from the butternut squash. A wonderful twist on classic Macaroni and Cheese.

Scoop of Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese from a bowl

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese | Dreamy!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is what dreams are made of. Sweet from the squash, salty and creamy from the cheese, and all with a nice bite from the pasta. Like Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, this is a slightly healthier recipe, but not because of all the cheese!

Main Ingredients Needed

My guess is you probably have to go shopping for butternut squash and some different types of cheese for this recipe, but other than that, all of the other ingredients are pantry staples. Here’s what you need to make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese:

  • Pasta – I used rotini pasta but the traditional elbow noodle works too.
  • Butter, Onion + Garlic – this is the base of the sauce, lots of simple good flavor here.
  • Butternut Squash – this is a winter squash that has a slightly sweet nutty flavor.
  • Chicken Stock – if you want this to be a vegetarian meal, consider using vegetable broth instead.
  • Cheddar Cheese, Mozzarella + Parmesan Cheese – I used three types of cheese in this recipe but feel free to swap them out for other kinds or use less overall.
  • Salt, Pepper + Nutmeg – simple seasonings to bring out the flavor.
  • Milk – this fills out the rest of the creamy cheesy sauce!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Variations

Now that you’re ready to make the pasta and sauce, consider making some changes to my Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Add Protein: consider adding a protein to this meal such as shredded chicken, bacon, or a good quality sausage!
  • More Veggies: look through your fridge and see what you have on hand. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or even asparagus all sound great.
  • Gluten-Free: the sauce is already naturally gluten-free so just make sure your pasta is and you’ve got yourself a super yummy GF dinner.

If you love Butternut Squash and pasta be sure to check out these recipes: Crockpot Butternut Squash Alfredo, Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce, 30-Minute Butternut Squash Pasta, and Pan Fried Sesame Butternut Squash Noodles.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese in a pan

How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I opted for making this without flour because I ran out but feel free to make a roux and stir all the cheese into that. For full details on how to make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese see the recipe card down below.

Cook Pasta

Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions. Strain in a colander when ready to do so and set aside.

Saute Veggies + Mash (Optional)

Dice up some onion pretty finely along with some garlic and butternut squash. So you’re going to want to saute all these veggies in butter until the squash starts to soften and the onions get a little color on them.

To the veggies, add in some chicken broth and let this reduce by half. Then if you like, mash this all up so it mixes in well to the overall sauce. Totally optional step that I took so my daughter wouldn’t know there was something different in with the pasta.

Add Cooked Pasta + Make Sauce

Stir in the cooked pasta and start stirring in the cheese bit by bit. I used cheddar, mozzarella, and real parmesan.

So, once you get all the cheese in, add in some milk too. You may notice a big ol’ glob of cheese get melty in the middle, but as you stir and add more milk, a sauce will start to form and bring everything together. It may not seem like it’s coming together and your life might feel like it’s going to end, but I promise it will work! Keep stirring!

After about 3 minutes, it should be all ready to eat! Top with nutmeg, salt, and pepper then serve.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese in a bowl

More Mac and Cheese Recipes to Try!

If you loved this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe, I just know you’ll swoon over these ones too!

Oh, did I mention this was super cheesy?!

You guys will just DIE over Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese! Dish it up and dive on in! Feel free to make it look pretty with parsley.

The printable recipe card is below, I hope you guys enjoy this one! We love love loved it!! 🙂

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
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5 from 22 votes

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a tasty 30-minute homemade cheesy pasta dish with a bit of subtle sweetness from the butternut squash.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1/2 pound cooked pasta {such as macaroni or rotini}
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 large onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups butternut squash diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese grated
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 1-1 1/2 cups milk


  • Saute onions, garlic and squash in butter over medium heat. Cook until tender and lightly browned, stirring as you go, about 6 minutes.
    Cooking butternut squash with onions and garlic
  • Pour in chicken stock and reduce liquid by half. If desired, mash the squash and onions together using a potato masher to help dissolve into the sauce.
    Cooking butternut squash
  • Pour in cooked pasta and the cheeses little by little, stirring as you go. Pour in splashes of milk if needed to thin out melted cheese to create sauce. After all the cheese is melted into the pot, continue stirring and adding in milk. At first there may seem like a big wad of cheese melted in the middle, but as you keep stirring and adding in the milk bit by bit, it should come together to form a very cheesy sauce.
    Butternut Macaroni and Cheese
  • Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.
    Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese


Calories: 635kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 877mg | Potassium: 591mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 8660IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 779mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash mac and cheese
5 from 22 votes

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Recipe Rating

78 Responses
  1. Nicole (MyLoveForCooking)

    This looks super delicious. It is the tastiest Butternut Mac and cheese (I just love cheese too) 🙂 I have seen yet! I like the idea to mash up the butternut for my little lovie too. Great! Thanks.

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  3. Andrea

    5 stars
    I just made this tonight and passed it off on my two teenagers. They didn’t even notice the butternut squash! I really wanted to tell them, but I knew if I did, they would never eat it again. I made it earlier in the day and added some crushed ritz crackers on the top before I reheated it in the oven. It was AMAZING!

  4. Pauline

    5 stars
    I was a little skeptical when looking at the picture. Maybe the rotini and the stringiness of the cheese looked nothing like the texture of creamy baked, southern comfort, macaroni and cheese. However, it is delicious! I used macaroni and 3 cups of squash. 2 cups of broth and added milk a little at time along with pasta and cheese. Stirred with a wisk the whole time. I even threw in some fresh spinach to cook down with squash. You can’t tell that it wasn’t baked. It is creamy not stringy or grainy. Excellent recipe. My 20 month old and my husband loved it!

  5. fall — Lauren + Adam

    […] Last night we made this delicious butternut squash mac and cheese. We kind of doubled it, but I think we went overboard on the cheesiness. check it out here. […]

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  10. Gem

    As a newbie vegetarian, I’m wondering what would be a good substiturion for the chicken broth…cause other than that, this recipe looks awesome

  11. Stephanie

    5 stars
    I made this as a side dish yesterday and it was absolutely delicious! It also wasn’t difficult to make. The cheese never even clumped in the middle too.

  12. Josie

    I haven’t had a chance to go here yet but I hear Otto’s Sausage Kitchen is super good. https://www.ottossausage.com/

  13. Sarah

    Love the idea of butternut squash in Mac and Cheese! Have you ever tried it with pumpkin? My guys HATE anything squash, so I’m not sure if I could slide this by them…I just might have to try it though. 😉

  14. Heidi

    Try Otto’s Sausage Kitchen in Portland (ottossausage.com) for some good meats! No fillers or additives!
    Their Kitchen Sink Sandwich is Heaven on Earth!

  15. Kathy

    Oh goodness, gooey and cheesy macaroni and cheese wins my heart all the time! I really love the photos where the cheese sticks onto the spoon and fork!

  16. Kathy in Portland

    The mac and cheese looks yummy!

    Here’s a great little European deli / store / bakery / cafe for you in Portland – great stuff! http://www.edelweissdeli.com/

    Also, Gartner’s Meat Market always has great lunch meat / deli meats and cheeses and lots of other great stuff – http://www.gartnersmeats.com/

  17. Ambika

    Hey Lauren, I am here for the first time! And I am delighted, love this recipe, will have to try it soon! Glad to be your new follower 🙂

  18. Anna @ hiddenponies

    Ok, I now must have some double butter Brie…oh man, I love cheese waaaay too much. This looks TO DIIIIE FOR. I did something similar recently with bacon added…can never go wrong with bacon 🙂

  19. Erin

    Oh my goodness look at all those strings of cheese coming off the pasta!! I don’t want what I packed for lunch anymore.

  20. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau

    I love anything that skips the whole roux step – too fussy. The addition of butternut squash here takes it over the top for me.

  21. CouponClippingCook

    Love the idea of including the butternut squash with the pasta and cheese. I love cheese too! This sounds delicious and what beautiful pictures too.

  22. Sheena B

    I have to agree with you…Ottawa deli meats, some brie and fresh baguette….yummm….will definitely have to try this recipe. Maybe I can get my other half to finally eat some squash!

  23. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    Oh that sauce….I want to just make this for the sauce alone! It would be fabulous over anything!

  24. Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I seriously want to go to Paris right now and live on bread and cheese…. but that isn’t happening lol. This will have to do:-)

  25. Amy Badey

    Since my older son only ever wants Mac and cheese, I’ve been adding winter squash to it for a whole. In fact, an easier option is to use frozen, already puréed squash and just stir it right into your cheese sauce. I always have a few packages in my freezer (that and spinach because you can stir it into just about anything to get an extra boost of veggies). You can also get reduced fat cheese and use a very sharp cheddar to get more cheesy taste with less actual cheese. Another way to boost the healthfulness in your Mac and cheese is to use Ronzoni Smart Taste or Barilla Whole Grain pasta for more protein and fiber. Can you tell I’ve become a bit of a sneaky healthy M&C expert? 😉

  26. Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk

    I’m addicted to cheese! I’m absolutely loving this idea for stovetop butternut squash mac & cheese!

  27. Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?!

    I am such a fan of butternut squash (and pumpkin!) mac n’ cheese! I love this simple stove-top version. Will definitely be giving this a try!

  28. Amanda

    This recipe looks amazing. I have this problem though that everytime I make mac’n’cheese or broccoli cheese soup with real cheddar, the sauce ends of having a grainy consistency. This has happened both with pre-shredded and with buying the block of cheese and shredding it myself.
    Any pointers to prevent this would be helpful.

    1. Hayleigh

      Try using half and half (or cream if you wanna be crazy) instead of milk and taking it off the burner as soon as it’s hot. The higher fat content prevents it from separating.

  29. Cassie

    Butternut squash is one of my favorite ways to eat mac and cheese. And I used pumpkin once this fall too. Both are amazing! I never add mozzarella though, definitely doing that next time!