Butternut Squash Mac ‘N Cheese

Posted on

Butternut squash takes center stage in this creamy, cheesy sauce. Its soft, sweet, and bright orange goodness adds depth and richness to a dish we already adore: mac & cheese. With a touch of thyme, this classic comfort food gets a fancy upgrade, bringing autumn flavors to your table that are perfect any time of year.

So, what does adding butternut squash do?

Well, it ramps up the flavor and texture of the classic dish. Blending the butternut squash with goat cheese and cheddar makes the sauce ultra-creamy, coating every pasta shell beautifully. The squash also adds a hint of sweetness and extra richness to the sauce, giving your staple meal a sophisticated, fall-inspired twist. Plus, sneaking in a hidden veggie never hurts!

What should I serve with it?

Pair this mac with some veggie sides or a refreshing salad to balance out its richness! Our Brussels sprouts salad or roasted beet goat cheese salad would add a festive touch, while sautéed mushrooms would offer a savory contrast to this slightly sweet dish. You can also serve it as a deluxe side dish to your main meal! Enjoy it alongside your chicken dinner for a creamy complement, Baked Pork Chops for a heavenly combo, or as a special Thanksgiving side to switch up your usual spread this year.

How do I store leftovers?

If you end up with any leftovers, pop them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to three days.

Butternut Squash Mac ‘N Cheese

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6


  • 4 cups 20 ounces frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 pound large shells or other short pasta


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine squash and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until liquid evaporates, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and stir until butter melts. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, until squash mixture thickens and raw flour cooks, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Add garlic powder, cayenne, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Add cheddar and goat cheese, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook 3 minutes less than package instructions. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water, and return to pot.
  • Meanwhile, transfer squash mixture to a blender and puree until smooth (you should have just over 4 cups).
  • Place the pot with cooked pasta over medium-low heat and stir in sauce until coated. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. If sauce looks thin, don’t worry—it will thicken as it cools. Add splashes of pasta water to loosen until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Enjoy your delicious mac & cheese!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating