Butternut squash is one of the best things about fall. It makes for a creamy and sweet dish. This butternut squash mac and cheese is comforting and cozy, a perfect dish for the drop in temperature. Because this butternut squash mac and cheese packs so much flavor, it would be a show-stopping plant-based dish at a special occasion dinner – Thanksgiving, perhaps? 

mac and cheese in a ramikin

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Check out our blog post – McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Review of Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese – for a sneak peek at one of Trader Joe’s delicious fall products. We liked Trader Joe’s version so much that we wanted to recreate our own version of this product at home. And we have to admit we got pretty close to the actual thing! This recipe is not only absolutely delicious like the frozen dish, but is also lower in sodium.

To make this recipe your own, try adding chili flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper to add a little bit of a kick to it! Maybe instead of adding heat you add a little bit of warmth by adding nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. You can also turn this into a vegan recipe by using a plant-based milk such as soy milk and using vegan cheese. Instead of peeling and roasting your own squash, you can also turn this into a short-cut recipe by using canned butternut squash pureé. We are excited to see what you come up with!

Click here to see a step-by-step video of this recipe. Check out our recipe below and let us know what you think! 

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mac and cheese in a ramikin

DIY Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe


  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced 
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ c. of vegetable broth
  • 1 t. garlic powder 
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg 
  • 1 lb. of macaroni 
  • 2 T. butter, unsalted
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. skim milk
  • 1 c. shredded Trader Joe’s Quattro Formaggio cheese
  • ½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Start by peeling and cutting the squash into cubes. Slice the onion. Layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast the squash and onions in the oven for 30-40 minutes. 
  3. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and transfer to a blender with vegetable broth. Season with garlic powder and nutmeg. 
  4. Start boiling water and cook the macaroni until it is al dente. Drain. 
  5. Start by melting the butter in a pot and add flour. Mix it together with a whisk until it forms a paste. 
  6. Add in skim milk and continue to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in butternut squash puree and ½ cup of Quatro Frommagio and ½ cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Stir in the macaroni noodles. 
  8. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with the other ½ cup of Quattro Frommagio cheese. Turn the oven on to broil and bake in the oven for 3-5 minutes until it begins to golden.

Keywords: butternut squash mac and cheese

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.