Baked Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Baked Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese. Creamy and delicious macaroni and cheese without butter, milk or tons of cheese!
I have an unhealthy obsession with cheese. I know all too well to moderate my cheese intake, but children however don’t know this. My daughter asks for macaroni and cheese every single day. She would also eat it every single day if it was up to her. By swapping out the loads of cheese, cream, butter and flour with butternut squash you still keep the creaminess, but lose most of the bad stuff. While there’s still macaroni in this recipe we feel like it’s okay since we’re loading it up with squash! Don’t like squash? Try out our Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese or add a nutrient packed Mushroom Kale and Spinach Puree and call it hulk macaroni and cheese, your kiddos will love it!
I don’t boil the squash as I like to keep all the vitamins and nutrients IN the squash and not in the boiled water. Steaming is also another great option!
read all about butternut squash here
You can use any type of pasta you want or even veggie noodles. We still use just a little bit of cheese to give it that flavor that we all know and love. Plus with the little bit of added cheese you really still get that ooey gooey stretch that macaroni and cheese is known for. Mix it well using a spatula.
I like to make it on the stove top and then finish it off in the oven. I use a tiny bit of panko breadcrumbs for the top to get that crunchy top that many crave! You could bake it longer or even broil it for an extra crunchy top. My family actually prefers it just to the point of melting.
The next time your family asks for macaroni and cheese, try this healthy and satisfying Baked Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese. I’m sure they’ll be asking for seconds!
Baked Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 pound butternut squash
- 1/4 medium onion
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounce macaroni pasta, dry
- 2 ounce cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/8 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 4 cup spinach
- 6 tablespoon Italian Salad Dressing, Light
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Wash, peel, and cut butternut squash. Chop onion.
- Toss the butternut squash and onions with olive oil and place onto a lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.
- While veggies are roasting, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Once veggies are done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Add to a blender and puree.
- Mix together the macaroni, butternut squash puree, most of the shredded cheddar cheese, and most of the Parmesan.
- Once fully mixed, place into an 8×8 oven-safe dish and top with remaining cheeses and Panko.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.
- Make a salad with the spinach and halved cherry tomatoes, topped with dressing. Serve on the side.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Why do you use ounces as measurement? Guess I have to go buy a scale now cuz I really want to try this recipe for my kids.
Haha… mostly because that is the way cheese is sold.. by the ounce! 🙂 You can definitely estimate (or google). It says one ounce is about 1/8 of a cup.
Good luck Leah!
Have you tried freezing the squash/onion after you puree it. I’m assuming I can freeze that part and grab small amounts for a single serving and add the rest and cook in small, single servings. I’m trying to leave lots of options that are easy to throw together for when my mother is watching our child for a straight week!
We used this recipe for a kids cooking class at Hyvee – it came out awesome! Thank you!
Thanks for the great feedback Alicia! We’re so glad it turned out!
I cooked the butternut squash and onion in the microwave to speed up the prep. A delicious pasta bake. The kids won’t normally touch anything containing butternut squash, but did eat half of their portions of this!
Three out of four family members gave it a thumbs up. I still couldn’t get my pickiest eater to eat it but she at least tried it. One family member could not even tell that it was squash and not cheese. Win!
I loved it and so did my 4 year old! Great tip about microwaving the squash and onion to speed up the prep. ?? Quick, easy and tasty.
Tastes great and very easy to make!
Sooooo yummy and you feel good about eating this ??
Needs some kind of seasonings
I thought this was delicious!! My 3 year old was not tricked. He tasted the squash right away and was not happy
Very yummy. We added some Cajon spices to serve.
I found this macaroni dish dry. I added some 1/2 & 1/2 and some white wine, and it still need more moisture. The taste was fine. I will have to add more liquid when reheating.