This indulgent dish is sure to be a family favorite. It is cheesy, comforting, and packed with squash! It tastes just as delicious and decadent as traditional mac and cheese, with the added bonus of vegetables. It’s a perfect fall dish that your kids will be asking for all season, and would even make a great addition to your Thanksgiving table. Get your kids involved pouring ingredients into the sauce, building the casserole, and sprinkling the cheese and breadcrumbs over top.
Note: If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Then return to the stove to stir in the cheese.
This recipe comes from our 2020 nutrition intern Grace Befort’s Family Friendly Cooking series. Get your kids excited about local produce and healthy food with these recipes perfect for all ages! Combine family time, fun and food as you and your little chefs make delicious, veggie-packed recipes together. Your kids will love eating their own creations, and you’ll love feeding them healthy, local produce.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium-large squash)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound macaroni pasta or other pasta of choice (we love Sunrise Flour Mill‘s heritage pasta!)
- ½ onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup Sharp Prairie Clover Cheese from Prairie Hollow Farm, shredded plus more for topping
- ½ cup Gruyere Cheese from Prairie Hollow Farm, shredded plus more for topping
- Breadcrumbs or 3-4 slices of bread
- Aged cheese from Shepherd’s Way Farm for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash, remove the seeds, and chop into 1 inch cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 25 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, cook pasta according to package, strain and set aside. Shred ½ cup of gruyere and sharp prairie cheddar cheeses, and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot oven medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the cooked butternut squash, garlic powder, vegetable stock, and whole milk. Lower the heat and using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in the shredded cheeses and stir until cheese has melted.
To make your own breadcrumbs, remove crust and chop bread slices into small pieces. Then, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and saute until golden brown.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish. Add the macaroni noodles, and pour butternut squash cheese sauce over the noodles. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top, and add additional cheese on top as desired. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
This casserole reheats great in the microwave or oven, and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. It also freezes well, so can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the freezer for several months.