Healthy Mac and Cheese

A Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe so creamy and cheesy, you’ll never guess the sauce is mostly butternut squash! This one is worth trying.

January isn’t over yet! In the spirit of converting my favorite comfort foods to something I can comfortably eat more often, I’m proud to present to you this Healthy Mac and Cheese.

I got the idea from Martha Stewart, but one look at her recipe reviews and I knew there was work to be done.

The end results are truly delicious – SERIOUSLY. I’m not going to ask you to eat cheese sauce made with butternut squash if it’s going to make you mad at me.

A Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe so creamy and cheesy, you'll never guess the sauce is mostly butternut squash! This one is worth trying.

How to make Healthy Mac and Cheese

Start by boiling peeled and diced butternut squash until tender. Transfer to a blender, but save the cooking water. You’ll use it to boil your noodles, too. Scrappy.

Meanwhile, sweat some onions in butter. Those go in the blender too along with milk and water. Puree until smooth. You get a thick, silky-smooth sauce without any flour.

Add this back to your pot and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then fold in the noodles.

A Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe so creamy and cheesy, you'll never guess the sauce is mostly butternut squash! This one is worth trying.

How to Make Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

To make this recipe gluten free, just substitute GF pasta. Since there’s no flour in the sauce, you don’t have to make any substitutions there.

Save this Healthy Mac and Cheese to your “Main Dishes” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

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A Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe so creamy and cheesy, you'll never guess the sauce is mostly butternut squash! This one is worth trying.
5 from 1 vote
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Healthy Mac and Cheese

A Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe so creamy and cheesy, you'll never guess the sauce is mostly butternut squash! This one is worth trying.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 372 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash peeled and cubed, about 1 pound
  • 16 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni (or gluten free macaroni)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • parsley chopped, for garnish, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, bring 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil. Add squash and cook until fork tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and transfer to blender.

  2. Return water to boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add onions and cook until softened and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to blender.

  4. To the blender, add milk, and 1/2 cup water, and puree until completely smooth and creamy. This should yield about 4 cups sauce. 

  5. Return sauce to Dutch oven set over low heat. Stir in cheese until melted and season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Fold in noodles and thin with more milk or water as necessary.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

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3 comments

  1. Interesting twist. Will have to try. Tip on processing any squash. Poke some holes it the thing, and microwave until getting tender or until done. It makes it so much easier and safer to slice and dice without the need for a machete to cleave the thing. If divining in half, or serving in the half-shell, as in acorn squash, microwave just until it begins to soften on the outside, then cut in half and bake.

    • This is a great idea! I know people who literally cannot cut a squash in half because it’s just too hard/dangerous/exhausting. Thank you Dave. You always have the best tips! You’re so hired.


  2. This is awesome! My family can’t get enough of this…which makes me happy and look like an awesome cook…and they don’t even know squash is in it!

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