A healthier alternative bursting with flavor, this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is my new go-to fall recipe!

I’m, like, super into healthier versions of fall comfort food. I mean first of all, fall flavors are the best. The BEST.

And secondly, it’s totally possible to eat comforting, stick-to-your-ribs foods without over-indulgence. Case in point: this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. 

A healthier alternative bursting with flavor, this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is my new go-to fall recipe!

This recipe takes me back to my childhood, when my sister and I would have playdates with our friends Lil and Devon. Their mom would make us Annie’s mac and cheese mixed in with peas and carrots for dinner, and it. was. the. best.

Today we’re swapping out peas and carrots for an herbaceous butternut squash puree. It’s seasoned with sage and thyme, giving the macaroni an instant fall feel.

A healthier alternative bursting with flavor, this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is my new go-to fall recipe!

But like it’s still cheesy and delicious, too. I used my favorite cooking cheese, gruyere, as well as mozzarella for creaminess.

This mac and cheese could be finished on the stove if you’re feeling lazy, but for presentation I topped it off with more cheese and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. Into the oven for 5 minutes et voilà. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese fit for a King. Or Queen.

A healthier alternative bursting with flavor, this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is my new go-to fall recipe!

So my second Food Photography Workshop starts today in Napa, CA, and I’m SO excited. I’ll be spending the weekend with 12 lovely attendees in the most stunning house I think I’ve ever seen. Gah. I can’t wait to show you guys.

Stay tuned, and happy eating!

A healthier alternative bursting with flavor, this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is my new go-to fall recipe!A healthier alternative bursting with flavor, this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is my new go-to fall recipe!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
for the roasted butternut squash
  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
for the mac
  • 1 pound macaroni shells
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 6 oz Le Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sage, minced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place butternut squash on a large roasting pan. Toss with fresh sage, thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the squash is fork-tender and begins to turn a darker yellow orange color. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large blender, puree squash with chicken or vegetable stock. If puree is too thick, add in an additional ¼ cup stock. Reserve 2½ cups of squash puree for macaroni. If you have any left over, you can use it for something else!
  4. Cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. You want the macaroni to be slightly undercooked, as it will continue to cook once it is incorporated into everything else. Drain and set aside.
  5. Set oven to "broil." Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.
  6. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, until mixture turns fragrant and light golden brown. Whisk in milk, salt, and black pepper, then cook until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add in reserved butternut squash puree and mascarpone, stirring to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, then add in half of the Le Gruyere and half of the mozzarella. Stir until cheese is melted completely. Add in cooked pasta and stir to combine.
  8. Pour into prepared baking pan. Combine breadcrumbs with thyme and sage. Top macaroni first with remaining Le Gruyere and mozzarella, then with breadcrumb mixture.
  9. Broil for 3-5 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cheese melts completely. Serve immediately!

 

15 comments

Reply

Oh em gee Sarah, this looks INCREDIBLE. Mac and cheese always reminds me of my childhood too. Those boxes were my best friend! I’m ALL about the butternut squash lately too! Soooo good.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Awwww thank you!!!! <3

Reply

YUUUUUUUM! this is DEF going on my list of things to make. can’t wait to try it, & can’t wait to see the photos from your workshop! xo

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Giiiirl I’m still counting on you to make it out to one!

Reply

sounds delicious. At what point do I add the squash puree? With the cheese or before?
Thank you!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Oops! Recipe updated to reflect when!

Reply

Hooray for fall comfort food, Sarah! I looove a good squashy mac & cheese topped with bread crumbs (worth the extra time in the oven IMHO)! Gorgeous work my dear! congratulations on your workshop in Napa… I look forward to seeing your pics!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thanks Traci! Can’t wait to share 🙂

Reply

this looks amazing! i still haven’t gotten around to making a mac n cheese! thinking for my next dinner party! perfect for fall! can’t wait to see pics from your Napa workshop! have fun!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Eeee! Can’t wait. Thanks Georgie!

Reply

I love a healthy-er version of comforting food. These mac and cheese look so indulging and delicious! The photos are incredible! looking forward to seeing the pictures of the workshop!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Thank you Christie! So appreciate it!

Reply

Can’t wait to try it, still summer weather here in Chicago, have to wait for fall weather to heat the kitchen up with the oven again.
Please tell me what brand pan you used in the photo??? I love ❤️ it and want one!
Enjoy Napa
Beth

Sarah | Broma Bakery
Reply

Hi Beth! Thank you so much! I used a Falcon Enamelware pan from Amazon of all places!

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