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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Creamy butternut squash mac and cheese made with sharp cheddar cheese. Topped with buttered panko and parmesan cheese.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound mezzi rigatoni, small shells, or elbows
  • 1 pound fresh butternut squash, cubed (see note on canned)
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese ( I like Cabot Seriously Sharp)
  • 3/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk (more if needed)
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 1 sprig, fresh rosemary, leaves removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until easily pierceable with a fork with no resistance. About 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine, panko, 2 tablespoons melted butter, thyme, and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Stir to mix and set aside.
  4. Remove butternut squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender. Add pasta to the same boiling water and cook al dente. Strain and set aside.
  5. Add rosemary, milk, garlic, and 2 tablespoons melted butter to the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. The consistency should be easily pourable and very creamy. If it’s too thick, add some more milk. See note below on consistency.
  6. Pour butternut squash into an oven-safe skillet or pan over medium heat. Season all over with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cheese and stir until fully melted and creamy.
  7. Add rigatoni and stir until fully incorporated. Top with panko mixture and bake for 10 minutes. For an extra golden crust, finish with a 1-2 minute broil. Top with additional thyme if desired.

 


Notes

A 15-ounce can of pureed butternut squash replaces the FRESH butternut squash in this recipe. Follow the recipe as written, but mix and heat the butternut squash, butter, garlic, finely chopped rosemary, and milk in the skillet and stir until smooth, warm, and creamy before adding the cheese.

A note on texture: If you prefer a creamier or thinner sauce, add more milk until you reach your desired consistency. This renders a creamy yet dense sauce that I personally prefer. It sticks to the noodles and isn’t necessarily runny.

Keywords: butternut squash mac and cheese

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