Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

up close image of butternut squash mac and cheese recipe in bowl topped with green herbs and shredded cheese

4.7 from 6 reviews

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a creamy, cheesy, lightened up version of your childhood favorite. A simple and quick recipe that makes a delicious weeknight dinner for the fall. Kid-friendly, mom-approved. Gluten-free, vegan friendly.


Units Scale
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 cup low sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 cup milk of choice*
  • 1 lb macaroni pastawhole grain, gluten-free, your pick (I used cavatappi shape)
  • 2 TBS butter or ghee**
  • 4oz goat cheese (can omit if you dislike)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 TBS tapioca starch (optional but adds thickness)
  • 6oz shredded cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)- choose your favorite. I used part colby, part gouda
  • Black pepper, breadcrumbs, parsley, for serving


  1. Blend squash: For the pasta, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cubed butternut squash, broth, and milk. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until squash is tender – test with fork. This should take about 10-12 minutes. Once squash is tender add squash mixture, including all liquid, into a blender and purée until smooth. Or use an immersion blender.
  2. Cook pasta: Meanwhile, add the pasta to large pot of boiling water. Cook according to package instructions, but 1 minute less than fully cooked. You want the pasta to be slightly undercooked, or al dente. Drain in colander and set aside.
  3. Make cheese sauce: In the large pot that was used to cook the pasta, add butter or ghee. Melt over medium heat then add the squash purée. Add goat cheese, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Stir until combined and goat cheese is melted. Then add tapioca starch (if using). Stir until smooth. Add shredded cheese and pasta into pot with sauce, gently stirring until combined.
  4. Serve: Scoop mac and cheese into bowls, garnishing with black pepper, breadcrumbs and parsley, if desired. Enjoy!


VEGAN – Use a non-dairy milk, plant based butter, and dairy-free cheese to make this recipe dairy-free/vegan.

STORAGE – Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

MAKE AHEAD – Prepare the butternut squash sauce up to 3 days ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Rewarm over medium-low heat while you cook the pasta.


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