How to Make...

Healthier Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese! A healthier, lightened up version of your childhood favorite. A super simple and quick recipe here – no baking required! Gluten-free friendly using your favorite pasta. Kid-friendly, mom-approved.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • 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 pasta– whole grain, gluten-free, your pick (I used cavatappi shape)
  • 2 TBS butter or ghee**
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4oz goat cheese (could omit if you dislike)
  • 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


Watch this video for how to cut a butternut squash. I also like to warm up the squash in a preheating oven (250ºF) for about 10-15 minutes, so it is easier to cut into.

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile add 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.
  4. Once squash is tender add squash mixture, including all liquid, into a blender and purée until smooth. Or use immersion blender.
  5. In the large pot that was used to cook the pasta, add ghee or coconut oil. 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.
  6. Add shredded cheese and pasta into pot with sauce, gently stirring until combined.
  7. Dish mac and cheese into bowls garnishing with pepper, breadcrumbs and parsley if desired. Enjoy!

Recipes Notes:

*You could use a non-dairy milk here if you’d like, and then also dairy-free shredded cheese to make this recipe dairy-free/vegan.

**Sub with coconut oil if going for the vegan version.

Store leftovers in container in fridge, enjoy within 3-4 days.

Nutrition Information:

  • Serving Size: 1/6th
  • Calories: 539
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 496mg
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated Fat: 12g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 67g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 22g
  • Cholesterol: 48mg