Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 lb short pasta (e.g. penne, rigatoni, etc.)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 2 TB unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

One of the best ways to use a Fall classic, this creamy mac and cheese incorporates roasted butternut squash in the sauce, so you get some sweet, squash flavor with every bite!    

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Lightly coat the squash in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until golden brown and tender.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta to al dente, drain, and set aside.  In a large pot, heat a small amount of olive oil and add the onion.  Cook gently until sweet and translucent.  Add garlic and cook until just fragrant.  Add butter and cook until foamy.  Sprinkle in flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux.  Cook this mixture until sandy in texture and the raw flour smell has been cooked out.  Gradually whisk in the half & half.  Bring mixture to a boil, and allow it to thicken.  Remove pot from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese.  Add roasted squash and stir in the cooked pasta.  Pour pasta mixture into a large baking or casserole dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.  Bake in a 350°F oven until crispy, bubbly, and wonderful!