Recipe: Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

A healthy spin on an old favorite
macaroni and cheese with butternut squash

Want to include mac and cheese at your next party, but want to make it a little fancier (and a little healthier?) Try incorporating a winter squash to make this traditional stand-by something different — and tasty!

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3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about one 1 lb squash)
1 ¼ cups fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp plain fat free Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
¼ cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 lb uncooked whole grain cavatappi or other pasta
Cooking spray
1 tsp olive oil
½ cup whole wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork (about 25 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Secure blender lid on blender, and blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  5. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.

RELATED: Spicy Beef Chili with Butternut Squash

Nutrition information

(per serving)
Makes 10 servings

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Calories: 350
Total fat: 10 g
Saturated fat: 6g
Trans fat:0 g
Cholesterol: 30mg
Sodium: 590mg
Total Carbohydrate: 45g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 5g
Protein: 18g

Recipe provided by Digestive Disease Health Team Dietitians

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