Growing Chefs! Ontario Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Butternut squash is cooked into the sauce to make a mac and cheese that looks extra creamy and cheesy!
Serves 6-8
1 pound (454 grams) butternut squash (about 1 small squash) peeled, seeded, and cut into 2cm cubes1 cup vegetable stock1 1/2 cups milk1/4 teaspoon nutmeg Pinch cayenne pepper1 pound (454 grams) package elbow macaroni, or favourite pasta shape2 cups cheddar cheese, grated1 cup ricotta cheese1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated1/4 cup breadcrumbs1 tablespoon olive oil Salt to taste
Cutting boardGraterMeasuring cupsMeasuring spoonsChef's knifePeelerBowls various sizes for ingredientsLarge potStrainerBlenderSpatulaWooden spoonMedium potTasting spoonsLarge baking dishDish towel

Get Organized!

Gather your mis en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather all of the ingredients.

Get Prepped!

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Peel butternut squash and remove seeds. Cut squash into roughly 2 cm cubes.

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Grate cheddar and place into a bowl. Grate parmesan cheese and place into a separate bowl. Measure out the ricotta cheese.

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Combine the parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and olive oil and season lightly with salt.

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Get Cooking!

Place squash in a medium pot with vegetable stock, milk, nutmeg, cayenne, and season with salt.

Fill up a large pot with hot water and put it on the stove over high heat. Season liberally with salt (it should be quite salty like the ocean) and bring to a boil. Boil pasta according to package directions, about 7 – 8 minutes until al dente. Strain, and toss pasta with a small amount of olive oil, and place pasta into a large ovenproof baking dish.

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Place pot with squash over medium heat and bring to a low simmer, cook for about 20 minutes until squash is tender.

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Remove squash from the stove and transfer contents of the pot to a blender (this may need to be done in 2 – 3 batches). Blend until smooth and return blended squash to pot on low heat. 

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Add the ricotta and cheddar cheese into the pot with the blended squash and until smooth and cheese is melted into the sauce. Check seasoning and add more salt if needed.

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Pour the sauce into the baking dish with the pasta and stir together well.

Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the mac and cheese.

Place mac and cheese in the preheated oven, and cook for approximately 30 – 45 minutes, until pasta is thoroughly heated through and breadcrumbs are browned and crispy on top.

Butternut squash mac and cheese