Vetri Cooking Lab

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Serves 8


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced
  • 2 small butternut squash (8 cups cubed)
  • 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 bunch parsley, stems removed and minced to garnish


  1. To prepare the butternut squash, cut off the stem and the bottom ends so that both ends are flat. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin. Using a sharp knife (and help from an adult), cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. With the flat side down, cut the squash into half-moons and then into small cubes.
  2. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium low heat. Add diced onions and sauté over low heat until fragrant and golden, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the squash cubes and stir to combine and then cover with broth and water.
  4. Bring the broth to a boil and cook until squash is fork-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon and a strainer, remove the squash from the broth and place it in a high-sided container. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
  5. Bring the remaining liquid back up to a boil, stir in pasta, and cook for the time recommended on the box.
  6. While the pasta is cooking, puree the squash with an
    immersion blender (or regular blender). Add the milk, salt,
    pepper, and ½ cup of reserved broth and puree until
    completely smooth and creamy.
  7.  When the pasta is finished, strain the noodles into a
    colander within a bowl, just in case more liquid is needed
    in the squash sauce. Return the cooked noodles to the
    skillet or place in a large bowl.
  8.  Pour the pureed sauce over the cooked noodles and add
    the shredded cheese. Stir to melt the cheese. Add extra
    liquid, water, or milk to adjust consistency or salt and
    pepper, as needed. Serve hot, garnished with parsley. Enjoy!


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