I love this version of Mac and Cheese. It is not only delicious and cheesy but it also feels so much lighter than a traditional mac and cheese made with a roux. Yes, there is dairy and cheese in this mac and cheese but also a lot of butternut squash which adds a lot sweetness, antioxidant and vitamins. Can other mac and cheese do that? didn’t think so.
Don’t skip the topping! that layer of garlicy crispy bread crumbs is the perfect way to finish this dish. I hope you give it a try and love it as much as I do.
What you need to make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Mexican crema, you can sub for creme fraiche or full fat greek yogurt
Spices. Salt, pepper, ground mustard and cummin (this last one is optional but I think cumin goes so well with the sweetness of the butternut squash)
Sharp cheddar cheese
Fresh bread crumbs (just add day old bread to your food processor and pulse until very fine)
Grated parmesan cheese
Helpful Tips and Tricks
I struggle a lot cutting and peeling pumpkins (arthritis) so pre-peeled and cubed squash saves saves me a lot of time and keeps all my fingers on. Not shame on that.
Make sure your pasta is just al dente since it’s going to continue cooking in the hot sauce and then under the broiler, you don’t want it too soft when you add it to the sauce.
Save the pasta water! This is going to help you give the sauce a smooth, silky consistency and also because it is starchy water, it will help the sauce stick to the noodles.
place the butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes until brown and very tender.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water.
In a blender, add the roasted butternut squash, Mexican crema, salt, pepper, ground mustard and cumin. Blend until smooth. Add some of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
Transfer the sauce to a large heavy bottom pan and turn the heat to medium low. Add the shredded cheese and stir until is completely melted. Taste the cheese sauce and adjust seasoning if needed. Use some of the pasta water for a more creamy consistency.
Stir in the cook pasta and set aside. If your skillet is not broiler proof, transfer to a 9×13 baking dish.
Make the topping: In a medium skillet melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook until just fragrant. Add the bred crumbs and stir constantly until they are golden in color, 5-8 minutes.
Stir in the dry parsley and parmesan cheese.
Scatter the bread topping evenly over the mac and cheese and transfer to the oven. Broil on high for just a couple of minutes until the top is crispy and golden brown. Serve immediately.
Hello, my name is Marisol Chancellor. I was born and raised in Monterrey Mexico. I’ve been living in Texas for 12 years and even when I love barbeque, fruit cobblers and sweet tea, there’s something that has the power of transporting me right back to my mom’s kitchen and gives me a little piece of home, cooking. I grew up in the kitchen and for me, memories are always linked to food, and behind the food, well, there’s always a story that comes along. So, please let me share with you my love for cooking and while we are at it, let’s share some memories, because let’s be honest, we are also hungry for nostalgia.