Stovetop Butternut Macaroni and Cheese

Stovetop Butternut Macaroni and Cheese 2I’m not sure I’ve talked much about my addiction to cheese on this little blog of mine. Any cheese die hards out there? Give me a baguette and cheese and I’d be happy for the rest of my life. Growing up, every Saturday morning my Mom would go grocery shopping and bring home those fresh rolls from the bakery, french baguettes, veggies, cheese, liverwurst and an assortment of cold cuts like salami, ham and leoner {like European bologna} for lunch. It basically was heaven. I could eat like that forever. Forreals. And, I have yet to find higher quality deli meat here than in Ottawa. {Any Portlanders have any pointers for me? I know the good meat exists somewhere…}

Anyways, once I got to college I couldn’t afford the double butter Brie, the good havarti with dill or brick cheese and when I did splurge, I’d eat it all within 24 hours. {Smooth Lauren, smooth…} So, me and the cheaper cheddars, mozzarellas and parmesans became friends. Really good friends. So good that now a days it’s all I buy. Partly because I know the really good stuff costs a pretty penny and partly because I don’t need the calories. My butt is big enough, thankyouverymuch. {Do you know how long I’d have to run to work off an entire wheel of double butter brie? Hello??? Do the words double butter mean anything to you?}

So, when a craving hit for mac ‘n cheese I initially thought I couldn’t make it because I didn’t have 5 fancy types of cheese. And then I thought again and realized that a homemade macaroni and cheese would be 24 times better than the powdered kind in a box and most of you don’t have fontina or gruyere on hand. I toyed with the idea of making this healthy too….for about .7 seconds because I added in some onions, garlic and squash but then scoffed at the idea and added in a full pound of cheese {just about–> I rounded up}.

This mac n’ cheese are what dreams are made of. Sweet from the squash, salty and creamy from the cheese and all with a nice bite from the pasta. I opted for making this without flour because I ran out {see this post} but feel free to make a roux and stir all the cheese into that. Here’s how I made my version:

mac n cheese 2Dice up some onion pretty finely

mac n cheese 3along with some garlic

mac n cheese 1and butternut squash.

mac n cheese 7So you’re going to want to saute all these veggies in butter until the squash starts to soften and the onions get a little color on them.

mac n cheese 8To the veggies, add in some chicken broth

mac n cheese 9and let this reduce by half. Then if you like, mash this all up so it mixes in well to the overall sauce. Totally optional step that I took so my daughter wouldn’t know there was something different in with the pasta.

mac n cheese 10Stir in the cooked pasta and start stirring in the cheese bit by bit.

mac n cheese 5I used cheddar,

mac n cheese 6mozzarella

mac n cheese 4and real parmesan.

mac n cheese 11So, once you get all the cheese in, add in some milk too. You may notice a big ol’ glob of cheese get melty in the middle, but as you stir and add more milk, a sauce will start to form and bring everything together. It may not seem like its coming together and your life might feel like it’s going to end, but I promise it will work! Keep stirring!

mac n cheese 12After about 3 minutes, it should be all ready to eat!

mac n cheese 13Oh, did I mention this was super cheesy?!

Stovetop Butternut Macaroni and CheeseYou guys will just DIE over this! Dish it up and dive on in! Feel free to make it look pretty with parsley.

Hope you guys enjoy this one! We love love loved it!! 🙂

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Stovetop Butternut Mac n' Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound cooked pasta {such as macaroni or rotini}
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash {1/4 inch dice}
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 pound grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 1-1 1/2 cups milk

Directions:

  1. Saute onions, garlic and squash in butter over medium heat. Cook until tender and lightly browned, stirring as you go, about 6 minutes. Pour in chicken stock and reduce liquid by half. If desired, mash the squash and onions together using a potato masher to help dissolve into the sauce. Pour in cooked pasta and the cheeses little by little, stirring as you go. Pour in splashes of milk if needed to thin out melted cheese to create sauce. After all the cheese is melted into the pot, continue stirring and adding in milk. At first there may seem like a big wad of cheese melted in the middle, but as you keep stirring and adding in the milk bit by bit, it should come together to form a very cheesy sauce. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

61 Comments

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  1. Butternut squash is one of my favorite ways to eat mac and cheese. And I used pumpkin once this fall too. Both are amazing! I never add mozzarella though, definitely doing that next time!

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  2. This recipe looks amazing. I have this problem though that everytime I make mac’n’cheese or broccoli cheese soup with real cheddar, the sauce ends of having a grainy consistency. This has happened both with pre-shredded and with buying the block of cheese and shredding it myself.
    Any pointers to prevent this would be helpful.
    Thanks!!!

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    • Hayleigh — January 24th, 2014 @ 2:43 pm

      Try using half and half (or cream if you wanna be crazy) instead of milk and taking it off the burner as soon as it’s hot. The higher fat content prevents it from separating.

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  3. Since my older son only ever wants Mac and cheese, I’ve been adding winter squash to it for a whole. In fact, an easier option is to use frozen, already puréed squash and just stir it right into your cheese sauce. I always have a few packages in my freezer (that and spinach because you can stir it into just about anything to get an extra boost of veggies). You can also get reduced fat cheese and use a very sharp cheddar to get more cheesy taste with less actual cheese. Another way to boost the healthfulness in your Mac and cheese is to use Ronzoni Smart Taste or Barilla Whole Grain pasta for more protein and fiber. Can you tell I’ve become a bit of a sneaky healthy M&C expert? 😉

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  4. I seriously want to go to Paris right now and live on bread and cheese…. but that isn’t happening lol. This will have to do:-)

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  5. A wonderful twist to a comforting dish. Love your photos…i just wanna grab that bowl

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  6. I have to agree with you…Ottawa deli meats, some brie and fresh baguette….yummm….will definitely have to try this recipe. Maybe I can get my other half to finally eat some squash!

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  7. Love the idea of including the butternut squash with the pasta and cheese. I love cheese too! This sounds delicious and what beautiful pictures too.

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  8. Wow, that looks rich! Great for a cold winter’s evening to warm the soul.

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  9. Oh my goodness look at all those strings of cheese coming off the pasta!! I don’t want what I packed for lunch anymore.

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  10. how comforting! i love the gooey-ness of the cheese…and it’s so freakin healthy with that bnut squash 😉 yum!

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  11. Oh momma, those strings of gooey cheese are too much! Gotta try!

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  12. Ok, I now must have some double butter Brie…oh man, I love cheese waaaay too much. This looks TO DIIIIE FOR. I did something similar recently with bacon added…can never go wrong with bacon 🙂

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  13. Hey Lauren, I am here for the first time! And I am delighted, love this recipe, will have to try it soon! Glad to be your new follower 🙂

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  14. The mac and cheese looks yummy!

    Here’s a great little European deli / store / bakery / cafe for you in Portland – great stuff! http://www.edelweissdeli.com/

    Also, Gartner’s Meat Market always has great lunch meat / deli meats and cheeses and lots of other great stuff – http://www.gartnersmeats.com/

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  15. Oh goodness, gooey and cheesy macaroni and cheese wins my heart all the time! I really love the photos where the cheese sticks onto the spoon and fork!

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  16. Try Otto’s Sausage Kitchen in Portland (ottossausage.com) for some good meats! No fillers or additives!
    Their Kitchen Sink Sandwich is Heaven on Earth!

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    • Lauren — March 11th, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

      AWESOME!! Thank you Heidi!

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  17. Love the idea of butternut squash in Mac and Cheese! Have you ever tried it with pumpkin? My guys HATE anything squash, so I’m not sure if I could slide this by them…I just might have to try it though. 😉

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  18. Wowie! This looks so yummy! What a great idea to add butternut squash to mac + cheese!! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Soo good and quick to make! I tossed in a bad of fresh spinach which wilted while the cheese was melting.

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  20. I made this as a side dish yesterday and it was absolutely delicious! It also wasn’t difficult to make. The cheese never even clumped in the middle too.

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  21. As a newbie vegetarian, I’m wondering what would be a good substiturion for the chicken broth…cause other than that, this recipe looks awesome

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    • Lauren — June 14th, 2012 @ 8:16 am

      Vegetable broth!

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  22. If someone doesn’t know that this has butternut squash in it, will they be able to taste it?

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  23. food coma! loveeee it

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  24. I was a little skeptical when looking at the picture. Maybe the rotini and the stringiness of the cheese looked nothing like the texture of creamy baked, southern comfort, macaroni and cheese. However, it is delicious! I used macaroni and 3 cups of squash. 2 cups of broth and added milk a little at time along with pasta and cheese. Stirred with a wisk the whole time. I even threw in some fresh spinach to cook down with squash. You can’t tell that it wasn’t baked. It is creamy not stringy or grainy. Excellent recipe. My 20 month old and my husband loved it!

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  25. I just made this tonight and passed it off on my two teenagers. They didn’t even notice the butternut squash! I really wanted to tell them, but I knew if I did, they would never eat it again. I made it earlier in the day and added some crushed ritz crackers on the top before I reheated it in the oven. It was AMAZING!

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  26. This looks super delicious. It is the tastiest Butternut Mac and cheese (I just love cheese too) 🙂 I have seen yet! I like the idea to mash up the butternut for my little lovie too. Great! Thanks.

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  27. hi does this recipe work with whole wheat pasta? thanks, jana

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