Stovetop Butternut Macaroni and Cheese

Stovetop Butternut Macaroni and Cheese 2 I’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 2 Dice up some onion pretty finely

mac n cheese 3 along with some garlic

mac n cheese 1 and butternut squash.

mac n cheese 7 So 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 8 To the veggies, add in some chicken broth

mac n cheese 9 and 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 10 Stir in the cooked pasta and start stirring in the cheese bit by bit.

mac n cheese 5 I used cheddar,

mac n cheese 6 mozzarella

mac n cheese 4 and real parmesan.

mac n cheese 11 So, 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 12 After about 3 minutes, it should be all ready to eat!

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

Stovetop Butternut Macaroni and Cheese You 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!! :)

Stovetop Butternut Mac n' Cheese

Yield: 4 servings


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


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.

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73 Responses to “Stovetop Butternut Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. #
    Cassie — March 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    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!


  2. #
    Amanda — March 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    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.


    • 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.


  3. #
    Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! — March 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I am such a fan of butternut squash (and pumpkin!) mac n’ cheese! I love this simple stove-top version. Will definitely be giving this a try!


  4. #
    Kathryn — March 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Look at all the gooey cheesiness!


  5. #
    Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk — March 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I’m addicted to cheese! I’m absolutely loving this idea for stovetop butternut squash mac & cheese!


  6. #
    Amy Badey — March 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    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? 😉


  7. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — March 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Oh that sauce….I want to just make this for the sauce alone! It would be fabulous over anything!


  8. #
    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — March 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    one of my favorite macs ever has butternut squash in it-this looks so yummy lauren!


  9. #
    Elizabeth @ chronic venture — March 7, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    yumm a great combo! i love using butternut in so many things and this is a great twist!


  10. #
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen — March 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Oh my god – this looks absolutely divine! So much cheesy goodness!!!


  11. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — March 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    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:-)


  12. #
    Bev Weidner — March 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Me = fainted.


  13. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — March 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Oh, my! This mac & cheese is perfection. Truly.


  14. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — March 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I have been craaaaving butternut squash lately. Love this!


  15. #
    Priyanka — March 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

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


  16. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — March 7, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I love the steam in the last shot! Looks scrumptious!!


  17. #
    Sheena B — March 8, 2012 at 2:04 am

    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!


  18. #
    CouponClippingCook — March 8, 2012 at 6:27 am

    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.


  19. #
    Suzanne — March 8, 2012 at 8:55 am

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


  20. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — March 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I love anything that skips the whole roux step – too fussy. The addition of butternut squash here takes it over the top for me.


  21. #
    Erin — March 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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


  22. #
    Megan Pence — March 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Let me just pick my jaw up off the floor and mop up the drool…


  23. #
    Jolene ( — March 9, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Ooooooooh, I love the stringy cheese!!! Fantastic!


  24. #
    jenna — March 9, 2012 at 1:23 am

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


  25. #
    honeywhatscooking — March 9, 2012 at 5:19 am

    wow, wow, wowwwwwwwwwwwww.. only you could have done this! :-)


  26. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — March 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

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


  27. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — March 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    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 :)


  28. #
    Ambika — March 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

    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 :)


  29. #
    Kathy in Portland — March 10, 2012 at 12:55 am

    The mac and cheese looks yummy!

    Here’s a great little European deli / store / bakery / cafe for you in Portland – great stuff!

    Also, Gartner’s Meat Market always has great lunch meat / deli meats and cheeses and lots of other great stuff –


  30. #
    Kathy — March 10, 2012 at 3:44 am

    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!


  31. #
    Heidi — March 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm

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


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

      AWESOME!! Thank you Heidi!


  32. #
    Sarah — March 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    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. 😉


  33. #
    Sando — March 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm

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


  34. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — March 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I need this. Need.


  35. #
    julie — March 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

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


  36. #
    Josie — March 25, 2012 at 1:47 am

    I haven’t had a chance to go here yet but I hear Otto’s Sausage Kitchen is super good.


  37. #
    Stephanie — April 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    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.


  38. #
    Gem — June 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    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


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

      Vegetable broth!


  39. #
    Steph — October 31, 2012 at 11:34 am

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


  40. #
    kelsey — November 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    food coma! loveeee it


  41. #
    Pauline — November 7, 2012 at 4:04 am

    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!


  42. #
    Andrea — November 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    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!


  43. #
    Nicole (MyLoveForCooking) — January 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    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.


  44. #
    jana — March 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

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


  45. #
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche — September 17, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Ahhh Lauren this looks AMAZING. I’m a total cheese addict like you – but unlike you, I’ve not been able to keep it off my blog haha, it’s full of the stuff 😉 can’t wait to try this recipe!


  46. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — September 17, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Drooling over this Lauren!


  47. #
    Patsy — September 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Looks great!
    Is anybody else having trouble with the print it button? I get the “pin it” button when I hover over it.


    • ColoradoConley — September 19th, 2013 @ 10:43 am

      You just have to be super specific about where your mouse is and you will able to print!


  48. #
    ColoradoConley — September 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Omgeeeeee! What is wrong with me?! My cooking mojo is SO off. Ugh. Not sure where I read “6 cups of chicken broth” – oh brother. I made mac and cheese soup! I didn’t even get around to adding the milk because it never reduced enough that I needed more liquid. It still tastes good – a little salty tasting though. My hubs and I had a serving for lunch. Trying to decide what to do to save it though . . .


  49. #
    Margaret — January 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I made this recipe as written and it was perfect! Many thanks for this easy and delicious recipeM


  50. #
    Stacy — January 29, 2014 at 9:30 pm


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