When the mac and cheese cravings hit, this lightened up Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe will do the trick (and it’s ready on the stove in under 30 minutes!)
I was raised on mac and cheese. But for us, mac and cheese was something you made from the box. You had your dried pasta and your bag of dehydrated cheese product and together they formed my childhood (just kidding, mom, your pork chops were great).
But with the modern day being what it is, we like to hide vegetables in seemingly innocent dishes (no? just me?) So this mac and cheese has a healthy little secret. It packs in a few servings of veggies with pureed butternut, and is lightened up with rich and creamy Greek yogurt! It’s a healthy pasta recipe that I think you’re going to love!
How do you make healthy mac and cheese?
The secret to a healthier mac and cheese is all in the sauce (though you would never know it from tasting this rich and creamy butternut squash sauce)!
First, you’ll start boiling your pasta. While that’s going, we’ll get to work on that deliciously rich butternut base. Saute onions and garlic (the foundations to any good dinner), then throw broth and diced butternut into the same pot.
Let it boil until the butternut is tender and easily mashed with a spoon, then puree into a velvety smooth sauce! Stir it into the pasta along with cheddar cheese to quickly melt the cheese.
The real magic happens when you stir in the yogurt, which instantly transforms the sauce into the ultra-creamy, gooey mac n’ cheese of your dreams.
- 3 cups dry pasta 300 g, macaroni, elbow, penne, or spiral all work
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- ½ cup roughly chopped white onion about ½ of a medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth* 354 mL
- 3 cups diced butternut squash about ¾ of a medium squash
- ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 100 g
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt 120 g
- Cook Pasta: Boil pasta according to instructions on package, cooking until al dente. Strain and set aside.
- Butternut Sauce: Meanwhile, add oil to a large pot and set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add broth, butternut, salt, and pepper. Cover and let simmer until butternut is tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a handheld immersion blender (or working carefully with a countertop blender), puree the butternut mixture until smooth.
- Mix: Mix the butternut puree into the pasta. Add cheddar cheese and stir to evenly combine, then add yogurt and continue stirring until evenly mixed. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm, optionally topped with parsley and smoked paprika.
Tips & Tricks
I first published this recipe on Amanda’s Cookin’, where I’m a contributor.