Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I've slipped out of here for a short while. A few things have been going on, most notably: we're moving soon. In just a few weeks Gd willing, we'll be unpacking boxes in a new living space. It's a small, charming apartment with french windows and beautiful sunlight. The kitchen is cozy and has a slight shabby, vintage feel. I'm excited for the change, though less excited about the packing.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you this Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese from the Joy of Kosher cookbook. I left you with a giveaway last time, that I'm extending because I haven't been around, so you can still enter if you'd like to win a copy of the cookbook. 

I made this with the kids as an afternoon activity. They loved participating in the process, and though this isn't the most simple recipe, it's worth every step. Really. The sweet undertones from the butternut squash complement the flavorful, spiced, cheesy sauce. The thyme adds a nice, earthy touch and the panko-parmesan topping takes it to the next level. I might have spooned a few mouthfuls directly from the serving dish after I devoured my entire share. Who could resist the crispy edges?

We used part of the recipe to make into muffin mac n cheese. I ended up freezing them and using them for the kids' lunch. (I defrost them overnight in the fridge and warm them up the toaster oven for a few minutes) Oh, kids lunch! I am now part of the "what do you give your kids for lunch?" conversations. They seem to purposely not eat what I pack for them. But I haven't given up. I try to mix things up even though they'd gladly eat plain pasta every day of the week.

If you're planning a mac n cheese dinner soon, try this recipe! It really is wonderful. Truthfully, the Joy of Kosher cookbook is filled with many other delectable recipes and you can still enter the giveaway here if you'd like to win a copy!

Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese


Cooking Spray

3 cups shredded cheddar cheese*

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 stick butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

10 dashes hot sauce

1 egg, beaten

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese*

one 10oz. box frozen butternut squash, thawed*

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

One 1-pound box elbow pasta, cooked and drained*



1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly spray 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine 1 cup pf the cheddar, the panko, Parmesan, and thyme in a small bowl and set aside.

3. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk constantly until smooth and melty, about 5 minutes. In a slow, steady stream, pour in the milk, then the broth, whisking constantly. Add the dry mustard, parpika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

4. Temper the egg by slowly whisking in 1/4 cup of the warm sauce. Add the egg mixture to the sauce and whisk. Add the remaining 2 cups cheddar and the Gruyere and whisk to melt and form a thick cheese sauce. Remove from the heat. Stir in the squash until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and toss to coat well.

5. Pour into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the reserved cheddar-panko mixture over the pasta. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

You can also spoon the mac into a paper-lined muffin tin and bake at 400F for 15 mins.

*a few of my adaptations:

  • I used shredded muenster cheese, because that's what I had on hand
  • I havent seen Cholov Yisroel Gruyere, so instead I used more shredded Parmesan cheese
  • I roasted my own medium Butternut Squash in the oven on 425 for 20 minutes, scooped the inside and used it in the sauce
  • I used whole wheat pasta. I cook whole wheat pasta longer than regular pasta so it comes out softer and tastes just as good as regular white pasta, my husband and kids cant even tell the difference.