Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese

YUM!!! If looking for a healthier version of mac n cheese, this recipe is for you. I know what you’re probably thinking…my kids would never go for this. Well, I’m here to tell you that my kids are big fans of mac n cheese. I have tried other “subs” for this family favorite, and they did not buy in. This recipe though not only received rave reviews – seconds were requested! Even the pickiest 5 year old ate it!

I am trying to cut back on dairy to relieve my sinus inflammation (feeling really good by the way!), so this recipe was the perfect accommodation! I sprinkled sharp cheddar and some grated parmesan on the kids’ bowls. I wasn’t sad to not have it on mine. I enjoyed the buttered sage.

Also – I used ONE pot for this dish – my instant pot. I would highly recommend doing the same, as it cooked perfectly. I did use my blender – so I guess this was another appliance, but I cooked the squash mixture, put it in the blender then cooked the pasta, strained (reserving the pasta water) and combined it all for the final saute. The entire dish took a total of 30 minutes – no exaggeration.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese

A one dish, quick, easy, and light pasta dish for your typical busy weeknight meal.


  • 1 TBS of butter or olive oil (I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light)
  • 1 TBS finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 pound bag of butternut squash chunked (or 2 pound squash peeled seeded and cut into chunks)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 166 grams celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe’s Onion Salt
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 12 ounces macaroni noodles
  • Optional additional garnishes: sharp cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, bacon, red pepper flakes


  1. Set the instant pot to saute, warm the butter or oil and saute the sage until crisp. Remove the sage into a small bowl for garnishing later.
  2. Add the onion, celery and squash to the pot. Saute until they begin to soften.
  3. Add the broth to the vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Put the lid on your pot, cancel out the saute setting and switch to pressure cook. Pressure cook for 7 minutes.
  5. If in a hurry quick release the pressure. Can let this naturally release if you have time.
  6. Pour the squash mixture into your blender to blend later (better to let it cool some).
  7. Add 5 cups of water and 12 ounces of noodles to the pot.
  8. Set to pressure cook for 2 minutes. Quick release when 2 minutes is done.
  9. Drain the water off the noodles into a bowl (I place a bowl under my strainer) to save the starchy water.
  10. Blend the squash and broth. Add the broth, noodles, seasonings, and about 1/4 cup of starch water to the pot. Set the pot to saute and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed. The squash and noodles will cook together for a thick and savory pasta dish. Salt and pepper along the way as needed.
  11. Serve in a bowl topped with sage, and other toppings to preference and taste.


Per Serving: 260 Calories; 55.4 g carbohydrates; 1 g fat; 9.7 g protein.

What I Used In This Recipe

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