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Butternut mac and cheese

Butternut Mac and Cheese: a healthier, more nutritious and extra flavourful take on the traditional mac and cheese.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, comfort, Gluten-free, vegetarian
Tags butternut squash, cheese, comfort food, pasta, vegetarian
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Silvia Cooks


  • 400 gr peeled butternut squash or pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small branch fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp wheat flour or rice flour, if gluten-free
  • 400-500 ml oat or soya milk unsweetened!
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • nutmeg
  • grated mozzarella or emmental or vegan cheese

To serve

  • 320 gr cooked macaroni or rigatoni
  • grated parmesan cheese vegan: nutritional yeast + drizzle of lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

  2. Peel and slice the butternut squash lengthwide. Scoop out the seeds and chop into equal-sized cubes (2-3 cm length). Bake over baking paper or a silicone sheet for 20 mins or until soft. In the meantime...

  3. Let's make the béchamel sauce. Heat up a pan to medium heat, add the butter or oil and the chopped onion. Sauté until golden and slightly caramelise. Add the fresh thyhme leaves here.

  4. Add the flour and mix well until it becomes a thick paste.

  5. Gradually and slowly, add the milk while you keep stirring with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Once you've poured in all the milk, allow it to cook until the sauce becomes smooth and dense. Turn off the heat.

  6. At some point during the preparation, start getting your pasta ready: boil it, strain it and add 1 tsp olive oil so it doesn't stick together. Set aside for later.

  7. When the butternut squash is tender and soft... Pour the sauce into a tall container. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg, along with the roasted butternut squash (only the desired amount, save the rest for another recipe).

  8. Blend until smooth, return the now orange sauce to the pan, heat it up for 1 minute then add the cheese and turn off the heat. Allow the cheese to melt slowly and stir it in so it blends in with the sauce.

  9. Add the pasta to the pan and mix well. Serve immediately with a grated hard cheese on the side and freshly ground black pepper.



  • Double or triple the sauce amount to make a bigger batch. Save the sauce you don't use for later: lasagna, bakes, other pasta dishes, as a sauce... You name it.
  • If you have little time...
    • Microwave the butternut squash cubes (less caramelisation, but still OK)
    • Skip the onion and make the béchamel simply with a fat, flour and milk.

How to store leftovers

  • Keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.