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This easy mac and cheese recipe comes together in less than thirty minutes! With a creamy butternut squash puree that’s mixed together with a fresh Parmesan and cheddar cheese sauce, tossed over gluten-free elbow macaroni – this is the only stovetop mac and cheese recipe you’ll ever need!
Macaroni and Cheese is one of those perfect, delicious meals I crave in the fall. But with just two of us at Casa de Crews, it’s better enjoyed with the masses. We love to have my family over every few weeks for dinner, making this Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese ideal for a family dinner.
My mom was recently advised by her doctor to eat less meat and enjoy more plants in her diet. Growing up, we were a very meat and potatoes kind of family. My mom always made sure we had a well rounded plate with a protein (meat), starch and vegetable.
But there are so many ways to make sure you eat more plants, while still enjoying protein!
For this 30-minute macaroni and cheese recipe, we use Modern Table® protein pasta. Find your next box, here. Modern Table® protein pasta is seriously delicious. I think it’s easy to hear, “plant based” and assume there is no flavor. But times, they have changed my friend.
Why I like Modern Table® Elbows for this recipe:
- 3 simple ingredients: lentils, rice and peas. Which means there are no binders or fillers.
- Certified Gluten-Free.
- Low Glycemic Index: so your blood sugar isn’t going to spike after eating mac and cheese, and you’re not going to feel a carb crash post-meal.
- Complete Plant-Protein: the protein Modern Table® lentil-based pastas contain all 9 essential amino acids, which are are essential to just about every function that takes places within the human body — and their noodz have all 9.
How to make Butternut Squash Puree
The creamy butternut squash puree that we’ll mix together with our Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Sauce is the perfect way to enjoy more veggies without thinking much about it. You can use canned puree – if you can find it, but making a homemade puree with butternut squash could not be easier.
You can either roast fresh squash in the oven with onions, garlic and fresh herbs (sage + thyme) or you can steam frozen squash. Both come together in the blender with broth and spices, before stirring into this mac and cheese recipe. This puree can also be made in advance and stirred in right before serving. Hello, easy meal prep!
To keep this macaroni and cheese recipe vegetarian, make sure to use vegetable broth for your butternut squash puree.
The recipe below uses two 8-ounce boxes of Modern Table® Elbows. This will serve 6-8 easily for a filling, protein packed vegetarian meal + gluten-free meal. It also makes enough to serve as lunch prep for the week as well! Or you can half this Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese Recipe using just one box of Modern Table® Elbows and half of the sauce ingredients. This stovetop mac and cheese recipe also freezes well for easy meal prep.
butternut squash macaroni and cheese
Butternut Squash Puree
- 1 large butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes - or 1 (15-ounce bag) frozen cubed butternut squash (do not thaw)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped sage - can also use dried spice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme sprigs - can also use dried spice
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 tablespoon ghee - or butter
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch - can also use arrowroot, cornstarch or flour
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk - any milk is fine
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 8-ounce boxes Modern Table® Elbows - cooked to package directions
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese - about 6 ounces
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese - plus more for garnish
- To a large pot, cover cubed butternut squash (fresh or frozen) with 1 1/2 cup water. Simmer over medium heat, until squash is tender about 10-20 minutes. (If using frozen squash, it will be tender at about 10 minutes, if fresh, it will be tender closer to 20 minutes. Do not overcook). Turn off the heat and transfer tender squash to a blender.
- To a blender, add butternut squash, sage, thyme, vegetable broth, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and creamy. Set aside. Meanwhile, cook Modern Table® Elbows according to package directions.
- Melt ghee in the skillet. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in tapioca starch until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in almond milk, butternut squash puree and Dijon mustard. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cooked Modern Table® Elbows, cheddar, and Parmesan. Stir until the pasta is evenly combined and the cheeses are melted. Top with additional Parmesan if desired.