Butternut Squash Mac ‘N Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac 'N Cheese


We didn't think we could love this comfort food even more.
  • 4 c. (20 ounces) frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 lb. large shells or other short pasta
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high, combine squash and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook (uncovering to stir occasionally), until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until liquid evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ tsp pepper and stir until butter is melted. Add flour and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring constantly, until squash mixture thickens and raw flour has had a chance to cook, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Add garlic powder, cayenne, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Add cheddar and goat cheese, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Add pasta to boiling water and cook 3 minutes short of package instructions. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water, and return to pot.
  5. Meanwhile, transfer squash mixture to a blender and puree until smooth (you should have just over 4 cups).
  6. Place the pot with cooked pasta over medium-low heat and stir in sauce until coated. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes. (If sauce looks thin, don't worry—it with thicken as it begins to cool.) Add splashes of pasta water to loosen until you've reached your desired consistency.

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