Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese




After last week’s mac and cheese venture, I started thinking about what other yummy combinations I could come up with to jazz up this childhood favorite.

Since it’s October, I started thinking about squash and pumpkins. I just made pumpkin pie, so squash it is!

Butternut squash is in season in October, it’s insanely delicious and it’s a great source of so many nutrients, so it counterbalances the whole pasta and cheese thing.

Sort of.

For this dish you will need

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into one inch cubes

1/2 pound of rigatoni (use more if you want to make a bigger portion of course. And don’t sweat if you don’t have rigatoni. I actually used 1/2 rigatoni and 1/2 penne because that’s what I had)

1 cup milk (whole, skim, whatever you use)

Grated gruyere (I am never one to dictate the amount of cheese another human being uses)

1/2 a small white onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

olive oil

In a large oven proof casserole pot, drizzle olive oil and sautee the onions, garlic and squash.


Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions.

When the squash starts to brown a bit and the onions are translucent, add the milk. Let this cook over medium until the squash is fork tender.



The squash should be done about the same time as the pasta. Drain the pasta and set it aside for a minute.


Turn down the heat on the squash and milk mixture and add in the gruyere, stirring until it is melted.



Add in the pasta and stir.


Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Serve up heaping bowls. Squash. Pasta. Cheese. How could that be bad?


Butternut Squash Risotto



That word conjures so many thoughts. I instantly think of all the amazing risottos I’ve had at restaurants.

That’s right. At restaurants. Because until now, I’ve always watched chefs make risotto and thought, fussy, time consuming, so easy to mess up.

And then. I found this little gem on Martha Stewart. Instead of standing over the stove and slowly adding liquid, everything goes in a pot and into the oven! This was itty bitty city kitchen style risotto.

And butternut squash is in season right now, so this is the perfect way to use that yummy fall vegetable!

Martha’s recipe uses kale and thyme, but I tweaked it slightly:

  • 1 shallot, diced,
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1.5 cups arborio rice
  • white wine
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a fairly large (all of the ingredients are going in it) oven-safe pot, drizzle some olive oil and add the shallots and the garlic.


When the shallot has softened, add the rice. Cook for 3-5 minutes to toast, stirring constantly.


When the rice is toasted, add in about a half cup of white wine. Season the rice with salt and pepper and let cook until the wine is reduced.


Meanwhile, peel and dice your butternut squash


The dump the squash and the vegetable stock into the pot and give it a good stir.


Bake, covered, for about 25-30 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed.


Dish out into big bowls and top with parmesan cheese.


Oven risotto? Life changing.

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

If you ask my dad, he’ll tell you that pasta should come one way – topped with gravy and a meatball.

He doesn’t go for vegetables or shrimp or cream sauces. Gravy. End of story.

Thankfully, my fiance is less picky than my dad.

This is one of our favorite gravy alternatives for pasta.

Roasted butternut squash pureed into a rich and creamy pasta topper.

You will need a medium squash, two cloves of garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can also add some heavy cream for some richness and creaminess.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise.


Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.


Drizzle olive oil over the cut side and sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Place the squash, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet.


Roast the squash until it is tender, about thirty minutes or so. Flip the squash over and roast for an additional ten minutes, cut side up.


Really important. Let the squash cool completely! This is not the time to be a hero. It’s hot. Really hot.

When it is completely cooled, scoop out the insides and drop the squash chunks into a large pot.

Add a little olive oil and two cloves of garlic, chopped.


Cook over medium for a few minutes to cook the garlic a bit. The add enough water to the pot to cover the bottom.


Cover and let the steam soften the squash some more.


Using a potato masher if you want a workout or an immersion blender if you’re less of a masochist, blend the sauce until it is smooth. You can also dump the mixture into a blender or food processor.


Toss your favorite pasta in the sauce. I used penne.

You get a rich creamy sauce coating the pasta with notes of sweetness and spice from the garlic and pepper.

It’s still summer, but this dish is fall in a bowl.