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Acorn Squash Mac and Cheese

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Make creamy macaroni and cheese healthier by adding acorn squash. This great hidden vegetable side dish is a perfect way to add an extra veggie to your plate without anyone knowing it!

Fork with bite of acorn mac and cheese pulling away from a plate showing lots of cheese pulls between the pasta on the plate and the fork.

Super creamy stove top mac and cheese is a welcome addition to any dinner plate.  Your family doesn’t have to know that this recipe has a healthy secret.

It cuts out the butter and milk and reduces the amount of cheese you’d need because there is a healthy dose of acorn squash. It may sound far fetched, but it is super delicious!

Squash used to be one of Little Dude’s favorite foods.  He got a couple of squash for Halloween last year and he loved it!   

Now, he prefers to not touch the stuff.  But he loves noodles and he loves cheese.

pan full of pasta with container of mashed acorn squash and cheddar for mac and cheese

The squash from last year’s Halloween accidentally procreated.  We ended up with dozens of little squash plants in our compost.

So, we moved a couple behind the garage.  Now we have a pile of acorn squash that needs to be used and a little guy who thinks he doesn’t like it.

I had made squash sauces before.  They were more pumpkin, sage, and Parmesan type sauces.

So, I used that idea to make something more fun and kid friendly for Little Dude (and his mommy and daddy).  We had it for dinner tonight and everyone had seconds.  It is creamy without using a ton of fat or milk.

plate full of creamy acorn squash mac and cheese

If you don’t have acorn squash on hand, don’t fret! A can of pumpkin puree would do the job as well.  Mashed butternut squash is another great option.

To add even more fiber to your mac and cheese, use whole grain pasta. I like using something with lots of ribs or twirls to really hold on the sauce.

The first time I made it, I used whole grain rotini.  This last time celantini seemed to be just the right thing.  I just love all of those curly ques!

This great side dish goes with just about anything. We love it with ham, but it would also be fabulous with baked bbq chicken.

More Great Mac and Cheese Recipes

Try creamed spinach mac and cheese for a little something different. The creamy white cheese sauce, pasta, and green spinach make for a lovely all in one side dish.

Pumpkin pepper jack mac and cheese is another great option with squash. The pepper jack cheese adds a little spice and some bacon gives it a great smokey flavor.

If you tried this recipe, or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments. Hungry for more?  Be sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Fork with bite of acorn mac and cheese pulling away from a plate showing lots of cheese pulls between the pasta on the plate and the fork.

Stove Top Acorn Squash Mac and Cheese

Carlee
Make creamy macaroni and cheese healthier by adding acorn squash. This great hidden vegetable side dish is a perfect way to add an extra veggie to your plate without anyone knowing it!
4.50 from 38 ratings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 210 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • 6 oz whole wheat rotini cooked according to directions
  • 4 oz extra sharp cheddar
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook the squash until soft. I like to do this while it is whole, it makes cutting it a lot easier. So, you can either boil it whole for 10-15 minutes or poke it with a fork and stick it in the microwave for 6 minutes.
    1 medium acorn squash
  • Scoop the seeds out of the squash. Blend the squash until smooth. I use a stick blender, but any blender will do.
  • In a saucepan, mix the squash, pasta, a half cup of the pasta water.
    6 oz whole wheat rotini
  • Add the mustard powder and cheese.
    4 oz extra sharp cheddar, ½ tsp ground mustard
  • Stir over low heat until the cheese is melted.
  • If needed a splash of milk or water can be used to loosen up the sauce.
  • Season with salt and pepper to your liking and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 210kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 10gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 260mgFiber: 4g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

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Recipe Rating




Julie

Thursday 14th of September 2023

I did not have high expectations for this recipe. It blew my mind, it was delicious and it took no time to make. A+

Carlee

Thursday 14th of September 2023

I am so glad you liked it!

Kei

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

You couldn't really taste anything but the squash, but while that isn't a bad thing, I'd also like to taste the other ingredients.