Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall veggies. It’s so versatile and can be used in anything from creamy butternut soup to pancakes. In this post I’ll dive into my favorite butternut squash macaroni and cheese recipe. It’s a great way to sneak veggies into a familiar food for kids. I’ll also show you an easy butternut baby food puree. Since butternut is a mild and slightly sweet veggie, its the perfect first food for baby and is appropriate from 6 months up.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Ingredients:
1 pound of dried pasta (I used bowties)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk, at room temperature
2 cups (8 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
1 medium butternut squash (30 oz puree)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the breadcrumb topping:
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat an oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by buttering and set aside.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water, and drain. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the milk and cook until just starting to thicken (about 3 minutes). Take the sauce off the heat, then stir in the cheddar until fully incorporated. Add butternut squash, mustard, nutmeg, and black pepper, stirring to combine. Season to taste with salt.
- Pour cheese sauce into the bowl with the cooked shells until the macaroni is sufficiently coated in sauce. Pour into prepared dish.
- Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and olive oil in a medium bowl, tossing until crumbs are evenly coated in the butter. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping evenly. Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and sauce bubbles around the edges (25 – 30 minutes).
Butternut Squash Puree for Babies
Preheat oven to 375. Wash squash and half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Roast squash cut side down in about an inch of water for about an hour. Once squash is done, it will feel tender to touch. Scoop out flesh and puree in a food processor until smooth. Freeze into ice cube trays and store in freezer safe bags until ready to use.