Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Winter Squash

Sharp cheddar and pureed winter squash create a thick and creamy sauce for this easy stove top mac and cheese. Kid-friendly, adult approved!
Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Winter Squash - The Lemon BowlCool weather, short days and sleepless nights have me craving comfort food (read: carbs) like never before. Of course, I’m also well aware that nothing saps or drains your energy like loading up on sugar or white bread.

In an attempt to find a happy medium, I created this easy and nutritious Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Winter Squash. By using whole wheat pasta as the base, I am adding protein and fiber that will keep me from crashing an hour later. For even more vitamins and nutrients, Winter squash is pureed into the cheese sauce creating a thick and hearty texture that sticks to every shell.

This dish freezes really well and also keeps for several days making it an ideal option for a quick and healthy lunch throughout the week.

Your fork is waiting.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Winter Squash
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sharp cheddar and pureed winter squash create a thick and creamy sauce for this easy stove top mac and cheese. Kid-friendly, adult approved!
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 8
  • 1 pound whole wheat shells
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth - low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 12 ounces cooked winter squash puree - thawed if frozen
  • 1¾ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese - low fat
  1. Cook pasta in salty water according to package instructions reducing the cook time by 1 minute to ensure al dente pasta; set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes whisking frequently.
  3. Pour in milk, broth, dry mustard, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to low. Whisk constantly until sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Stir in winter squash and shredded cheese. Mix until melted, about 2-3 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  5. Add reserved shells to the pot and stir until noodles are evenly coated.
  6. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups Calories: 343 Fat: 10.7 g Saturated fat: 4.8 g Unsaturated fat: 5.9 g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 51.3 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 352 mg Fiber: 6.8 g Protein: 17.5 g Cholesterol: 28 mg

Want more delicious ideas for winter squash? Check out these tasty recipes we’ve put together for you for the Food Network’s Fall Fest!

Feed Me Phoebe: Baked Acorn Squash with Maple-Siracha Glaze
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Thai Red Curry Chicken with Winter Squash
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Provencal Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Chickpeas
Weelicious: Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Creamy Squash Rigatoni
Blue Apron Blog: Acorn Squash Tempura Tacos
Taste With The Eyes: A Hearty Tomato Soup with Sausage and Spaghetti Squash
Devour: Winter Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Dishin & Dishes: Roasted Acorn Squash Crescents with Sage Pecan Pesto
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Pumpkin & Apple Slices with Maple Syrup
Red or Green: Butternut Squash Salad with Kale, Cranberries and Cayenne
Virtually Homemade: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Basil Walnut Pesto
Domesticate Me: Chipotle Pork Tenderloin and Butternut Squash Tacos
Daily*Dishin: Kahlua Baked Acorn Squash
FN Dish: Comforting Winter Squash Sides


  1. says

    I made something just like this the other night! It was kind of a clean-out the fridge meal. I had roasted butternut squash so I pureed that as the base of the sauce (I actually only used 1 cup of cheese — extra sharp!) and threw in some bacon, brussels, zuchinni and green onions. Of course I didn’t measure anything or write anything down but it was so tasty! Yours looks wonderful too! Total comfort food. xo

  2. Elizabeth says

    I don’t the photo here on the website, but your email to me that included this recipe had the most gorgeous photo of you and your son — you looked like an angel cradling him. So lucky — so precious!

  3. says

    I kind of want to bathe in the sauce alone. Or drink it with a straw. But I’ll never say no to good healthy whole wheat pasta either! Such a great dish!

  4. says

    As a matter of fact, I do have winter squash puree in the freezer! But I’ve got even more squash stockpiled in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in a cold corner of my breakfast nook. Who am I kidding? The entire kitchen is cold, but the breakfast nook is especially cold–and perfect for stockpiling the squash from the farm share. They were coming faster than I could fix them all Fall, and now that snow has blanketed the area the farm is tucked in like my own garden beds, but I can still make these yummy mac and cheese from farm fresh veggies.

  5. Jennifer says

    Just be warned that a tablespoon of smoked paprika is a LOT. My 10-year-old son very astutely noted that it smelled and tasted like bacon! I liked it anyway, but it you’re not a fan of that flavor, I’d tone it down.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: