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
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8
  • 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
Recipe type: Pasta
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!
  • 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.

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.


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