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Winter Squash Mac and Cheese

    Sharp cheddar and pureed winter squash create a thick and creamy sauce for this easy stove top mac and cheese. Kid-friendly, adult approved!

    Winter Squash Mac and Cheese

    Cool 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.

    Mac and Cheese with Winter Squash

    Winter Squash Mac and Cheese

    4.88 stars average
    Sharp cheddar and pureed winter squash create a thick and creamy sauce for this easy stove top mac and cheese. Kid-friendly, adult approved!
    PREP: 5 mins
    COOK: 20 mins
    TOTAL: 25 mins
    Servings: 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)
    • 1 ¾ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (low fat)


    • Cook pasta in salty water according to package instructions reducing the cook time by 1 minute to ensure al dente pasta; set aside.
    • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes whisking frequently.
    • 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.
    • Stir in winter squash and shredded cheese. Mix until melted, about 2-3 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
    • Add reserved shells to the pot and stir until noodles are evenly coated.
    • Serve immediately.


    Calories: 343kcalCarbohydrates: 51.3gProtein: 17.5gFat: 10.7gSaturated Fat: 4.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5.9gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 352mgFiber: 6.8gSugar: 2g

    SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:


    1. 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.

    2. Liz,
      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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