Baked Mac and Cheese with Broccoli and Butternut Squash – A tasty, comforting dish with a nutritious twist!
Macaroni and cheese has always been one of my favorites. Fun fact: when I was a kid, I was an extremely picky eater (I’m the complete opposite now!). Kraft mac & cheese was basically its own food group in my diet.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love me some Kraft mac & cheese from time-to-time, but I also love making my own. This allows me to add my own flavor twists AND experiment with adding veggies. If you have kids (or adult family members :)) who are picky eaters, adding veggies to mac and cheese is a great way to up their veggie intake!
In this baked mac and cheese recipe, you cook the macaroni, make the cheese sauce, and then combine it with chopped broccoli and a separate butternut squash sauce. Top it with bread crumbs and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or so and enjoy!
One note about this recipe is that it only uses 1 cup of roasted butternut squash. Most butternut squash will yield more than a cup. What to do with the leftover squash? You can cube it and store in the fridge for later (add your own spices and seasonings and enjoy as a side dish, or in a soup or salad!) or make even more of the butternut squash sauce that’s included in this recipe.
Now you might be wondering – why broccoli and butternut squash? Well, both of these superstar veggies will boost the fiber content of your mac and cheese (which is normally pretty low in fiber). Fiber promotes fullness and keeps your digestion running smoothly. It’s also important for heart health! Broccoli and butternut squash also provide lots of vitamins and minerals, from vitamin C and vitamin A (both essential for a healthy immune system), to magnesium and calcium and iron.
- Not a fan of broccoli or butternut squash? Both can be omitted from the recipe and swapped with a veggie that you DO enjoy! Cauliflower or peas would go well with this recipe.
- If you don’t have the ingredients for the butternut squash sauce on hand, that’s okay! The recipe will still taste great without it.
- Gluten-free? No problem! Try making this recipe with gluten-free pasta! Banza chickpea pasta is one of my favorites.
- I did not test this recipe with any vegan modifications, but I’m sure it would taste great with a vegan butternut squash “cheese sauce” (like this one) in place of the regular cheese sauce that I have in this recipe.
- Add any other spices or seasonings that you like – I kept it pretty simple with this recipe to appeal to everyone. For those of you that are more adventurous with your taste buds, try adding mustard power or red pepper flakes!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli and Butternut Squash
- 1½ cups macaroni
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- Dash of paprika
- 1½ cups milk
- ¾ cup grated cheese
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- Butternut Squash Sauce:
- 1 cup butternut squash, roasted
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a heated saucepan, add flour and seasonings. Stir until smooth. Add the milk, stir again until smooth. Then add cheese. Take the pan off of heat and set aside.
- Make the butternut squash sauce by combining all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Place macaroni in a greased backing dish. Mix in the cheese sauce, broccoli, and butternut squash sauce.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
- Bake uncovered in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
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