Mac Attack Series | Butternut Mac and Cheese

March 12, 2018 , In: Eat, Recipes , With: No Comments

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Last week, mac and cheese grew up with the addition of veggies and white wine. For today’s Mac Attack recipe, I thought we’d continue, on that path… wine excluded, by sneaking butternut squash into a “cheesy” sauce that even the pickiest of kids will devour!

“I’m a carb queen. I’ll always order macaroni and cheese, but I don’t want it to be fancy.”
-Drew Barrymore

A self-proclaimed “carb queen” I should introduce her to that Mac Daddy Grilled Cheese I posted a few weeks ago! Though this butternut squash mac and cheese recipe is a sneaky carbaholic meal!

If you’re following the Mac Attack Series, this recipe is the third and final “basic” recipe. Use it in any recipe that asks for a basic mac and cheese. I particularly like to use this one for my taco mac and cheese, which will come a little later in this series, because it helps to counterbalance the heat of the taco seasoning and chilies!

“I’m Not a Nut Case”… Well, the recipe isn’t. I have my days!

I originally chose to write this recipe for my friends who have nut allergies. There are a lot of nuts in dairy-free recipes, and I really want to make dairy-free more accessible! Plus I always find myself with additional butternut squash in the fall and around the holidays, so to find an additional way to use it was icing on the proverbial cake for me!

There is no milk in this recipe at all but you would never know with the creamy, velvety texture of this sauce. Be ready to amp up the amount of onion, nutritional yeast and dijon in this recipe though. Some butternut squashes are sweeter than others.

Gotcha!!! … To Eat Your Veggies!

As previously mentioned, this recipe is picky-kid tested and approved! I have to thank one of the former kiddos in my life for being my test subject! (Test on children. They speak (mostly) clear, always honest English!) I’ve never seen this kid finish an entire meal… or even a whole sandwich for that matter. Dinner was always a fight, she would never try anything new either. Until I made this for her. It looks like your standard mac and cheese so she happily tried it. (The trick is to keep the kids out of the kitchen so you don’t show your hand! Anyway, not only did she say this was the “Cheesiest mac and cheese ever,” she finished her entire bowl full! Messaged received kid!

Mac Attack Series | Butternut Mac and Cheese

Mac Attack Series | Butternut Mac and Cheese


  • 1-lb favorite shaped pasta
  • 12 oz cubed Butternut Squash
  • 1 Yukon gold potato
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 5-7 baby carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cup Nutritional yeast
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 2 TBS canola/vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle powder (optional)


    For the Sauce
  1. Boil squash, potato, onion, carrots, and garlic in 1 cup of water until super soft. Strain the veggies and reserve the water!
  2. In a blender add veggies, dijon mustard, oil, and nutritional yeast. Carefully starting on low begin to blend. Adding reserved water slowly (1/2 cup at a time) to thin slightly and create the sauce. Blend on high for 6-8 minutes to ensure super smooth texture.
    For mac no cheese:
  1. Cook your choice of pasta (or gluten free pasta) according to package instructions. Strain completely. Put pasta back in pot over low heat and the sauce over the pasta, stirring to coat and until cheese is heated through. Use as much or as little sauce as per your preference.
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Kaiti J

Welcome to Garnished with Gratitude! I'm so glad you're here. I'm Kaiti, a fan of healthy-ish ways, lists/plans, and I'm a total goofball. I'm here to create a space that provides resources to live your best life! From food and exercise to visualization and inspiration, this site is for you.

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