This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe is full of hidden veggie power, but it’s so creamy, cheesy, and delicious, nobody would ever guess it’s healthy! And the best part – it comes together so fast thanks to the Instant Pot! This post contains affiliate links for products I’m obsessed with.
You guys know I am not above hiding veggies in my families meals. I mean, at this point they kind of know it, too.
And for a long time, cauliflower was my hidden veggie go-to. And it still is, but I have added another favorite to the mix:
Just like cauliflower, Butternut Squash ups the creaminess factor in healthy recipes without a lot of fat, but the flavor is mild enough that it is easily hidden (if that’s your goal)…maybe even more hidden than cauliflower.
Butternut Squash has a ton of health benefits, too – it’s high in fiber, has no fat or cholesterol, and has a ton of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant. And this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese has a heaping three cups of squash added in!
I use this technique with my Instant Pot Chicken Curry and Rice – the butternut squash adds lots of creamy and just a slight bit of sweetness to that dish, but you mainly taste the yummy ginger and curry.
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make this delicious side dish!
- Gluten Free Rotini or Penne Pasta – I tested this with elbow noodles and I felt that the finished texture heavily depended on the brand, but the rotini and penne both came out perfect without regard to brand. Also, if you are not gluten free, you can sub whole wheat pasta.
- Low sodium chicken broth or water – I love the extra flavor that broth gives to mac and cheese, but you can definitely just use water or even veggie broth to keep this dish vegetarian.
- Dry mustard – I always use dry mustard in my mac and cheese bc my momma always did.
- Garlic powder – you can sub fresh garlic if you don’t have the powder, but this is quick and easy.
- Salt – if you use water instead of broth, you might need some extra salt.
- Butter – we use vegan butter for this, but you can use whatever butter you have on hand.
- Frozen butternut squash (1 10oz frozen bag) – I love the time saver of using frozen butternut squash that is already pre-cubed, but you can certainly use fresh squash if you have some.
- Freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese, packed in tight – bagged cheddar will also work, but for the meltiest cheese, fresh is best.
- Pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese – you can swap this out for extra cheddar, but I love the extra zip the Pecorino Romano gives to mac and cheese.
- Optional – Gluten free breadcrumbs (note – you can make these easily by putting a slice of bread in your blender) – as an optional last step, I love to add some breadcrumbs and cheese for a fun, crispy topping.
How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot
Step One: Add pasta and seasonings to your Instant Pot. Then add in your broth, but don’t stir.
Step Two: Add butter and butternut squash to the pot, again, don’t stir. Just layer then on top of the pasta.
Step Three: Cook for 2 minutes on high pressure, then do a quick release when cook time is finished.
Step Four: Stir up the pasta and butternut squash, then add in the cheddar cheese!
Step Five: continue to stir that creamy, cheesy goodness, adding in a splash of broth, if the cheese mixture is too thick.
Optional Step Six: Top with gluten free breadcrumb and some extra cheese. Bake in the oven for ten minutes or until breadcrumbs are crispy!
What if my Pasta isn’t cooked all the way after the two minutes?
If your pasta doesn’t feel cooked all the way or evenly after cook time, don’t panic! Stir it all up and then just lay the lid on the pot. In a couple of minutes, the heat from the pot should finish your pasta! You can also put it on saute to help this!
What should I serve with this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?
Here are some yummy main course ideas to go with this Instant Pot Mac and Cheese!
*Also – add some chicken, tuna, or your favorite ground meat for a complete meal!
More Healthy Butternut Squash Recipes:Print
This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese recipe is full of hidden veggie power, but it’s so creamy, cheesy, and delicious, nobody would ever guess it’s good for you! And the best part – it comes together so fast thanks to the Instant Pot!
3 cups gluten free rotini or penne pasta
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth or water
½ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp garlic powder
½ –1 tsp salt
3 tsp butter
3 cups frozen butternut squash (1 10oz frozen bag)
2 cups of freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese, packed in tight
2T Pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese
optional – ¼ cup gluten free breadcrumbs (note – you can make these easily by putting a slice of bread in your blender)
- Place noodles in the Instant Pot, then cover with water/broth. Add in seasonings and butter, then butternut squash. Do not mix.
- Place lid on the IP and set for 2 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- After cook time, do a quick release.
- Remove lid and stir squash and noodles together, then add in the cheddar cheese and continue to stir until it’s all melted together.
- Place mac and cheese in a greased baking dish and top with 2 T extra shredded cheddar, 2T parmesan reggiano, and ¼ cup of breadcrumbs. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until breadcrumbs are crispy.
Makes 6 servings
21 Day Fix: 1 YELLOW, 1/2 GREEN, 1 BLUE (per serving)
WW: Green, Blue & Purple- 9 points (per serving) [Calculated using reduced fat cheddar]
- Serving Size: 3/4 cup servings
Keywords: butternut squash mac and cheese, instant pot macaroni and cheese, gluten free mac and cheese