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Healthier Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

by Heather

Looking for a healthier mac and cheese that your kids won’t turn their nose up to? You found it! This better-for-you version is made with a butternut squash cheese sauce (yes, real cheese in here!), nourishing bone broth & your favorite noodle shape. This healthy mac and cheese for kids is perfect to pack in a lunch bag or to whip up and enjoy at home. PS – adults love it too!

Healthier Mac and Cheese

Healthier mac and cheese

I grew up eating the blue boxed mac n cheese, and chances are, once your kids get a taste, they may turn their nose up to fancy homemade mac n cheese.

While I won’t say this is a copycat recipe, it’s pretty darn tasty AND filled with more nourishing ingredients.

And I say if we’re going to make mac n cheese, let’s make it even better!

Healthier Mac and Cheese

Butternut squash cheese sauce

This is where the good stuff comes in. Our cheesy sauce is made with butternut squash and bone broth, plus a few other ingredients. What I LOVE about the sauce is that’s it’s easily made in the blender!

Hallelujah, no whisking the flour into the butter and creating a roux. Our butternut squash cheese sauce is made without flour and butter, which makes keeping this recipe gluten-free easy. More about that below!

Gluten free butternut squash mac and cheese

With our sauce needing no flour, you can easily keep this mac n cheese gluten-free by simply choosing a gluten-free noodle. Here are my favorite options.

Don’t need it gluten-free? Try einkorn pasta for a fun twist!

Healthier Mac and Cheese

What you’ll need for healthier mac and cheese

How to make it

  1. Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside while the sauce is made.
  2. Add 2 inches of water to a pot and place a steamer basket over top.  Bring to a boil.  Add the frozen butternut squash in, cover, and steam for 10-12 minutes, until the butternut squash is cooked tender.
  3. Once the butternut squash is tender, add the butternut squash, broth, sour cream, shredded cheese, garlic granules, sea salt, and pepper into a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the butternut squash sauce into a drained pot, and add the pasta.  Warm everything together for a few minutes to get teh cheese warmed through, and serve.
butternut squash Mac and Cheese

Packing mac n cheese in a lunchbox

My kids are PUMPED when I send mac n cheese along in their lunch bag. I have 3 of these 10-ounce thermoses and love them!

TIP!

Add boiling water into the thermos for a few minutes before you add the heated mac n cheese. Once you’re ready to add it in, simply pour out the hot water and add the food. This will help keep the food warmer for longer!

Read my lunchbox meal planning strategy.

Healthier Mac and Cheese

More healthy pasta recipes you’ll love

Healthier Mac and Cheese
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5 from 1 vote

Healthier Mac and Cheese

Looking for a healthier mac and cheese that your kids won't turn their nose up to? You found it! This better-for-you version is made with a butternut squash cheese sauce (yes, real cheese in here!), nourishing bone broth & your favorite noodle shape. This healthy mac and cheese for kids is perfect to pack in a lunch bag or to whip up and enjoy at home. PS – adults love it too!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash, goat cheese, Pasta
Servings: 6
Calories: 341kcal
Author: Heather

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside while the sauce is made.
  • Add 2 inches of water to a pot and place a steamer basket over top.  Bring to a boil.  Add the frozen butternut squash in, cover, and steam for 10-12 minutes, until the butternut squash is cooked tender.
  • Once the butternut squash is tender, add the butternut squash, broth, sour cream, shredded cheese, garlic granules, sea salt, and pepper into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the butternut squash sauce into a drained pot, and add the pasta.  Warm everything together for a few minutes to get teh cheese warmed through, and serve.
Did you make this recipe?Be sure to tag me @fitmamarealfood or tag #fitmamarealfood!

Nutrition

Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a recipe rating and comment below!

Heather

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