Cheap Thanksgiving Treat: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

11/24/2010 09:14 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Today we're making Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese - YUM!

I thought you'd be interested in the abridged version of the work that went into creating this dish. Once I knew I wanted to make Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, the first step was trying Martha's recipe. To be honest, I wasn't impressed. I think maybe it was a little too sweet. I'm more of a savory gal.Sorry, Martha. You know I love you, girl.

So, in search for a solution to my taste problem, I substituted mozzarella cheese in place of cheddar. It was definitely better, but the color was kind of off. Mozzarella is tasty, but it's not always beautiful.

After that, I turned to my favorite book, The Flavor Bible, and looked up what flavors go well with Butternut Squash. I was intrigued when I saw curry and realized not only would it bring the savory/spicy, it'd also bring the pretty orange.

And wow...I hit the big jackpot

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This mac & cheese is one of the most delicious macaroni and cheese's I've ever tasted...and I'm not just patting myself on the back here. It's got the gooey, the spicy, the cheesy and the crunchy. I like it so much, in fact, that I'm going to make it for Thanksgiving next week!

So I suggest you give it a try! Be sure to follow my video tips about the squash, it can be a little intimidating if you've never worked with one before. But I give you method that's easy-peasy.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I'm very thankful to all our E. Bites fans - you've made my year!!

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese


-1 Butternut squash, diced

-2 cups chicken stock

-2 TBSP heavy cream

-1 tsp Cayenne pepper

-1 1/2 TBSP Curry powder

-1 lb small shells

-2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded

-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus 1/2 cup for crust

-1/2 cup breadcrumbs

-salt and pepper to taste


-Preheat oven to 375

-Cut the bulb off the squash and then, using your chef's knife, peel off the skin. Once peeled, slice the squash into 3 or 4 long slices. Cut each slice into sticks then turn the sticks 45 degrees and cut them into cubes. Set all the cubes aside in a bowl.

-Heat a large, heavy, oven-ready pot over medium-high heat. Coat the pot in olive oil. Once hot, add squash, chicken stock and cream. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Once tender, mash squash with a potato masher.

-Cook pasta to al-dente (use package directions)

-Stir in Curry powder, Cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for a few minutes. Slowly whisk in mozzarella a little bit at a time. Use your whisk to mix the sauce until the cheese is fully incorporated.

-Once pasta is cooked, drain - don't rinse! - and pour pasta into cheese sauce. Use a spatula to fold pasta into cheese. When fully mixed, add breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix well.

-Top with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

-server hot or store in the fridge for up to a week!