Butternut Mac & Cheese Casserole

Butternut Mac & Cheese Casserole is everything you love about macaroni and cheese turned into a healthy casserole.  Delicious butternut squash cheese sauce coated over pasta, ground turkey, and peas is hearty and a guaranteed family favorite! 

 

Butternut Mac & Cheese Casserole

 

Casseroles are life y’all.  I live for them.  Give me a bunch of ingredients and I will turn those ingredients into a casserole.  After having kids, I love casseroles even more because I can hide all kinds of vegetables into the dish.  My Butternut Mac & Cheese Casserole is everything you love about macaroni and cheese turned into a healthy casserole.  Delicious butternut squash cheese sauce coated over pasta, ground turkey, and peas is hearty, healthy, and a guaranteed family favorite!

 

I am always brainstorming new recipes to make for my family.  Nowadays, we all eat the same thing.  So that means, what I make for dinner needs to be kid (toddler)  friendly.  I try to make dinners that have protein, carbs, and vegetables.  This is why casseroles are the best thing ever.  One of my all-time favorite recipes is my Bacon Butternut Mac & Cheese.  I decided to take that recipe and give it a twist with this new variation.

 

This recipe is fairly easy to make, but there are a lot of steps.  I recommend doing a few of the steps ahead to save you on time!  The sauce is something that can be made a few days in advance.  Years ago when I was on Weight Watchers I learned how to make butternut squash cheese sauce in place of traditional cheese sauce for a pasta dish.  Using this sauce in place of the heavy cheese sauce, was a way to enjoy cheese but on the lighter side.  This sauce is so delicious and creamy, you won’t even notice there is less cheese.  To start, roast 3 cups of butternut squash.  Be sure to check out my guide for How to Roast Butternut Squash.

 

How to Roast Butternut Squash

   

 

After the squash is roasted, add to the blender along with spices and broth, then blend until smooth.  Add milk and 1 cup broth to a microwave safe measuring cup and microwave for 2 minutes.  Heating up the liquid will ensure that the cheese sauce is smooth and not clumpy.  Heat a sauce pot over medium heat and add butter.  Melt butter for 1 minute and sprinkle flour, stirring continuously.  Add milk/broth mixture very slowly, stirring continuously until smooth.  Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add blended squash and shredded cheese.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes until melted.  Turn heat off and set aside.

 

Butternut squash cheese sauce

 

To the pot with the cheese sauce add cooked pasta, cooked ground turkey, and frozen peas.  Mix until well combined.

 

 

Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish, add the breadcrumb topping, then bake for 25 minutes until bubbly.

 

 

Butternut Mac & Cheese Casserole is everything you love about macaroni and cheese turned into a healthy casserole.  Delicious butternut squash cheese sauce coated over pasta, ground turkey, and peas is hearty, healthy, and a guaranteed family favorite!  I made this at least once a month because my kids (and husband) love it so much.

 

Butternut Mac & Cheese Casserole

 

I hope you enjoy these bites of flavor!

Butternut Mac & Cheese Casserole

Butternut Mac &Cheese Casserole is everything you love about macaroni and cheese turned into a healthy casserole.  Delicious butternut squash cheese sauce coated over pasta, ground turkey, and peas is hearty and a guaranteed family favorite! 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Butternut Squash Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Roasted Butternut Squash (See Notes for Recipe Link)
  • 1 ½ Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth, Divided
  • ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Butter
  • 2 Cups Skim or Low Fat Milk
  • ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Casserole Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Pasta, Any Kind (I use Fusilli, but Rotini works great)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Pound 93% Lean Ground Turkey

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Butter, Melted

Instructions
 

Butternut Squash Cheese Sauce Directions:

  • Make Roasted Butternut Squash according to recipe (Recipe in notes section).
  • Add cooked butternut squash, ½ cup broth, and spices to a blender.  Blend until smooth then set aside.
  • Add milk and 1 cup broth to a microwave safe measuring cup.  Microwave for 2 minutes.  Heating up the liquid will ensure that the cheese sauce is smooth and not clumpy. Set aside. 
  • Heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat and add butter.  Melt butter for 1 minute and sprinkle flour, stirring continuously.  Add milk/broth mixture very slowly, stirring continuously until smooth. 
  • Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add blended squash and shredded cheese. Stir and cook for 3 minutes until melted.  Turn heat off and set aside.

Casserole Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Heat skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add ground turkey and cook for 10 minutes breaking meat into small pieces, until fully cooked. Set aside.
  • To the same pot as the butternut sauce, add the cooked pasta, cooked ground turkey, and frozen peas. Stir well to combine.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 9x11 casserole dish.
  • Mix topping ingredients together in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of casserole.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until bubbly.

Notes

Recipe for How to Roast Butternut Squash: https://bitesofflavor.com/how-to-roast-butternut-squash/
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To help save you time, make the butternut squash cheese sauce a few days in advance.

Looking for more Casserole Recipes?  Click here to find all the delicious-ness!

 

Helpful kitchen tools to make this recipe:

 

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

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1 Comment

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    Advisor Baby
    April 17, 2021 at 4:57 am Wonderful experience gathered while I was going through your great article. Keep it up and best of luck at all times. Visit Here
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