Home ยป Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese {+ Happy Halloween!}

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese {+ Happy Halloween!}

Happy Halloween!

I still have to decide what I’m going to work as today…a banana or a hockey player. There’s faults with both costumes. Entering a dialysis unit in a banana costume is an interesting concept. Seeing as my patients are all on strict potassium restrictions, it’s almost a tease…or sending the wrong message (I am the dietitian, after all). Maybe I just need a “DON’T eat me!” sign to pin to my chest. Hmm..

A hockey player is a little generic. And probably a little stinky. Hockey equipment doesn’t get washed very often because…well, it just doesn’t. Seeing as I played a game until 10pm last night, that could be interesting..and potentially offensive. But, there’s always perfumes and Febreze, right? Right.

Unlike my poorly planned Halloween costume choices, there is no fault to be found in this recipe. As soon as I saw it on Gina’s blog, I knew I had to make it.

How this recipe from Cooking Light ever slipped passed my eyes is beyond me. I am known for pouring over my monthly Cooking Light issues for a really, really long time.

But that’s no longer important. What is important is that I think I modified the recipe to be even better. I don’t know that for a fact, but skipping the panko and baking not only 1) cut time and 2) cut calories…but 3) made for the creamiest, richest, most wonderful mac & cheese you may ever have pass your lips.

…For under 400 calories per serving. (Bonus points for it being orange and today being Halloween!) 😉


Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese adapted from Cooking Light and The Candid RD

3 1/2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about one 1-lb squash)
1 1/4 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 cup (4 oz) pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup (1 oz) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 lb uncooked whole wheat pasta (such as penne or rotini)


Combine squash, broth, garlic, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.

Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Blend until smooth.

Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyere, parmesan, and Parmesan cheese. Add pasta to the squash-cheese mixture, stir to combine and serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 395 calories; 11.6 g. fat; 32 mg. cholesterol; 568 mg. sodium; 50.5 g. carbohydrate; 4 g. fiber; 23.3 g. protein

Result: Dare I say the best dish yet this fall? This was truly wonderful. Rich…comforting… sinful-tasting…but not so much. This is ready in 35 minutes from start to finish and is sure to be the perfect meal for kids, guests, and everyone in between. SO GOOD. Enjoy!


Regardless of my costume woes, I must say that the other gal in this household makes the cutest ballerina ever…for the second year in a row. This dietitian mama is doing something right…the tutu still fits from last year 😉 Can’t say I wasn’t a bit worried about that possibility..

Tonight is trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, I am giving an exam tonight so the Princess and Mr. Prevention will be handing out candy to the neighborhood cuties without me. On the plus side, not handing out candy this year may be of benefit to my waistline. I don’t know about you all, but far too many pieces of candy make their way into my belly as I’m putting them into kids’ candy sacks and buckets!

Question: Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, as what?

Happy Halloween!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Gina (The Candid RD)
    October 31, 2011 / 6:35 am

    You did the mac and cheese the full fat way, minus the Nutritional Yeast, which is how I plan on doing it next! Although, I’m sticking with the Panko crumbs. I liked the texture, although yours does look VERY creamy and delicious! I’m sure Nick would prefer it your way!
    Lily looks adorable. The kids will love her tonight when they come to the door! I am getting home late from work so NIck has trick-or-treat duty for the first hour. He’s not happy.

  2. Samantha @ Bikini Birthday
    October 31, 2011 / 9:22 am

    I made the vegan pumpkin mac and “cheese” that was on Oh She Glows. I thought it was tasty, but I called it pumpkin pasta when I served it to Matt because it doesn’t actually taste like mac and cheese and I didn’t want him to get the wrong impression. I bet this version that uses actual cheese is a lot better (although I try to stay away from it because of my acne).

    Funny, Lily and I are dressed the same for Hallowe’en. Bitch in a ballet costume!

  3. thehealthyapron
    October 31, 2011 / 9:37 am

    ooo this looks tasty! I can’t wait to try making it! Thanks!

  4. Andrea@WellnessNotes
    October 31, 2011 / 9:51 am

    I made Gina’s mac & cheese, too, and we all liked it a lot! I actually made it earlier in the day and ate some before baking it. And I think that’s how I would make it in the future. It’s also such a great recipe to play around with with all different types of cheeses and different types of squash…

    Hope you like the costume you chose! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a witch/pirate. Yup, weird…

    Can’t wait to see you at Foodbuzz!!!!

  5. Erin
    October 31, 2011 / 10:15 am

    I made a butternut squash mac and cheese lately and it was awesome. I really want to try this version now. I am all about creamy mac and cheese and I agree that not baking it definitely helps maintain that characteristic.’

    Sadly, I am not dressing up this year. First time in a long time that I haven’t ๐Ÿ™

  6. Anna @ On Anna's Plate
    October 31, 2011 / 10:25 am

    I hope you go with the banana!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Happy Halloween!

  7. Leah @ Why Deprive?
    October 31, 2011 / 1:15 pm

    I love the Lily picture! That is so adorable. I need to try and find a costume for Lexie. ๐Ÿ™‚

    This looks so fantastic. I love the idea of mixing in butternut squash. I feel like it would add so much extra flavor.

  8. Faith
    October 31, 2011 / 2:55 pm

    Mmm, mac and cheese looks great, Nicole! Lily is such a cute little ballerina, I bet the trick or treating kiddos will love seeing her tonight!

  9. Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel
    October 31, 2011 / 4:05 pm


  10. Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living
    October 31, 2011 / 4:25 pm

    I LOVE butternut squash, and this mac & cheese looks fantastic, Nicole =). Sadly, I’m not dressing up for Halloween (no parties to attend and no trick-or-treaters come to our apartment). I miss costumes!

  11. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    October 31, 2011 / 10:14 pm

    Happy Halloween! This mac and cheese looks amazing! I find it difficult to truly find a great mac and cheese.
    Can’t wait to see what you went as!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen
    October 31, 2011 / 11:09 pm

    The banana of course!

  13. Melinda
    October 31, 2011 / 11:54 pm

    LOL a banana in a dialysis unit is certainly an interesting concept. And I did once have an NPO patient tell me I looked good enough to eat, so hopefully you faired well if you went with the banana. I didn’t dress up this year. But I did give out candy.

    Great looking mac and cheese. I need to give this a try.

  14. Turtle-speed Runner
    November 1, 2011 / 2:07 am

    Looks delicious – I hope you went with the banana, haha. That would be funny.

  15. Elena
    December 13, 2011 / 3:02 pm

    Just bookmarked this under my “healthy/low calorie” recipes tab. And I love the fact that I already have all of these ingredients in my fridge and pantry!

  16. Pingback: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese | Pabulum
  17. Katie
    February 4, 2014 / 1:41 pm

    Looks like a great recipe! Definitely meatless but it is listed under your vegetarian tab so technically shouldn’t be made with chicken broth. Has anyone tried it with vegetable broth?

    • Nicole, RD
      February 4, 2014 / 5:07 pm

      Hi Katie, thanks for catching that ๐Ÿ™‚ It shouldn’t make any difference with veg broth ๐Ÿ™‚

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