Healthy Macaroni and cheese

Butternut Squash and Parsnip Mac-n-Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of those classic dishes where you don’t need to get fancy to impress, but I’m really excited to be sharing this recipe where I “healthify” a classic! I’ve been hiding veggies for 5 years now and Butternut Squash and Parsnip Mac-n-Cheese is one of the easiest recipes to get away with it.

A few years ago I fell in love with butternut squash when I made butternut squash mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I quickly realized after baking it that the consistency was perfect to add to mac-n-cheese sauce. The key here though is the color of the squash because it blends right in with the cheese.

Both butternut squash and parsnips have subtle tastes as well so your guests (or my almost 6-year old) will never know!

There are several health benefits of butternut squash like boosting your immune system with vitamin C and parsnips are great in fiber so these are no brainer options for “healthifying” your mac-n-cheese. Especially with little ones running around! 

Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food that almost everybody loves right? Noodles covered in creamy gooey cheeses. Well, since it will be getting colder soon why not enjoy your traditional warm dish with an extra healthy twist.


Butternut Squash and Parsnip Mac-n-Cheese
Creamy mac-n-cheese with an extra healthy twist!
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
  1. 1/2 of a medium butternut squash
  2. 1 medium parsnip
  3. 1 16oz box of rotini or your favorite choice pasta
  4. 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  5. 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
  6. 2 cups milk whole milk
  7. 8 tbsp. butter
  8. 2 tbsp. flour
  9. salt and pepper to taste
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  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Carefully cut a whole butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds (store the other half for another recipe)
  3. Clean parsnip and cut lengthwise
  4. Drizzle half the squash and parsnip with olive oil and place it on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up.
  5. Roast it in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until fork tender
  6. Cook the macaroni until al dente
  7. When the squash is roasted and tender, scrape out the flesh and add to a blender
  8. Cut up the parsnip into small pieces and add to blender
  9. Add a few splashes of milk to the blender and puree until smooth
  10. While you're roasting the squash, add the butter to a large skillet over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally
  11. When butter is melted, sprinkle over the flour and whisk it to make a thin paste.
  12. Cook it for 2 minutes then whisk in the milk
  13. Cook it, whisking gently, for a couple of minutes or until slightly thick
  14. Add the cheese to the roux to allow the cheese to melt and thicken
  15. Add the squash and parsnip to the cheese sauce and mix
  16. Add butternut squash and parsnip cheese sauce to the pasta; if the sauce is too thick add splashes of milk until you reach your desired thickness
  17. Salt and pepper to taste
  18. Enjoy immediately!
Cilantro & Limes

If you “healthify” you mac-n-cheese let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Also check out another kid approved recipe with Simple & Sweet Spinach Cupcakes

Healthy Mac-n-Cheese
                                   Boost your mac-n-cheese with butternut squash and parsnips!


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