Ranch Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

Ranch mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

While growing up, whenever my parents asked what I wanted to eat for dinner, I always said macaroni and cheese–Kraft the Cheesiest to be exact. It didn’t matter if that’s what I had eaten the night before; I wanted it again, and I could have eaten it every night. I still do occasionally take pleasure in the mac and cheese of my childhood, although I’m pretty sure Kraft started putting half as much powdered cheese product in the package about 10 years ago (seriously, didn’t it use to be cheesier?). 


Inevitably adulthood came, and now I feel like it’s time to enjoy a more grown-up version of my childhood favorite. My adaptation gets the classic orange color from butternut squash, but don’t let the hidden vegetables fool you: there’s plenty of cheese in there. And this creamy mac and cheese even has ranch in it!


Pair with a side salad or steamed veggies, and prepare to feel full.


Ranch mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash


{Ranch Mac & Cheese with Butternut Squash}


Feta cheese and Ranch mix gives this mac and cheese the tangy kick that sharp cheddar traditionally would.


Adapted from: Rachel Ray’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Servings: 6



1 16 oz box whole wheat elbow macaroni

2 cups frozen cooked butternut squash, or you can use fresh cooked: how to cook squash.

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1 8 oz block fat-free cream cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup feta cheese

1 package dry Ranch Dressing mix

1 1/2 cups frozen, shelled, edamame


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta according to directions.
2. As the water heats up, combine squash, milk, and cream cheese in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Stir until cream cheese is almost melted.
3. Pour the warm squash mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Return blended mixture to pot and back onto the stove-top.
4. Add the feta, parmesan, ranch dressing mix, and edamame to squash mixture, and continue to heat until all the cheese is melted, edamame thawed, and mixture is hot.
5. Pour cheese mixture over the drained pasta. Stir to combine.
6. Enjoy immediately (as if you’d want to wait).


Nutrition info per serving: 490 cal, 68 g carb, 28 g protein, 6.5 g fat, 2.3 g sat fat, 11 g fiber



One Response to Ranch Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

  1. Maggie says:

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for this recipe! Now to go buy & cook a butternut squash…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *