Squash Mac 'n' Cheese

Ain't nothin' wrong with tossing veggies into mac 'n' cheese, or in this case, tossing mac 'n' cheese into an acorn squash bowl.


  • Squash:
  • 3 acorn squash
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mac and cheese:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 5 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 small sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup grated white sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound cavatappi pasta, cooked al dente
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet tray with foil.
  2. Cut about a 1/4 inch from the bottom and top of the squash so it can stand it up. Then cut in half to make 2 bowls. Scrape out the seeds, and if needed, use a spoon to scrape out a bit more flesh so there’s ample room for the mac and cheese. Brush flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down and roast until just tender, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  3. While squash are roasting, add milk, chicken stock, cubed squash, garlic, rosemary, freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper to a large sized saucepan or high-sided skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove rosemary sprig and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add the Gruyere and cheddar by handfuls, stir in the ricotta cheese, and then stir in the pasta.
  4. Prepare the crunchy topping by stirring together the panko, Parmesan cheese, melted butter, salt and pepper.
  5. Add mac and cheese to the hollowed out roasted squash and sprinkle the panko topping on top. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.