Eric Greenspan's butternut mac & cheese with roasted shallots and cauliflower

Total Time
1 hr 10 min
30 min
40 min
Mac and cheese goes guilt-free with this celebrity chef's inventive cheese sauce. In it, butternut squash gives the homey dish its signature color, and the boiled, pureed squash combines with yogurt and feta to give the casserole its trademark creaminess. Roasted shallots take this mac and cheese up a notch, ensuring it's loved by the "big kids" at the table, too. Finally, the addition of tender cauliflower to the pasta lightens up this all-American classic, meaning you really can indulge guilt-free!


Uncooked butternut squash

16 oz, cubed, about 4 cups

Crumbled feta cheese

½ cup(s)

Plain fat free Greek yogurt

¼ cup(s)

Kosher salt

½ tsp


½ tsp, smoked variety

Uncooked shallot(s)

8 item(s), thinly sliced, about 2 cups

Cooking spray

5 spray(s)

Uncooked cauliflower

6 cup(s), cut into small pieces

Uncooked orecchiette pasta

6 oz

Light cheddar cheese

½ cup(s), shredded

Panko breadcrumbs

½ cup(s)

Grated Pecorino cheese

1 Tbsp

Unsalted butter

1 tsp, melted

Dried sage

1 tsp

Dried thyme

½ tsp


  1. To make cheese sauce, boil butternut squash until tender, about 10-12 minutes; drain and place in a food processor or large blender. Add feta, yogurt, salt, and paprika; process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place shallots on a sheet pan; coat with cooking spray. Roast until tender and caramelized, stirring a few times, about 15 -20 minutes.
  3. Boil cauliflower until tender, about 8-10 minutes; drain.
  4. Boil pasta according to package directions; drain.
  5. To make topping, combine panko, pecorino, melted butter, sage, and thyme in a small bowl; set aside.
  6. To assemble mac and cheese, combine pasta, cauliflower, cheese sauce, cheddar cheese, and shallots in a 2 quart casserole dish; stir to combine. Sprinkle with panko mixture; heat through, about 15 minutes.
  7. Serving size: about 1 1/3 cups