Mini mac ’n’ cheese casseroles with winter squash

Total Time
1 hr
15 min
40 min
Winter squash gives this comfort food favorite a dose of vegetables without losing any of the creaminess, which is a must-have in this classic dish. The squash anchors the cheese sauce that coats the pasta, which then gets sprinkled with a crunchy Parmesan and herb-laced panko topping that browns in the oven. What’s more, since the mac and cheese is portioned into individual ramekins, you get more of the wonderful crunchy edges. Want to make this recipe for four? You can double all the ingredients and use a medium saucepan to make the cheese sauce. You can even bake it family-style in a 1-quart gratin dish if you like; just increase the cooking time as necessary so that top is browned and bubbly and the macaroni is hot.


Cooking spray

2 spray(s)

Uncooked macaroni

3 oz, elbow variety (about 2⁄3 cup)

Pureed butternut squash

½ cup(s), thawed if frozen

Reduced-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup(s)

1% low-fat milk

¼ cup(s)

Plain lowfat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp

Onion powder

½ tsp

Granulated garlic

tsp, pinch

Dry mustard

tsp, pinch

Kosher salt

½ tsp

Kosher salt

1 pinch(es), large

50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup(s), shredded

Panko breadcrumbs

¼ cup(s)

Grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp

Fresh thyme

½ tsp, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 2 (10-oz) ramekins or baking dishes with nonstick spray.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
  3. In small saucepan, whisk together squash, broth, milk, yogurt, onion powder, granulated garlic, dry mustard, and 1⁄2 tsp salt. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar, stirring until smooth. Add macaroni and stir to coat.
  4. Divide macaroni mixture evenly between ramekins. In cup, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, thyme, and remaining large pinch of salt. Sprinkle over macaroni. Spray tops lightly with cooking spray. Bake until tops are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Serving size: 1 ramekin