Farmer’s Market Sides: Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Apple

I am OBSESSED with today’s recipe. During the cold winter months, sometimes there’s nothing quite as comforting as mac & cheese… and this recipe is only 294 calories a serving! I’m so thankful that A Pinch of Yum came up with it.

Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, and Apples

Serves: 4 (confirmed!)
  • ½ box whole grain elbow macaroni (about 2.5 cups dry)
  • 1 cup canned butternut squash puree (I admit – my butternut squash for this recipe did not come from the Farmer’s Market; it was an organic can from Whole Foods; however I’d recommend puree-ing a whole squash in a food processor, as it was quite difficult to find a canned version)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 oz low fat cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 large crispy apple, chopped or grated
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled bacon

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (2)

  1. Heat butter in a skillet over low heat. When melted, add onions and let caramelize for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor. Keep heat on low/low-medium.
  2. Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butternut squash, chicken broth, evaporated milk, and cream cheese. When combined, add in salt.
  3. Add onions and apples to the pasta. Stir to combine and add a tablespoon more broth or milk if needed.
  4. Just before serving, mix in cheese and stir until melted. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon bacon.
Notes from Author

Because there’s very little butter, it can “dry out” quickly, especially once off the heat. Add a tablespoon of water, milk, or broth if you need to get it back to its original creaminess.

MMmmmMMMmmmm… smelling good!!Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (4)

And here it is, about to go in our bellies.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (6)

Definitely fulfilled my winter craving for comfort food, and it was fantastic as lunch leftovers as well.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (7)

This concludes our Farmer’s Market Sides series. In case you missed it, we’ve shared recipes for:

What are you looking forward to trying? Do you have any must-try recipes using seasonal produce? It’s almost spring, which will bring new veggies to the market. As I’ve typed this post, Tristan has watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Food, Inc. on Netflix. I have a feeling we’ll be eating more locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables in the future :).




  1. Those two movies are why we’re 95% vegan with occasional local fish or eggs thrown in for variety (especially since most produce in this town is 1) overpriced and 2) usually horrendously under/over ripe).

    Isaiah would love this recipe, minus the onions. I might have to make it sometime.

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