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Kale and butternut squash mac and cheese is an easy, healthy and deliciously creamy side dish or vegetarian main that everyone’s sure to love!
I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween this week!
We enjoyed a little neighborhood party, with pizza and wine (bourbon for me, of course) and when it started getting dark, the kiddos dragged us away for trick or treating. Here’s a picture of them I posted on Facebook before we got going. (You are following me on Facebook, right?!)
Fun times had by all! Especially this morning when they got to sort their candy… and this afternoon when they sorted again and got to have a few pieces. 😋
And now here we are in November and that seems to mean full speed ahead to the holidays. With Halloween just barely behind us, we’re already being bombarded by all things Christmas.
And poor lonely little Thanksgiving is getting lost in the shuffle. 😢
Not in my house! Sure, we maybe don’t have a ton of turkey decorations, not compared to our pumpkin and Christmas haul, but I do not decorate for Christmas until I’ve come out of my food coma from Thanksgiving. Which can take days…
So since we’re in November and since that means the next holiday is Thanksgiving, I’m going to focus on that.
Starting with this kale and butternut squash mac and cheese that I’m bringing to Blogsgiving, a blogger’s get together version of Friendsgiving, which is a friends get together of Thanksgiving, the traditional American family get together.
Head spinning? Don’t worry, just pull up a seat and I’ll hand you a fork and you can dive into this creamy, cheesy goodness. All will be right with the world again.
This mac and cheese, you guys. It’s everything I could ever want it to be. It’s loaded with veggies, coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce and topped with buttery breadcrumbs that bake up nice and crispy.
You won’t want to stop eating it. And I won’t stop you!
A few notes on this kale and butternut squash mac and cheese:
- You can prep this ahead of time. Make the mac and cheese through step 9 and refrigerate. When you’re read to bake it, take it out of the fridge while the oven is pre-heating. Add the breadcrumb mixture, then bake, adding 5-10 minutes to the cooking time.
- You also could skip baking it – it’s pretty delicious without the crunchy topping, too. Just make sure the noodles are fully cooked and stir in all the cheese (instead of saving some to sprinkle on top).
- The crunchy topping really is killer though, so I highly suggest adding that step.
- Want a bit of spice? You can stir in 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper when you add the cheese and salt and pepper. You can also add some hot sauce at the table (I do this so the kids can have the un-spicy version).
- This totally works on its own as a vegetarian main dish but you can also pair it will baked chicken or my balsamic pork tenderloin with thyme. Or turkey, if it’s Thanksgiving 😉
And in honor of Blogsgiving, I’m excited to share with you all my friends’ delicious recipes – please check them out below. You’ll be able to plan your Thanksgiving menu in no time!
(I’ve also got this round-up of 45 Thanksgiving side dishes if you’re ALL about the sides like me. 😉)
And whether it’s for the holidays or just a delicious family dinner, I hope you’ll give this kale and butternut squash mac and cheese a try.
Kale and butternut squash mac and cheese
Kale and butternut squash mac and cheese is an easy, healthy and deliciously creamy side dish that everyone’s sure to love!
- 1 1 lb. box macaroni
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 10 oz. package frozen butternut squash, thawed
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and add pasta.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Add kale to the pot in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
Remove and drain macaroni and kale. Set aside.
In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.
Slowly add in milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth.
Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
Add cooked pasta, kale, butternut squash, salt and pepper to the cheese mixture and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with 3 tablespoons of melted butter and stir to combine.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of casserole. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
You can prep this ahead of time. Make the mac and cheese through step 9. When you’re read to bake it, take it out of the fridge while the oven is pre-heating. Add the breadcrumb mixture, then bake, adding 5-10 minutes to the cooking time.
|Amount Per Serving||As Served|
|Calories 465kcal Calories from fat 292|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 32g||49%|
|Saturated Fat 19g||95%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
|Total Fat||Less than||65g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||25g|
Welcome to Blogsgiving 2016! Check out all the deliciousness below!
Ginger Pumpkin Beer Shandy by Feast + West
glühwein/mulled wine by Tag&Tibby
White Chocolate Pumpkin Martini by The Culinary Compass
Apple Ginger Punch by The Little Epicurean
Cheesy brussels sprouts dip by Living Well Kitchen
Sun Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Spread by Life’s Ambrosia
Cranberry Goat Cheese Tarts by Cake ‘n Knife
Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Ginger Soup by The Secret Ingredient Is
Brussels Sprout Salad with Farro and Walnuts by Sugar Dish Me
Sheet Pan Carrot Soup by Macheesmo
Kale + butternut squash mac and cheese by Family Food on the Table
Twice Baked Parmesan Butternut Squash by A Mind Full Mom
Twice The Onion Green Bean Casserole by Melanie Makes
Lightened Up Green Bean Casserole by Dash of Herbs
Easy Corn Casserole by Love Bakes Good Cakes
Cranberry Honey Butter by Little Dairy on the Prairie
Butternut Squash Lasagna by Hello Little Home
Beer-Brined Stuffed Turkey Loin by Beer Girl Cooks
Roasted Mushroom Pot Pie by The Cookie Writer
Chocolate Pumpkin Fudge by Around My Family Table
Carrot Cake by bell’alimento
Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake by The Speckled Palate
Roasted Banana Pecan Cheesecake by Lady Behind The Curtain
Chai-Spiced Apple Crumble Blondies by The Crumby Cupcake
Pecan Pie Crumble Bars by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Pecan Pie Milkshake by Brunch-n-Bites