Dinner, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Side Dishes

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  • Prep 10 mins
  • Total 24 mins
  • Easy
  • Serves 6

Macaroni and cheese is always a family favorite. I love making all sorts of variations, especially some that sneak more veggies into my family’s meals. In this recipe, the butternut squash cooks with the macaroni, and once you start mixing in the milk and cheese, the vegetable softens into a puree and becomes one with the cheesy sauce.

STORAGE: Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Stir in a bit of milk or butter before reheating.


  • Contains Milk/Dairy

Tip: Allergy Advice

This dish contains the following allergens: Milk/Dairy

Cooking mode

Step-by-step instruction without your screen going to sleep

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • Step 1

    Select SEAR/SAUTÉ on your Ninja® Foodi™ and set the temperature to HI. Select START/STOP to begin. Let preheat for 5 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Pour the olive oil into the pot. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, salt, and paprika and sauté for 1 minute, just until the onion and garlic are fragrant and soft. Select START/STOP.

  • Step 3

    Place the macaroni in the pot, then top with the butternut squash. Pour in the chicken broth and gently push down on the pasta and squash to submerge them in the liquid.

  • Step 4

    Assemble the pressure lid, making sure the pressure release valve is in the SEAL position. Select PRESSURE and set it to HI. Set the time to 3 minutes. Select START/STOP to begin.

  • Step 5

    When the cooking is complete, quick release the pressure by turning the pressure release valve to the VENT position. Carefully remove the lid when the unit has finished releasing pressure.

  • Step 6

    Stir in the milk, cheese, and butter until the cheese has melted and the butternut squash is fully incorporated in the sauce.