Mac and cheese and squash makes a satisfying autumn dish

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey


f I were to choose a last meal, this would be it. The golden taste of squash mixed into macaroni and cheese is filling, satisfying and so decadently satiating. This is a perfect recipe for leftover mashed squash after Thanksgiving as well. If you would like thinner macaroni and cheese, or simply would rather have less squash flavor, use half the squash listed.

Mac and cheese with squash makes for creamy supper fare.

Mac and cheese with squash makes for creamy supper fare.

1 acorn squash, about 1 1/4 pounds, halved and seeded
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons minced onion
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
6 ounces shredded or cubed Gruyere cheese
1-2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
3/4 pound (3 cups) elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Place squash on a baking pan, cut side up. Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until soft to the touch. Remove from oven to cool so they can be handled. Scoop out flesh and mash, roughly, with a fork; set aside.

In a large, 2-quart saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until very soft, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk and continue to cook, stirring almost constantly, until it is scalding and thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cheeses and mustard, continuing to stir until the cheese has melted, about another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the squash. Fold in the cooked macaroni and serve while hot.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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