Macaroni & Butternut Squash with Crispy Pecan Topping

I got in trouble in culinary school last week when we were cooking butternut squash.

We were technically supposed to make a “cold butternut squash soup.”

Who likes cold soup?

No one.

So I made it hot, and put my own twist on it.

I should probably start teaching my own class right?

Anyway, this recipe spawned from my butternut squash class fiasco. It is very hot, and gooey and rich. And it has a butter, crispy topping with bits of pecans.

But seriously, squash cold soup?  There’s just nothing good about it.

 Macaroni & Butternut Squash with Crispy Pecan Topping


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, still in their paper
  • EVOO
  • S&P
  • 3 Tbsp butter, (2 in the puree and 1 for the topping)
  • 1/4 white onion finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • heavy pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 3-4 cups dried macaroni (use more if you have a bigger squash and more sauce)
  • 1 cup panko or unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and get water boiling for pasta.
  2. On a cookie sheet, lay out butternut squash and garlic and drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with S&P.
  3. Roast squash for 20 minutes and then turn. Cook another 20-25 mins or until tender.
  4. Cook macaroni until just under al dente, drain and set aside.
  5. Remove garlic from paper, and put squash and garlic in food processor. Process until smooth.
  6. In a medium, heavy pot, over medium heat, melt butter and cook onion until translucent.
  7. Add flour and stir constantly for about 2 mins, reducing heat if it seems like it will burn.
  8. Add milk and squash puree and stir to combine over medium heat for about 2 mins.
  9. Season with S&P, and add macaroni. Stir to combine.
  10. In a bowl, melt 1 Tbsp butter and add panko, pecans, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
  11. In a greased 9 by 9 glass pan, add squash and pasta, cover with panko mixture.
  12. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.


Macaroni & Butternut Squash with Crispy Pecan Topping Macaroni & Butternut Squash with Crispy Pecan Topping