Go Back
+ servings
Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Print

Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Creamy smoked butternut squash puree mixed with smoked chicken, bacon, and cheese for a creamy and flavorful mac and cheese.
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Keyword smoked butternut squash, smoked butternut squash mac and cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 806kcal
Cost $14.00

Equipment

Ingredients

For the Smoked Butternut Squash and Meats

  • 1 butternut squash, skin removed, cut in cubes, and with seeds removed (After smoking it is roughly 15 ounces of smoked squash by weight. If yours is larger, just adjust the liquid for the mac and cheese.)
  • 2 smoked chicken breasts (When chicken is cooked, shred with a fork, or cut into small cubes.)
  • 6 slices thick cut cooked bacon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon beef rub
  • 1 tablespoon ultimate dry rub (Or you can use the same rub as the squash)

For the Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  • 12 ounce box macaroni, cooked to package directions
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions (about one medium yellow onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock (We use low sodium)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (You can also substitute a sharper hard cheese like Asiago)

Instructions

For Preparing and Smoking the Squash and Meats

  • Preheat Smoker - Prepare smoker and target 250 degrees Fahrenheit using a fruit wood for a sweeter and softer flavor. If you want a more pronounced smoke flavor use oak or hickory.
  • Season - Place cubed squash on a foil lined sheet tray. Toss with 1 tablespoons olive oil and rub. For the chicken, cover in1 tablespoon olive oil and seasoning.
  • Smoke - Place the tray of squash, the seasoned chicken, and bacon on the smoker for 2 hours. If you don't have enough room on the smoker, roast the bacon separately in the oven.
  • Remove -After two hours, remove the squash and bacon. Shred the chicken with a fork and crush the bacon into small pieces. Remove the chicken when the internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Start checking the chicken after the first hour in case it cooks faster. This will depend on how thick the chicken is.

Mac and Cheese

  • Boil Macaroni - Start with a large pot of boiling, salted water. Add the macaroni noodles and cook based on the package directions. Be sure to strain prior to adding to the smoked butternut squash Mac and Cheese mix. Set aside.
  • Sauté - In a large cast iron or sauce pan (at least 10-inches with a deep edge) over medium heat, add olive oil and onions. Sauté to soften onions, about 10 minutes. Adjust the temperature of the stove top if they are cooking to fast and browning. Next add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute to soften.
  • Add Squash - Add the butternut squash to the pan and stir for 1-2 minutes to incorporate with onions and garlic and re-heat the squash. (save the same pan to finish)
  • Blend - Place the mixture into a strong blender (we love BlendTec). Add milk, chicken stock, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the blender mix. Puree until the texture is smooth. If the puree is too thick add small amounts of milk or chicken stock until it’s thin enough (roughly 2 tablespoons of each until you like the consistency).
  • Add Blend to Pan - Place the puree back into the pan and add the cheeses, smoked chicken, and half of the bacon. Slowly stir in the drained macaroni and the cheese will melt and incorporate. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Place in your desired serving dish and top with the remaining bacon.

Notes

Prepping the Butternut Squash -
  1. Slice off the ends of the squash on either side.
  2. Remove the seeds and pulp with a spoon. If you do this after removing the skin it’s very difficult.
  3. Using a sharp peeler, remove the skin from the squash.
  4. Finally slice the squash into even cubes and it’s ready for seasoning.

Nutrition

Calories: 806kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1034mg | Potassium: 1114mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 13852IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 534mg | Iron: 3mg