Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
25 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

Butternut squash puree enhances the color here without distracting from the cheesy flavor, and it sneaks in another serving of vegetables. If you can't find frozen butternut puree, swap in an equal amount of mashed sweet potato or canned unsweetened pumpkin.

$8.15 for six servings

How to Make It

Step 1

1 Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan.

Step 2

Remove all but 2 teaspoons bacon drippings from pan. Add garlic to ­drippings in pan; sauté 30 seconds.

Step 3

Add stock, milk, and squash to pan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Step 4

Add pasta; cover, ­reduce heat, and ­simmer 5 minutes, ­stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli; cover and cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done and sauce is thickened.

Step 5

5 Stir in salt, pepper, and 4 ounces cheese. Sprinkle bacon and remaining cheese on top. Cover; let stand 1 minute.

Ratings & Reviews

Great skillet dish!

June 12, 2016
My husband and I really liked this. I made it with 12 oz of penne and a 12 oz bag of frozen broccoli because that's what I had on hand. I simmered it longer to cook the pasta and broccoli. I used Cascadian Farms frozen winter squash purée and Applewood bacon. Next time I will use more bacon. It was an easy, savory, and satisfying one-dish meal that seems relatively healthy. I will definitely add this to my regular recipe rotation.

Very tasty

August 24, 2015
My 11 year old made most of this recipe on her own and loved the result.  We made the suggested substitution of canned, unsweetened pumpkin for the butternut squash puree.  It was delicious!  My pickier 13 year old didn't like the broccoli taste, but we will definitely make it again. 

Healthy and yummy!

August 26, 2015
Made this tonight, used mashed sweet potato since I didn't have the butternut purée, and pasta shells instead of elbow. Might have added more cheese than the recipe called for. Came out delicious, easy to make and was a hit with the family! Between my husband and I and our 3 yr old, we didn't have any leftovers. Will definitely be making this again.

Rather bland...

August 29, 2015
...for mac 'n' cheese. I expected more from something with bacon and sharp cheddar in it. Love the idea of sneaking in extra veg with the butternut squash, though - I might try that with other mac 'n' cheese recipes in the future.


August 31, 2015
I made this with pumpkin from our garden and Kerrygold Dubliner cheese and I subbed turkey bacon for the bacon. I also added sundried tomatoes in olive oil to cook the was very flavorful and my family loved it.

Very Bland, but might be good with some tweaking (noted below)

September 08, 2015
I made this exactly according to the recipe.  I wanted to like it because of the butternut squash (which I love), bacon and sharp cheddar cheese.  Unfortunately, it was very bland.  It made very large portions which  were more than we could eat.  It would have been nice to have leftovers if it had been better. My husband added a slice of American cheese and hot sauce to the leftovers for lunch.  I used Barilla, gluten-free pasta, which is my go-to brand of gluten-free pasta.  It held up well in the recipe and during reheating for lunch. I thought the broccoli flavor overpowered the dish and the bacon and cheese flavors were lost.  If someone was inclined to try making this I would suggest adding 4 slices of bacon and omitting the bacon fat, as it didn't add enough flavor to the recipe to make a difference.  I think if additional bacon was chopped and mixed in, it would give the bacon flavor throughout the dish. I also would suggest either adding more sharp cheddar cheese or some low-fat, pepper-jack cheese instead.  Reduce the amount of broccoli by 1/3 or even 1/2.  I did like that the pasta was cooked in the butternut squash/broth mixture because it gave the dish good color.  For those who are reluctant to use the butternut squash, you really don't taste it in the dish. 


September 09, 2015
I had high hopes for this recipe, but it wasn't that great. I did tweak it - I used brown rice pasta, pumpkin, and a combo of medium Cheddar and Parmesan,. Unusually, the brown rice pasta took about twice as long to cook as stated, and, frankly, it could have been more flavourful. Might use the combination of flavours again, but with a roux-based sauce.


September 20, 2015
After reading reviews of this recipe being bland, I added some nutmeg and a dash of cayenne for a kick and it came out amazing!!! Everybody in my family loved it!

Pretty good!

September 23, 2015
After reading the reviews, I omitted the bacon fat - and to solve the problem of weak flavor (which some mentioned) I added about 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika to the milk mixture.  I also used Extra sharp cheddar.  For the broccoli, I tossed it in some olive oil and salt and roasted it at 475 while the dish was cooking (until the edges of the broccoli became a little crispy) then I added it to the dish at the very end.  

Everyone Ate It

September 28, 2015
This recipe provided a great base. I added six slices of bacon. I used a 16 oz. bag of pasta and increased the broth by 2 cups. I agree with needed flavor- my husband added Sriracha to his bowl. I would consider topping with some toasted Italian bread crumbs next time and using a bolder cheese.