This easy dinner comes together with the help of the trusty slow cooker and basic ingredients. The creamy butternut squash cheese sauce is luscious yet healthy. It's suitable for adults, kids, toddlers, and babies!
Combine the butternut squash, onion, garlic cloves, thyme, and vegetable broth in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3.5 to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours until the squash is very tender.
Just before the squash is ready, bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, puree the squash and veggies in the slow cooker with an immersion blender. Stir in the whole milk, cheddar cheese, salt, and black pepper until the cheese is melted. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Feel free to add some chopped sage or a dash of cinnamon for some additional fall flavors.
Add the cooked pasta to the butternut squash sauce, and stir until coated. Serve, and enjoy!
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Freezing instructions: Follow the steps up until cooking and adding the pasta to the sauce. Let the sauce cool and transfer to freezer-safe containers or Stasher bags. Store for up to three months in the freezer. Let the sauce thaw in the fridge overnight, and reheat on the stove in a saucepan until warmed through. Make some fresh pasta to serve with the reheated sauce.
Toddlers and babies: Omit the salt if you are serving this to babies under one year of age. Or you can scoop out the portions for your toddlers/babies before adding the salt to the rest of the sauce.
Pasta: Feel free to use any pasta. Rigatoni is great at soaking up the sauce, elbow macaroni gives the recipe a classic mac and cheese look, and lentil or chickpea pasta makes the dish gluten free and protein-packed.
Blender: You can blend the sauce in an upright blender if you don't have an immersion blender. Just be sure to not overfill the blender and to leave the lid slightly cracked to let steam escape.