Baked Butternut Squash Macaroni Hazelnut Cinnamon Crumble


When it comes to comfort food, macaroni and cheese holds a special place in many hearts. The creamy, cheesy pasta is a staple in many households and a favorite among kids and adults alike. However, there’s always room for a creative twist on this classic dish.

Enter the Baked Butternut Squash Macaroni with Hazelnut Cinnamon Crumble. This innovative take on traditional mac and cheese incorporates the sweet, nutty flavors of butternut squash and a delightful crunchy topping made of hazelnuts and cinnamon. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to make this dish, its nutritional benefits, and answer some frequently asked questions.

The Recipe


For the Macaroni:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni or pasta of choice
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Hazelnut Cinnamon Crumble:

  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Instructions
  • Prepare the Butternut Squash:
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Spread the diced butternut squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  • Cook the Pasta:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the macaroni and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Make the Cheese Sauce:
  • In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes to form a roux.
  • Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
  • Cook until the sauce thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheddar and Parmesan cheese until melted and smooth.
  • Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Combine and Bake:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked macaroni, roasted butternut squash, and cheese sauce. Mix until well coated.
  • Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
  • Prepare the Hazelnut Cinnamon Crumble:
  • In a small bowl, mix the chopped hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, melted butter, ground cinnamon, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  • Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the macaroni and cheese.
  • Bake:
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  • Let it cool slightly before serving.

Nutritional Benefits

Butternut Squash:

  • Rich in vitamins A and C, which support eye health and immune function.
  • Contains fiber that aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight.
  • Provides antioxidants that protect against chronic diseases.


  • High in healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.
  • A good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.
  • Contain protein and fiber, which can help with satiety and weight management.


  • Has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants.
  • Can help regulate blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for those with diabetes.
  • Adds a warm, sweet flavor without the need for extra sugar.


Baked Butternut Squash Macaroni with Hazelnut Cinnamon Crumble is a delightful twist on the classic mac and cheese, combining the creamy comfort of the original with the sweet, nutty flavors of butternut squash and a crunchy, spiced topping.

It’s a dish that’s sure to impress at family dinners, potlucks, or any gathering where you want to offer something a little different. With its rich nutritional profile and versatile ingredient options, this recipe is both a delicious and healthful choice. Give it a try, and enjoy the comforting flavors of fall in every bite!


1. Can I use a different type of squash?

  • Yes, you can substitute butternut squash with other types of winter squash like acorn or kabocha squash. Each type will bring its own unique flavor and texture to the dish.

2. What can I use instead of hazelnuts for the crumble?

  • If you’re allergic to hazelnuts or prefer a different nut, you can use almonds, pecans, or walnuts. For a nut-free option, consider using sunflower seeds or additional breadcrumbs.

3. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

  • Absolutely! You can assemble the dish up to the point of baking, cover it, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, remove it from the fridge, add the crumble topping, and bake as directed.

4. Is there a vegan version of this recipe?

  • To make this dish vegan, use plant-based milk and cheese alternatives. You can also replace the butter with a vegan butter substitute. Ensure that your breadcrumbs and any other ingredients are also vegan-friendly.

5. Can I freeze the leftovers?

  • Yes, you can freeze the leftovers. Allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. It can be frozen for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.

6. How can I add more protein to this dish?

  • To boost the protein content, you can add cooked chicken, turkey, or tofu to the macaroni mixture before baking. You could also mix in some cooked quinoa or lentils for a vegetarian protein option.

7. What other spices can I add to the crumble?

  • Besides cinnamon, you can experiment with adding nutmeg, cloves, or allspice to the crumble for a more complex flavor. Just be sure to adjust the quantities to suit your taste preferences.