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Brown Ale Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Course: Side Dish | Beer Style: Brown Ale

Brown Ale Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This Brown Ale Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese created by Bryan Richards, The Wandering Gourmand, transforms a traditional dish into seasonal classic. The butternut squash highlights a brilliant use of fall produce and delivers a pleasant sweetness. The brown ale adds a level of bitter, yeast, and caramel malt flavors that brings the cheddar cheese alive and beautifully unites it with the butternut squash. This dish is the perfect accompaniment to your holiday dinner spread or a fun, standalone weeknight dinner.

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  • 1 small to medium butternut squash (about 1 pound) – peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 oz brown ale (I used Unknown’s Brown Ryed Girl)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 2 Tbsp of flour
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (essential to balance out sweetness)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. To make this mac and cheese, preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine squash and beer in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and mash the squash. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and noodles. Cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and allow the pasta to cool.
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk.
  6. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently for 2 minutes until thickened.
  7. Add 2 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan. Continue cooking and stirring until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Place pasta and butternut squash into a large bowl. Add cheese sauce and mix.
  9. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer pasta mixture to the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top.
  10. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan and oil. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture to the top of the macaroni and cheese.
  11. Cover with foil and bake mac and cheese for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp on top.

Bryan M. Richards is a beer, food, and travel writer based in Charlotte. His work has appeared in Men’s Journal, Beer Advocate, and just about anything with the word Charlotte in it. All around rad dude that is a proud supporter of the NE IPA movement.

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