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Posted on Jan 28, 2014 in Food, Recipes, Reviews | 68 comments

Butternut Squash and Beer Mac & Cheese (Giveaway!)

*The winners for this giveaway have been announced! Please check this post to see if you won!*

‘Ello gov’nah! This morning I have a very, very special post for you, complete with giveaway! As some of you may already know, the illustrious, fantabulous Cassie from Back to Her Roots recently had her first (of many, I hope!) cookbook published: Cooking with Greek Yogurt.

Cooking with Greek Yogurt by Cassie Johnston

Not only is it impressive to get a cookbook published in the first place, but Cassie did almost EVERYTHING when it came to this book: the writing, the recipe creation, the photography, AND the design/layout/font selections/you name it. And as anyone who has visited her blog or has seen her design work in the past (including the cover of my own book!) knows, she has an amazing aesthetic and her personality shines through every page of this cookbook. The colors are vibrant, the photos are gorgeous, the tone of the writing is playful but easy to understand, and the recipes are pure gold. This is one damn beautiful cookbook, ladies and gents.


I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of the book, and spent days poring over each recipe, trying to figure out where the heck I was supposed to start. Ultimately, I gave a few of her smoothie recipes and sauce combos (Sriracha spiced greek yogurt?! Why didn’t I think of that!) a spin before making the following recipe and knowing THIS was the one I had to share with all of you.


Lo and behold, Beer & Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. Right? RIGHT?! It was tastes just as awesome as it sounds, and with the amazing addition of hidden veggies AND the protein-packed Greek yog, it’s just about the healthiest mac and cheese I’ve ever had!


I paired it with some chicken meatballs and it was soooo good. Creamy and cheesy without being heavy, and just a little bit tangy… mmm. Even Sean loved it, and I’ve never known him to willingly eat butternut squash anything in the entire time we’ve been dating! It complements the dish that well. So, without further adieu:

beer & butternut squash mac and cheese
From Cooking with Greek Yogurt by Cassie Johnston (reprinted with permission)

The inspiration for this fun twist on mac and cheese comes from my love of local beer. The cheese sauce combines Greek yogurt with wheat beer, butternut squash, and a mixture of two cheeses to get an incredibly unique dish.

1 (12 ounce) package whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and cubed
3/4 cup wheat beer
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/2 cup shredded Romano cheese
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare a 9 x 9-inch baking dish by spraying it liberally with cooking spray. Cook
elbow macaroni according to package directions, omitting fat and salt. Drain and set aside. In a large
saucepan, combine squash, beer, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and
simmer until squash is very tender, about 25 minutes. The mixture may begin to separate; this is fine.
Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, or a standard blender with the
steam vent removed, blend squash mixture together until very smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into a
large mixing bowl and stir in yogurt, Gruyère, Romano, and butter until cheeses are melted. Add in elbow
macaroni and stir until well coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs
evenly over top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is browned and crunchy, and sauce is thickened.

Nutritional info per 1/8th serving: 245 calories, 13g fat, 17g carbs, 15g protein.


I ended up making just a few adjustments based on what was available in my pantry (and because I have a REALLY hard time following recipes to the tee… I guess I’m just a kitchen rebel like that), but they were really small. I used two cloves of garlic instead of one (love my garlic!), didn’t have skim milk and didn’t think that vanilla almond milk would go very well haha, so I used 1/2 a cup of heavy cream + 1/2 a cup of water, and I ended up realizing after the fact that the box of pasta I used was larger than a normal 12 oz. package of macaroni elbows (’cause I got it from Costco). So there just wasn’t quite as much sauce per bite as there normally would have been, but really that worked out in the end because MOAR LEFTOVERS FOR ME BWAHAHA.

Either way, it turned out DELICIOUS, was incredibly easy, and VERY filling — the absolute definition of win-win-win! So I give major thanks to Cassie for giving me an awesome new recipe to add to my repertoire, and YOU are about to give major thanks to her too — because it’s GIVEAWAY TIIIIIME!

Yep, Cassie and her publisher are giving away two free copies of her cookbook! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post answering this question:

What’s your favorite way to use Greek yogurt?

I’ll announce the winners later this week. Good luck!


  1. Favorite way: yogurt parfait in the morning!

    • Straight up with a healthy dose of Grape Nuts mixed in.

    • I use plain greek yogurt in my mac and cheese. It makes it really creamy and adds some protein. So good!

  2. Greek yogurt + avocado + garlic + lemon juice = avocado crack dip in our household 🙂

  3. I actually just made baked macaroni and cheese using Greek Yogurt last night for dinner! My favorite way to use it is in cooking and baking.

  4. as a topping or dipping sauce with savory food like mexicain type dishes and indian dishes.

  5. Yum, I need to make this one! I love using it as a dip with veggies – just mix in some fresh dill or dried spices for flavor.

  6. It’s not very exciting, but I love to eat yogurt right out of the container. Maybe mixed with a little granola? I know, not earth-shattering, but still delicious.

  7. I love to just eat it plain with pomegranate seeds or other fruit! I have it every day 🙂

  8. With granola or fruit mixed in for breakfast or a snack!

  9. This looks so good! I’m hosting a ladies night beer exchange in a few weeks… this looks like a perfect dish to have on hand for snacking!

    I like to use plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream on tacos.

  10. with granola!!!

  11. I recently discovered a recipe for tomato soup that uses greek yogurt to give it a creaminess (and a nice tang!). It’s pretty good – and only takes 10 minutes!

  12. I like to use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream on tacos and such.

  13. I love it on taco salads!

  14. Love it in smoothies and in chili!

  15. I don’t do anything too creative. I just love it in smoothies or plain with blueberries.

  16. I like to put different spices in it and use as a dipping sauce for veggies or on top of fish!

  17. I like to use it in my peanut butter pie! It makes it extra creamy.

  18. I use greek yogurt most frequently in smoothies, but my favorite greek yogurt recipe is Cassie’s buffalo blue cheese chicken dip, it is SO good!

  19. I use it in guacamole, soups, replacement for some butter in baking…where ever I can get it in, pretty much!

  20. I’ll either have it with fruit and yogurt or use it as a sour cream substitute.

    • Whoops, I meant I’ll have yogurt with fruit and GRANOLA. Haha!

  21. I don’t do anything fancy either…but like it as a sub for sour cream, or in smoothies. 🙂 this looks amazing and I have to make it for the hubby.

  22. My favorite way to eat greek yogurt is with fruit 🙂

  23. Love using it as a substitute for sour cream in anything!

  24. Great minds and all that, this is in the oven right now!

  25. I love it with oatmeal in the a.m., and as a dip with veggies as a snack.

  26. I like in the morning with fruit & honey!

  27. I’m all about it in dips! This summer I did a dill pickle dip which was super awesome.

  28. I like to use greek yogurt with spicy peppers and other seasonings for a delicious marinade. I also make a really tasty coconut cake with vanilla greek yogurt.

  29. Love it as a snack, and as a replacement for sour cream.

  30. Love it with some honey for breakfast, plus dips, as sour cream, in lasagna, in mashed potatoes, lemon cookies…. it’s the best thing since sliced bread! Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. Believe it or not I have never used Greek yogurt in cooking but I think I might start with this recipe!

  32. I love adding a little bit of peanut butter to vanilla Greek yogurt for a yummy dessert!

  33. pancakes!

  34. Ah I love Greek yogurt. So hard to pick just one way, especially because I cook/bake with it a ton, but I loooooove it with pb2, blueberries & a dallop of cookie nookie peanut butter. Mmmmmmmm.

  35. I mix it with egg, flour, and baking powder and make pancakes! So good!

  36. Though I was initially rather skeptical, my husband just made wonderful coleslaw with Greek yogurt for the dressing.

  37. My favorite way to use greek yogurt is either as a sour cream sub (i mix greek yogurt, 1 TBS olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper and lime juice)
    Frozen into healthy little freezer cheesecakes. I love both. Congrats to Cassie, I’ve been waiting for her book!

  38. Beer & Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese. Holy. Shit. Also, I’ve only ever, like, eaten Greek yogurt plain, so I’d love to learn some recipes & different ways to incorporate it into meals!

  39. I like Greek yogurt with granola on top for breakfast!

  40. I’m all about it in my smoothies but this recipe makes me want to branch out immediately. I think I know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow night!

  41. Not very creative…but I mostly just use Greek yogurt for smoothies– aka why I totally need this cookbook! 😉

  42. I love Greek yogurt with lime and chia seeds! Or of course, in protein pancakes!

  43. I loooove Greek yogurt on a spicy Indian dish. Also, pair it with some berries and that’s a delicious treat!

  44. I put honey and granola in it and eat it for breakfast. I also use it in place of sour cream quite often.

  45. I like mixing greek yogurt with cocoa powder and a bit of stevia. Makes for a nice protein filled desert. Yum!

  46. I like to use greek yogurt in smoothies and as sour cream. I don’t eat a ton though because I’m a tiny bit sensitive to dairy. I sent this recipe to some gfs in hopes that we can make it together and I can try it!

  47. I sub Greek yogurt for mayo and in general I just like to eat it as a snack on its own!

  48. Substitute greek yogurt for ANYTHING mayo! I want to try it with deviled eggs. And I think you can substitute it for cream cheese in cheesecake too!!

  49. eat it straight up!

  50. I love putting it in smoothies to boost the protein in it.

  51. I CAN’T EVEN with how awesome it is for savory recipes – dips, sour cream substitutions on tacos, soups, all the things!!

  52. I love yogurt parfaits with frozen berries and granola

  53. Greek yogurt… so many options, so many favourites! I think my fave way to use it would have to be in my morning smoothies… makes it so creamy and filling!

  54. I use Greek Yogurt in the filling sauce for my grilled chicken enchiladas! It gives it that little extra something!

  55. My favorite way to use Greek yogurt? As a substitute for mayonnaise in ranch dressing mix. I LOVE the taste and it totally cuts the calories 🙂

  56. I like to make a breakfast parfait with plain Greek yogurt, fruit, and some cereal. Boring but it sticks with me all morning.

  57. with a little granola mixed in for breakfast.

  58. My fav way to use Greek yogurt is mixed up with a heaping spoonful of chocolate ice cream hahaha.

  59. I use greek yogurt mixed with tofu to make “ricotta” cheese for filling lasagna. I don’t know why I never thought about adding it to mac and cheese though. Must remedy this immediately!

  60. Good. Informative and helpful for me and others also.


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  2. - The Kate Mixes - […] Butternut Squash and Beer Mac and Cheese. Gretchen posted this recipe last week (courtesy of the author, Cassie) and I…

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