I realize that this dish seems like it has a ton of steps, but when you have all of your ingredients prepped, it really does come together in no time. I also love that the orange of the squash could easily be mistaken for the traditional cheese used in so many mac & cheese recipes. All the easier to trick some folks into trying this delicious alternative!
A note about the squash: While I use butternut squash here, you could easily use other Fall squashes just as easily. Acorn, kobocha, or even pumpkin–all of them would be delicious in this comfort food classic. Same goes for the cheeses. I used smoked gouda, but any combo of cheeses could be substituted.
Finally, I mention here using 1/2 tsp. of bacon fat to saute the onions. First of all, I realize that not everyone has a jar of bacon fat in their fridge. You could fry up some bacon and use the grease from that (or actually add bacon if you wanted to really punch it up). Barring that, you can simply omit that step and use olive oil or other cooking fat. I will say though that this small amount of bacon fat really adds a depth of flavor that you won’t find in other substitutes. Consider it your “secret ingredient” to giving this Fall Squash Mac & Cheese the boost it needs!