Mac n cheese, it’s like pizza, everybody likes it. We are biologically wired to enjoy it (I’m completely making this fact up- but probably true, no?). It’s like your mom’s home cooked meal- warm, comforting, and nostalgic.
But, vegan butternut squash mac and cheese? I am not the first person to veganize mac n cheese- in fact, I’m far from the first to use butternut squash as a “cheese” sauce. Nevertheless, I want to share my easy, go-to recipes in this space and this is one of them. I’ve made a lot of vegan cheese recipes and have found this one to be the quickest and the easiest without sacrificing flavor or texture. So here it is:
Beautiful right? It tastes even better.
I arrived home yesterday after an evening final exam and a full day volunteering at the CDC (community dental center). Quick tangent, one of my patients was the cutest old man. Just one of those people who puts a smile on your face by having a big smile on his. We had a blast chit-chatting. He told me all about how he raised his 4 kids in Vermont, no electricity or television, because he and his wife were ‘romantics’. Just the way he described it, and the look of joy upon remembering brightened my whole day. Also a good reminder to do what makes you happy because one day you’ll be 88 and sitting in a dental chair telling someone about how happy you are that you lived your life the way you wanted 😉
Anyway, I arrived home and this was ready in 30 minutes. SO even if you have a go-to mac n cheese recipe, stick this one in your back pocket. For the stellar ingredients, the short preparation time, and the deliciousness. Did I mention that? This stuff is AMAZING!
Creamy. Comforting. Warm.
Kid-approved and omnivore-approved. So next time you find yourself with a surplus of butternut squash and a shortage on time, whip this up, I promise you will love it.
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 8 oz pasta (I used gluten free chickpea pasta)
- ¼ cup milk (I used unsweetened soy, but any milk will work)
- ¼ raw cashews (soaked at least 30 minutes in boiling water, or overnight)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper, to taste
- Optional add-ins: peas, red pepper flakes
- Place cubed butternut squash in a large pot, and just cover with water, allow to boil ~20 minutes until cubes are soft.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.
- Once butternut squash is soft add it with all other ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender until well-combined.
- Place cheez sauce and pasta in a bowl with peas and stir together. Top with red pepper flakes.
- Serve immediately.