This vegan butternut squash mac and cheese is healthy comfort food at it’s best! Filled with wholesome and natural ingredients like butternut squash, cashew milk, this dish will fill your belly and warm your soul!
This is an old recipe from 2017 that has been updated to make it even better!
Who doesn’t love a good mac and cheese recipe with a twist? I often make my baked Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese or my Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and cheese, but once Fall rolls around I’m all about incorporating Fall flavours like squash, sage and nutmeg into my mac and cheese!
This mac and cheese is made on the stovetop for a simple and delicious recipe that is filled with warming Fall flavour.
The butternut squash adds a delicious creaminess and also that beautiful orange colour we all know and love in a mac and cheese! (That typically comes from orange coloured cheese.)
This recipe is entirely dairy-free but still gets that creamy cheesy flavour from the homemade cashew milk and nutritional yeast in the recipe.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- This mac and cheese is made with a butternut squash cheese sauce that tastes super-rich and creamy but is entirely dairy-free!
- The sauce can be made in advance to save you time in the kitchen when you want to make this recipe. When you’re ready to eat simply boil your pasta and add the sauce!
- This recipe is great for adults, kids and toddlers. Seriously, everyone will love this mac and cheese!
- This recipe can be made gluten-free using your favourite gluten-free pasta, or even grain-free using a grain-free pasta alternative.
What does butternut squash taste like?
Butternut squash has a sweet slightly nutty flavour, that some say is a bit similar to a sweet potato or to pumpkin. It can have an almost caramel-like flavour to it when roasted.
When pureed in a sauce, butternut squash takes on a really smooth and creamy texture, which makes perfect to use in pasta sauces or mac and cheese! It also goes well with seasonings like nutmeg.
How to make vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
Prepare the “cheese sauce” by blending the squash, cashews and seasoning in a high-speed blender until smooth, then pour the cheese sauce into a pot and heat it up on medium-high heat until it comes to a light boil and begins to thicken.
Cook the macaroni noodles until al dente (slightly firm) and then add them to the pot of cheesy sauce. Don’t forget to reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water to add to the mac and cheese sauce!
Mix everything together on medium-high heat until all the noodles are evenly coated and the sauce is nice and thick.
Serve immediately topped with some fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro and sage are all delicious choices) and some fresh cracked black pepper.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- Make sure to use raw unsalted cashews in this recipe and to soak them overnight, or in hot water for at least two hours. This will help them blend up into a smooth and creamy cashew milk.
- If you have the time, roasting the butternut squash will give it a really nice rich caramel-like flavour, which is delicious in this mac and cheese! You can alternatively microwave the squash to save time.
- Cook the pasta just until al-dente (so it has a bit of a bite to it.) The pasta will continue to cook a bit when you mix it with the sauce, so if you cook it too much, to begin with, you will end up with a bit of a mushier texture pasta.
- Don’t skip out on the pasta water! Pasta water is starchy and will help thicken the sauce up.
- If you want to make this recipe nut-free, you can replace the cashew milk with coconut milk.
Other butternut squash recipes to try
If you tried this vegan butternut squash mac and cheese or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!Print
A delicious and healthy mac and cheese recipe that is creamy, delicious and completely dairy-free!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight then drained
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup cooked butternut squash, cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups dried macaroni or noodle of choice (use gluten-free if needed)
- 1/4 cup pasta water (*once the pasta is done cooking, save 1/4 of the water.)
- Fresh herbs to top (optional)
- Place the cashews and water in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy (will take about 1 minute.)
- Add the butternut squash, nutritional yeast, garlic clove, lemon juice, onion powder, nutmeg, cayenne, dijon and salt and pepper to the blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, then drain and set aside.
- Pour the butternut squash “cheese” sauce into a pot and bring to a light boil on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Add the macaroni and pasta water to the pot and mix everything together.
- Serve immediately.
Make sure to use raw unsalted cashews in this recipe and to soak them overnight, or in hot water for at least two hours. This will help them blend up into a smooth and creamy cashew milk.
If you have the time, roasting the butternut squash will give it a really nice rich caramel-like flavour, which is delicious in this mac and cheese! You can alternatively microwave the squash to save time.
Cook the pasta just until al-dente (so it has a bit of a bit to it.) The pasta will continue to cook a bit when you mix it with the sauce, so if you cook it too much, to begin with, you will end up with a bit of a mushier texture pasta.
Don’t skip out on the pasta water! Pasta water is starchy and will help thicken the sauce up.
If you want to make this recipe nut-free, you can replace the cashew milk with coconut milk.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 302
- Sugar: 2
- Sodium: 100mg
- Fat: 10g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 42g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 12g
Keywords: butternut squash mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese
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