This vegan butternut squash mac and cheese is luscious and creamy – sans cheese. Made with velvety roasted butternut squash, nutritional yeast, and cashews, it’s pasta to write home about.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Ingredients
The star of this pasta is butternut squash, a winter squash packed with nutrients. Rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, manganese, fiber, and antioxidants, butternut squash is a delicious way to add plant powers to your pasta.
Roast cubes of butternut squash to give this creamy pasta depth and flavor. Either peel and chop a whole butternut squash, (carefully!) or purchase pre-cubed butternut squash at your local grocery store.
Roasted butternut squash provides sweetness and a caramel flavor that compliments the other ingredients in this mac and cheese. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have a butternut squash, however, substitute it with peeled delicata squash, sweet potato, kabocha squash, or acorn squash. (In a real pinch? Try carrots.)
This vegan mac and cheese gets its cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast. Also known as nooch, nutritional yeast packs in vitamin B12 as well as other B vitamins in every single bite. It has a cheesy taste that compliments roasted butternut squash and turns this pasta into a proper mac and cheese.
Raw cashews add flavor and texture along with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Use a high-speed blender to blend raw cashews together with other ingredients. If you do not have a high-speed blender, however, soak raw cashews for at least five hours before incorporating them into this recipe.
Other ingredients that make this pasta recipe shine are lemon juice for a hint of tang and acid, vegetable broth for flavor, and olive oil for heart-healthy fats. Blended all together and poured on cooked pasta, this butternut squash mac and cheese is a delicious way to enjoy butternut squash.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- ½ cup butternut squash cubes
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil.
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup vegetable broth or water, plus more to thin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 4 cups pasta, cooked according to package directions
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place cubed butternut squash on tray and drizzle with avocado oil.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and tender. Remove from oven.
- To a high-speed blender add raw cashews, roasted butternut squash, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, vegetable broth or water, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Blend on high until mixture is broken down and even in consistency, which will take about 60 seconds. The sauce should be thick with no clumps remaining. Add more water or vegetable stock if necessary.
- Pour sauce over cooked pasta. There may be too much sauce, which makes for a great leftover.
- Garnish pasta with nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, sautéed greens, or additional black pepper. Enjoy!
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Photos by Kate Gavlick