There isn’t much better than a warm bowl of mac and cheese, but what about a bowl of vegan butternut squash mac and cheese? For my vegan friends, or anyone who is looking for a healthier mac and cheese option, this recipe is for you!
Now that we are well into October, I am in full fall mode. My Pumpkin Snickerdoodles are probably my favorite pumpkin cookie ever, and it seems like many of you agree as well! I shared a video on my TikTok showing how to make my pumpkin snickerdoodles. It has almost 1 million views and is featured in a BuzzFeed article! If you haven’t tried those yet, you probably should. Also, if you are vegan or eat gluten free, I shared a vegan / gluten free version of the pumpkin snickerdoodles on my Instagram! They are insanely good, and not sure “good for being vegan or gluten free.”
Which brings me to this mac and cheese — it is also just, good. It is good whether you are a full on vegan, dabble in being vegan, or have never even considered being vegan. It is just good! Plus it is super easy to make. Here are a few key tips to make this mac and cheese top notch:
- Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 5 minutes before adding them to the blender. This will help the sauce be really creamy!
- When cooking the pasta, reserve at least one cup of the water the pasta is cooked in. This will be added to the sauce as well. Pasta water is like magic water. It is starchy and works really well in sauces.
- The recipe calls for 1/2 – 1 cup of pasta water. The amount of water you will add depends on how thick or runny you like your sauce. I like my sauce more thick, so I added closer to 1/2 cup. Start with 1/2 cup and increase from there until you get your desired thickness.
- If you don’t have butternut squash, you can use other squashes like acorn squash, or even sweet potatoes!
I top my vegan butternut squash mac and cheese with salt, pepper, toasted bread crumbs, and arugula! The arugula is perfect to add some color to the dish as well as a fresh flavor. If you don’t have toasted bread crumbs on hand (or old bread), panko is also a great option! It is crunchy and has a similar taste.
I am so excited for you all to try this Vegan Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. If you make it, please share a picture and tag me on Instagram!
Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 2 cups pasta
- 1 cup butternut squash
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 – 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
- toasted breadcrumbs optional
- arugula optional
- Preheat the oven to 425. Peel and cube the butternut squash. Toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook it in the oven for about 20 minutes, until soft.
- While the squash is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according too its instructions, being sure to save at least 1 cup of the pasta water!
- Put the cashews in a bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for at least 5 minutes.
- When the squash is soft, add it to a blender. Add the soaked cashews, pasta water, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic salt, paprika, lemon juice and olive oil. The amount of pasta water added depends on how thick or runny you want your sauce. Start by adding 1/2 cup and increase until you reach your desired consistency.
- Blend everything until it is smooth then pour it over the cooked pasta. Top with salt, pepper, toasted breadcrumbs, and arugula.