BUTTERNUT MACARONI & CHEESE (VEGAN)
This vegan butternut macaroni and cheese tastes so good you won’t even miss the cheese (saying that as an avid “real cheese” lover)! We’ve all had that vegan mac that was supposed to “taste better than the original” but was just not right, even awful. Never fear – this version is rich, velvety, comforting, and crave-worthy (as mac and cheese should be)! You’ll only need four ingredients (plus some basic spices). Best of all, it’s high-protein and low-fat, perfect for post workout!
Did you know? One cup of butternut squash has about 350% of your recommended daily allowance for vitamin A, which promotes healthy eyes and better vision, and is also good source of fiber, vitamin C, and minerals for strong bones and teeth.
Cheese sauce options
This recipe is easiest if you start with frozen butternut squash cubes, then steam and blend them; however, I think the flavor is much richer if you start with fresh butternut squash cubes and roast them at 400 for 40 minutes. You can even buy a whole squash and cut it into cubes yourself, but this takes quite a bit of work (and a sharp knife)! The butternut squash gets extra “cheesiness” from a little nutritional yeast and salt. Onion powder adds even more savory flavor and black pepper gives it just enough kick to keep it from being bland. If you want your mac and cheese a little richer, add one tablespoon of vegan buttery spread (optional).
For the pasta, I used Banza Chickpea Elbows, which is high in protein and fiber, gluten-free, and vegan. This pasta really does taste great and has a nice texture too, unlike so many gluten-free pastas. However, it does get a little mushy if you use it for leftovers past a day or so (the only thing I don’t like about it). If chickpeas don’t agree with you, try Carba-Nada pasta. It’s not gluten-free, but it’s high in protein and fiber.
Here’s the printable recipe for this Butternut Macaroni & Cheese (vegan)! I hope you’ll rate and comment below if you try it 😉
This post contains affiliate links. Recipe created in collaboration with Abby Pollock and TransformNation.
Butternut Macaroni & Cheese (Vegan)
- 6 oz. chickpea elbow noodles like Banza brand*
- 2 cups butternut squash cubes fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp. vegan buttery spread melted (optional)
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt optional, but it won’t taste as cheesy
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
*See blog post above for substitutions.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, then add noodles and cook 7-8 minutes until al dente (a little bit firm). Drain and set aside.
- Steam frozen butternut squash cubes in the microwave for 5 minutes until very soft-mushy, or if using fresh cubes, roast at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes (recommended).
- Blend squash with nutritional yeast, buttery spread (optional), and spices until smooth and velvety.
- Pour over noodles and gently stir to coat.
- Divide noodles between two bowls and enjoy! Leftovers will keep in fridge up to one week, but chickpea pasta tends to get a little mushy after a day or so.
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