Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Pasta (GF)
This Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is the perfect Autumn time dinner recipe! It’s a great way to hide some healthy vegetables inside a delicious sauce!
How about an easy dish for this evening’s dinner? Who doesn’t love mac and cheese, I mean c’mon?
THIS POST IS ALL ABOUT VEGAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE
I am planning to do everything I can to make myself sick of pumpkin spice and everything nice before the season is over. Don’t you love autumn and all it’s flavors? I spend the whole year wanting them. Give me all the nostalgic tastes and smells!
A while back, I tried adding pumpkin into a cheese sauce. I was very pleasantly surprised by the final result. It’s a great way to camouflage some extra good wholesome veggies into your family’s meals. Trust me, the picky eaters won’t even know it’s in there. The pumpkin actually adds a slight sweetness. And, the color that it adds is spectacular. If you want to know the truth of it, the reason I tried adding pumpkin in the first place was to make the pasta have more of that chedder cheese look that kids seem to like so much, (even though it’s usually the artificial color found in most boxed varieties).
FAQS for how to make vegan butternut squash mac and cheese:
Can I make this vegan butternut squash mac and cheese without cashews?
Yes, absolutely. You do not have to use blended cashews to make this recipe. The recipe does include a few tablespoons of cashew butter to add flavor and creaminess, but you can simply replace it with additional coconut cream.
How to make nut free vegan butternut squash mac and cheese?
It’s very simple to make vegan butternut squash mac and cheese without nuts. Using coconut products and nutritional yeast as the base of your sauce gives you a nice creamy, cheesy flavor. The butternut squash gives you that cheddar color and a nice thick consistency. To make this recipe with no nuts simply skip the cashew butter.
Can I substitute Pumpkin for Butternut Squash in a recipe?
Yes! Pumpkin and butternut squash are very similar vegetables. You can trade out the butternut squash in this recipe for freshly cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree.
What does vegan butternut squash mac and cheese taste like?
It has a nice mild cheesy flavor with a hint of nuttiness from the squash.
Some helpful things for making this pasta
Gluten Free pasta noodles. You can use any type of pasta but if you’d like to make this recipe gluten free than I recommend a pasta like BANZA Penne noodles
Pumpkin Seeds: You don’t have to top this with pumpkin seeds but it adds a fun, seasonal crunch element.
Nutritional Yeast: One of the biggest staples in a plant-based pantry. Need I say more?
This post contains affiliate links for products I love. This mean, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission for any products you purchase through my link. Thank you so much for supporting this blog and allowing us to continue sharing recipes.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Pasta
Squash might be the last ingredient you'd think to put in your pasta, but it's surprisingly perfect in this recipe. This dish uses some pretty basic ingredients and lots of colorful veggies.
- 1 1/2 pounds uncooked penne pasta you can replace with any shape and/or use gluten free pasta if needed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 red bell peppers diced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup unflavored almond milk
- 1 1/2 cups butternut squash pureed can replace with pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cashew butter
- 1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce **see note
- 4 ounces vegan "cream cheese" at room temp
- 1/2 cup coconut cream *see note
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric optional for deeper color
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
- 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Boil noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse, then drizzle lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (deep) skillet over medium heat and add garlic, onion, and bell peppers. Cook for 8 to 9 minutes until softened. Pour the veggies into a separate bowl and return pan to heat.
Whisk the starch and almond milk in a measuring glass and add to pan along with vegetable broth, squash puree, thyme, nutmeg, garlic powder, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer while stirring until it begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Reduce heat to low and add lemon juice, cashew butter, "cream cheese", coconut cream, and stir gently until cream cheese is melted, Add nutritional yeast and season to taste with additional salt and pepper and stir again. Add pasta and veggies to pan and gently toss to distribute sauce evenly.
Optional: Top with roasted red peppers and pepitas. Serve hot.
*If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.
**Be sure to use a brand of worchestershire sauce that you've checked the ingredients because most worchestershires contain anchovy. Annie's makes a good one.
Wanna save this recipe for later? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest boards!
Hope you enjoyed this post! Here are some others you may like as well:
Broccoli & Cashew Pesto Pasta (Vegan+GF)
Kale & Spinach Vegan Chickpea Mac & Cheese (GF)
Fettuccine Alfredo Primavera Pasta (Vegan+GF)