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Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Pasta Recipe

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.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 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

Optional Toopings:

  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


  1. Boil noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse, then drizzle lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Optional: Top with roasted red peppers and pepitas. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

*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.