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Overhead view of butternut squash mac and cheese in a blue bowl garnished with sage.

Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese


  • Author: Lexi
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan butternut squash mac and cheese recipe is a dairy free twist on a classic favorite. We blend roasted butternut squash into a dairy free cream sauce (no cashews!) to create a silky, cheesy sauce. It's topped with crushed cornflakes and bake until golden brown and delicious.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese:

  • 16 oz elbow pasta (gluten free if desired)
  • 3 cups diced butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2-1 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fine grain kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (gluten free if needed)
  • 2 1/2 cups nondairy milk (we used full fat oat milk)
  • 1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese

Topping:

  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes or breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C and bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Add diced onion, garlic and butternut squash to a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, stir together oil, paprika, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour over squash and stir to coat.
  3. Roast squash on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent the onion from burning. While the squash is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions. When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and set aside until you are ready to blend it into the sauce.
  4. Add butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in the milk, letting it thicken slightly between additions.
  5. Once all of the milk has been added in, whisk in the remaining salt, the chili powder, nutmeg, dijon, and the 2 cups of cheese. Continue stirring the sauce until the cheese is mostly melted. 
  6. Add the cheese sauce and the roasted squash and onions to a heat safe blender. Blend for 30-40 seconds until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  7. Pour cheese sauce over pasta, stir well to coat all of the macaroni, and pour into a 9”x13” baking dish.
  8. Mix together cornflakes/breadcrumbs, butter and salt until well coated. Top the macaroni and cheese with the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.

Notes

Butternut squash: feel free to sub with another winter squash like acorn squash, kabocha squash or sugar pumpkins. You could also sub with sweet potatoes or yams. 

Spices: to make this recipe more fall friendly, we add paprika, cinnamon, chili powder and nutmeg. It adds a great layer of flavor to the mac and cheese, but if you'd prefer to keep this super simple, you can just use salt instead. 

Be sure to stir the butternut squash and onions when they are roasting to prevent burning.

Make sure to use a heat safe blender. Hot liquids release steam, so if your lid is absolutely airtight, the pressure build up can cause the top to pop off. You can also use an immersion blender if you find that easier.

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It's best reheated in the microwave in 30 second intervals – stir well between each interval. 

Freezer storage: Let the mac and cheese cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 3-6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the microwave or oven. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 439
  • Sugar: 4.6 g
  • Sodium: 780.2 mg
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 51.3 g
  • Fiber: 6.5 g
  • Protein: 17 g

Keywords: vegan butternut squash mac and cheese