I love things that take me back to childhood and nothing says childhood and comfort like Macaroni and Cheese. We were spoiled and my mother (bless her) made it from scratch.
One night, before the wedding, my friend Rebecca came over for a girls comfort/craft night. I was tired of cleansing and needed some serious comfort food. I made Vegan Macaroni and Cheese and we both stood over the pot with spoons in our hand. It was a hit and I can honestly say there wasn’t a huge difference in taste. Being that this recipe gets all of it’s cheesiness from Nutritional yeast and it’s creaminess from Butternut Squash-this mac and cheese is actually good for you!
I added nutmeg and Siracha to the original recipe because those are the flavors that take me back to my mom’s kitchen table. Try adding some flavors that you grew up with.
Here is the original version with my additions of nutmeg and Siracha:
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (yields: 3.5 cups raw)
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened + unflavoured soy milk), or more to thin out
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 6-7 tbsp Nutritional yeast (provides the cheesy consistency)
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp or a bit more of nutmeg
- dash of Siracha
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Tumeric powder, optional (gives the orangey colour)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika + more to season
- Your pasta of choice (I used ~450 grams/4.5 cups dry penne for the casserole) + mix-ins
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet. In a bowl, season chopped squash with some oil (~1 tsp) and kosher salt (couple pinches) and stir. Add to baking sheet and roast in oven for 40 minutes, flipping once half way through baking.
2. Assemble your cheeze sauce ingredients (cashews, non-dairy milk, garlic, lemon, salt, nutritional yeast, pepper, mustard, seasonings) and add just the cashews to food processor. Process until a fine crumb forms similar to corn meal. Now add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Leave the sauce in the processor as you will be adding the squash.
3. Cook your pasta according to package directions. When squash is finished roasting, add it to the food processor and blend it with the cheese sauce until smooth. Adjust to taste. The sauce will thicken up with time. If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.
4. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Now add the pasta back into the same pot and add your desired amount of cheeze sauce on top. Stir well. Add in any desired mix-ins like peas or broccoli. Store any leftover sauce in the fridge and use within a few days.
Here’s the craft Rebecca and I each put together that night! I think it turned out super well. Thanks Pinterest.
fyi: Nutritional yeast is:
1. rich in B vitamins
2. rich in niacin, thiamin, biotin, and folic acid
3. can be used as a supplement or condiment
4. Gluten free
5. 2 teaspoons provides the recommended daily intake for most adults of vitamin B12