Vegan Mac and Cheese

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This new vegan mac and cheese recipe has helped us replace our normal mac and cheese with a healthier version. Not only does this mac and cheese not have dairy, it also is made with butternut squash which gives it a a sweeter taste while adding some vitamin A. The nutritional yeast helps add B12 to the meal as well as make the sauce resemble that cheesy goodness we are so accustomed to with mac and cheese.

 

Vegan Mac and Cheese

In our quest to eat a more healthy diet, Elena and I tried out this new vegan mac and cheese recipe.  We have always been fans of mac and cheese for as long as we have been together.  We always gravitated to the box shells and cheese as a comfort food for us.  This recipe hits all of those same buttons, but in a much healthier fashion.  Between the butternut squash, cashews and nutritional yeast, we are able to include more of the important vitamins and minerals into dinner, while not having to give up on the creamy cheese delicacy that is mac and cheese.

Cooking the Butternut Squash and Preparing the Cashews

To begin this recipe you want to start with cooking the butternut squash since it will take the longest. Preheat your oven to 400º and wash your butternut squash. Take a peeler and peel the squash down to the point that you only see orange and can no longer see any skin.  Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and pulp and cut the squash into cubes so that it will cook a little faster in the oven. Evenly cover the cubed squash with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and place on a foil covered baking sheet. Before placing the squash into the oven, peal two cloves of garlic and add them to the baking sheet as well. The squash is now ready to enter the oven. Set the timer for 25 minutes and start on the noodles. To allow for the cashews to be added to the food processor later, they need to be softened. This can be done by taking one cup of cashews and submerging them in hot water, but not boiling, for at least 15 minutes.

Cooking the Noodles

We went with Banzi rotini for our noodles.  To cook 16 oz. of rotini noodles, use a large stock pot and fill with water and a dash of salt. Bring the water to a boil and add the noodles. Constantly stir as Banzi rotini will create a good amount of foam as it cooks. If it foams to much, you may need to reduce the amount of heat until the foam reduces. The noodles should be finished after approximately 7 to 9 minutes depending on your preference of how well cooked you like your pasta. Before draining the noodles, save 1 cup of the water. Drain the noodles and set to the side.

Making the Sauce

The butternut squash should now be finished. You can tell when the butternut squash is finished when a fork will easily pierce the squash with little resistance. The cashews can also be drained at this time. In a food processor, combine the cooked butternut squash and garlic with the cashews and two cups of vegetable stock. Next add a 1/2 tsp. of ground pepper, 1 tsp. of smoked paprika, 1 tsp. of salt, 4 tbsp. of nutritional yeast, 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. of onion powder and finally 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar.  Blend the mixture until you get a smooth consistency.  If you are finding that the sauce is a little to thick, you can add some of the left over water from cooking the noodles.

All that is left to do is to mix the sauce with the noodles and serve! We decided to pair this dish with some steamed broccoli and meatless meat balls and topped our mac and cheese with some basil and red pepper flakes.

Enjoy!

For more pasta recipes try our Spring Veggie Pasta with Garlic Tahini Sauce as well as our Avocado Spinach Pesto with Edamame Noodles.

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Vegan Mac and Cheese


  • Author: Ben Anderson
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

This new vegan mac and cheese recipe has helped us replace our normal mac and cheese with a healthier version. Not only does this mac and cheese not have dairy, it also is made with butternut squash which gives it a a sweeter taste while adding some vitamin A. The nutritional yeast helps add B12 to the meal as well as make the sauce resemble that cheesy goodness we are so accustomed to with mac and cheese.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16 oz. of rotini pasta
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 4 tbsp. of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º
  2. Using a peeler, fully remove the skin of the butternut squash.
  3. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp.
  4. Cut the squash in to large cubes and then fully cover in olive or avocado oil.
  5. Remove the skin from the 2 cloves of garlic.
  6. Place squash and garlic on a foil covered tray.
  7. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 25 minutes.
  8. Submerge 1 cup of cashews in hot water for at least 15 minutes.
  9. Boil 16 cups of salted water in a large stock pot.
  10. Add the rotini pasta to the boiling water and continuously stir for 7 to 9 minutes.
  11. When the pasta is finished, save one cup of water for later and then drain the pasta.
  12. Remove the squash from the oven and drain the cashews.
  13. Combine the squash, garlic, cashews, vegetable stock, pepper, salt, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, onion powder and apple cider vinegar in a food processor or blender.
  14. Blend until you have a smooth consistency.
  15. If your sauce is too thick, add some of the leftover water from cooking the noodles slowly until you have a consistency that you like.
  16. Finally, combine the sauce with the noodles.
  17. Serve.

Notes

Optionally you can serve this dish with red pepper flakes and basil as a topping.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
Ben Anderson

Ben Anderson

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