Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

A warming, comforting and delicious bowl of the classic mac n cheese with a plant-based and healthier twist using butternut squash. This sauce is thick, creamy, flavoursome and vibrant while it’s got added vegetables, too.

I first posted this recipe back in 2018 and while I loved the recipe, I wasn’t 100% happy with the images at the time. But I was so eager to share this amazing recipe with you that I went with it. Oh, how I wish I didn’t. That said, it’s been a fun challenge to re-make and improve the base recipe of this Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese as well as taking some new photos.

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

And this comforting pasta dish is even better than I remember! The recipe only needed a few tweaks. The base of the recipe is still the same, roasted and tender butternut squash is blended with some tahini (or olive oil), nutritional yeast and milk for a silky sauce. Then turmeric, garlic, paprika and Dijon mustard add a gentle heat, vibrant colour and cosy flavour. Rather than using cashew nuts, having the sauce based on vegetables makes this dish a little lighter, much cheaper to make and a lot easier to whip up from what you have in your cupboards.

The rest of this Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese remains the same: cooked pasta, some tamari-fried vegetables all topped with a plant-based parmesan-style topping of cheesy hemp seed sprinkle. I love sprinkling this over all my salads, pasta dishes and other grain bowls – it is simply a mixture of hulled hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, turmeric salt and pepper. If you have a favourite plant-based parmesan cheese to hand, you can use that, too.

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

This meal is great to serve to friends and family when you want to show off how vibrant, wholesome but comforting vegan food can be. I love being able to re-create such family classic meals and add a little nourishing twist to them. While it is not as “cheesy” and indulgent as other pasta dishes, this is my kind of food for sure.

It is naturally vegan, gluten-free and nut-free while being rich in flavour, hearty and familiar. It is packed with added vegetables, topped with a crunchy and tasty seedy sprinkle and is a filling dinner or delicious lunch as it makes great leftovers as a cold pasta salad.

If you are looking for more simple, wholesome dinners how about my Simple Red Pepper and Spinach Dahl, Roasted Cauliflower and Beetroot Pasta, Mushroom and Kale Gnocchi Bake or Mediterranean Butterbeans and Carrots with Potato Wedges.

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A warming, comforting and delicious bowl of the classic mac n cheese with a plant-based and healthier twist using butternut squash. This sauce is thick, creamy, flavoursome and vibrant while it’s got added vegetables, too.

Ingredients

  • Butternut Cheesy Sauce
  • ½ butternut squash (200-250g flesh)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini or olive oil
  • 4 tbsp plant-based milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp each: smoked paprika, turmeric, Dijon mustard
  • Cheesy Hemp Sprinkle
  • 1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Pasta
  • 180g pasta of choice
  • 160g frozen peas
  • ½ white onion, small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small courgette, small dice
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 handful spinach, chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes

Directions


1. Preheat the oven to 180Fan/200*C and line a tray with baking parchment. Place the ½ butternut squash cut side up on the tray and drizzle in a bit of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until tender and starting to brown at the sides. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2. Scoop out the seeds and discard and now scoop out the flesh and place in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary and seasoning to taste. You may need to add a splash more milk to make a runnier sauce. This can be made up to 2 days in advance when kept cool in an airtight container in the fridge.
3. Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 10 minutes until caramelising and translucent. Now add the courgette and garlic and continue to fry for 5-7 minutes until cooked through, adding the tamari for the last minute.
4. Meanwhile, make the Cheesy Hemp Sprinkle by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
5. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, adding the peas for the final 5 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water and leave to one side.
6. Return the pasta to the saucepan, add the onion and courgette mix, the chopped spinach, the tomatoes, the Butternut Squash Cheesy Sauce and 4 tbsp of the cooking water. Stir the pasta over a low heat until creamy and well coated in sauce, adding more water as required.
7. To serve, divide the pasta between two bowls, topping with the Cheesy Hemp Sprinkle.
Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

I would love to hear what you think of my Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese, so please leave a comment below and tag me in your creations – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With butternut squash cheesy love x

 

8 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

  1. sophiedxx says:

    Hey Amy. I have never really liked Mac and Cheese 🧀 at all. But your pasta dish looks really delicious 😋 for sure. As well I never used to like butternut squash but I tried over new year BNS in a veggie curry and I really enjoyed, my Auntie made for me and my parents whilst we were on hols in Norfolk. If I didn’t read about BNS from your blog and socials I wouldn’t even tried!
    Splendid photography and happy Monday and have a great week. Keep safe and I will be sure to tag you into my creations using your recipes. Lol 😂 definitely not as a good cook as you though. So enjoy reading your blog posts they really do bring a smile to my face. Always enjoy getting a email update when you newly post blog posts etc. Thanks so much for all of your amazing recipes and youor continuous food knowledge and answering my long essay questions/comments . I so appreciate it 😋🌱
    Best Wishes Sophie and my dog 🐶. xxxx

    Recipe saved to my WordPress saved collection and looking forward to hearing your cooking demo at the weekend. Hope all of your family are good and well

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.