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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese [Vegan + Oil Free]

mac and cheese in white bowl

Want to sneak some veggies into your kiddos mac and cheese? This vegan mac and cheese sauce is loaded with butternut squash, making it super nutritious and flavourful. The colour blends perfectly and they will NEVER guess there’s hidden veggies in this one!

Most kids love macaroni and cheese, so you shouldn’t have any trouble putting this dish on the table. All you taste is the delicious “cheesy” goodness, in a rich, beautiful sauce that smothers your favourite noodles. Butternut squash mac and cheese, for the win!

mac and cheese in three bowls on grey deck

How do you make butternut squash mac and cheese?

Start by peeling and chopping your butternut squash. Then place the squash chunks in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until a fork pieces through easily. This should take around 8-10 minutes. Drain the squash and place it in your blender with all the other sauce ingredients. Blend your sauce until smooth and creamy.

Meanwhile, get your pasta water boiling and cook your favourite noodles, according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot, and then drown them in the delicious, rich, uhh-mazing sauce. If your sauce cools down before your pasta is ready, you may run the blender a little longer to get it to heat up again. Alternatively, pour the sauce into the pot with the pasta and heat it over the stove top for a couple of minutes.

Serve with a sprinkle or two of smoked paprika, or some vegan parmesan cheese on top for some extra oomph of cheesiness.

close up side view mac and cheese with paprika garnish

Why butternut squash?

I like to use butternut squash, not only for the deliciousness and nutrients, but also the colour. When serving mac and cheese to children, there’s something about the yellowy orange cheese sauce that makes their eyes light up. The squash really adds a nice bright colour to the sauce to resemble store bought, boxed varieties, so this should be a nice and easy replacement.

elbow noodles in white bowl with leaf towel in background

If you enjoyed this mac and cheese, I’ve got a few more variations for you to check out!

butternut squash mac and cheese pin

mac and cheese in white bowl

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese [Vegan + Oil Free]

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: oil free, refined sugar free, vegan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Butternut squash hidden right into your favourite dish, this vegan mac and cheese has got it all.
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Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash peeled & chopped into 1 inch pieces (approx 1.5-2lb squash)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 lb elbow noodles or pasta of choice, gluten free if preferred
  • smoked or sweet paprika optional garnish

Instructions

  • Add the squash to a small sauce pot, cover with water and boil for 8 minutes, or until a fork pierces through easily. Drain and add to your blender, along with all remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Pour about two thirds of the sauce into the pasta and mix well to prevent sticking.
  • Use the remaining sauce to garnish each plate, or dump all of it into the pot and mix. Serve garnished with a sprinkle of paprika if desired.

Notes

Ā 
Makes approx 5-6 cups of sauce, depending on your size of squash.
Ā 
Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 718mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 12054IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3mg
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?Mention @this.healthy.kitchen on IG and tag #thishealthykitchen!
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.

 

2 Comments

  1. Mary

    I’m going to try this probably on Sunday, just a quick question. I do not have a high powered blender, thought I would do it in batches with my mini food processor, question is should I add the cashews to the cooking squash, to soften them? Do you think coconut milk (unsweetened, carton) would work?
    Thanks

    • rosa

      Hi Mary, yes I would add the cashews to the squash, this will definitely make them easier to break down in a food processor. Coconut milk should work well. Hope you enjoy!! šŸ™‚

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