A delicious fall inspired mac and cheese made with butternut squash, cashews, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika and a few other everyday pantry staples.
Optional for baking:
Cook the butternut squash:
Soak the cashews:
Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Make butternut squash cheese: In blender, add the cooked butternut squash, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and few grinds of fresh cracked pepper, add 1 1/2 cups of water and blend until creamy. Add more water as needed to thin to desired consistency. You don’t want it too thick, as it will thicken as it sets. The sauce just needs to cling so use your best judgement on how much extra water to add.
Assemble mac & cheese: Add the butternut squash cheese sauce to the pasta and stir to combine, heat over low to warm through if needed. Serve as is or bake as noted below.
Oven baked mac & cheese: Toss 1/2 cup of panko or bread crumbs with 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the mixture over top the mac and cheese, place in a preheated oven set to 350, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes, or until top turns golden. Or put it a few inches under the broiler until top is crispy, about 5minutes.
Store: Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days, in a covered container. It’s also freezer friendly and can be stored in freezer safe containers for up to 2 – 3 months. Let thaw before reheating.
Nutritional yeast: Since this is an acquired taste, feel free to omit. Or simply adjust the amount to suit your taste, start small and add more as desired.
Reheat: Warm on the stovetop, with a splash of unsweetened plain non-dairy milk or water, until warmed through. Microwave in 30 second intervals, with a splash of unsweetened plain plant milk, stirring after each interval until warmed through.
Keywords: vegan butternut squash mac and cheese, butternut squash mac and cheese recipe