Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze

489 comments

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Over the past couple years, I’ve made many different vegan cheeze sauce recipes. The initial ones weren’t what I would consider spectacular, but with trial and error I’ve made recipes that not only satisfy my cravings, but make me crave the new recipes instead of actually craving cheese itself.

As a former cheese addict, this is big.

Last year, I fell in love with cashew-based vegan cheeze sauces. When you blend or process cashews with nutritional yeast, herbs, spices, and almond milk, you get this thick and creamy vegan cheeze sauce that can be added to macaroni, casseroles, spread onto sandwiches, and more.

I especially love making this cashew-based Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze:

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This below, is my favourite Cashew-Based Vegan Cheeze Sauce (without the squash).

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Lately, my focus has shifted to sauces that I can make without cashews.

The cashew-based sauces are delicious, but they can be quite heavy. I’ve been working on sauces that can be thrown together in just a few minutes on the stove top.

My first attempt was my 5-Ingredient Cheeze Sauce. Just almond milk, Earth Balance, flour, nutritional yeast, and S & P.

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Some of you asked for a version that didn’t have as much fat in it. This recipe has 4 tablespoons of Earth Balance, but I knew that I could make it much healthier and lighter with a little work!

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This weekend was cold, wet, and gloomy, and it was the perfect weekend to make some comfort food. I decided to make a lighter Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze.

But of course, I wasn’t so sure if it would work. I figured there was a good chance I’d be eating bad mac ‘n cheese for a week straight while Eric ate cereal for dinner.

But it’s always good to hang onto a glimmer of hope.

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I roasted a Butternut Squash, but if you want to save time you can always used canned squash as an option.

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How to Roast Butternut Squash

Preheat the oven to 425F. Start by slicing your squash in half (try not to slice your finger off like I almost did). I used a 3.5 pound squash for this recipe, but you only need 1 cup of cooked squash for the sauce (I had 4 cups of squash leftover, fyi). Scoop out the seeds & guts with a spoon.

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Peel the two halves and chop off the top and bottom.

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Slice into 1-2 inch chunks.

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Add the chunks into a large casserole dish or roasting pan. Drizzle on extra virgin olive oil and mix well with your hands. Now sprinkle on a hearty dose of Herbamare or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

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Roast, uncovered, for about 40 minutes at 425F or until tender.

Again, you can skip this roasting step and use canned squash if you are crunched for time.

Meanwhile, prepare the cheeze sauce on the stove top by whisking together Earth Balance (I cut the fat by 75%!), unflavoured almond milk, nutritional yeast, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch or flour), Dijon, garlic powder, S & P.

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If you roasted your squash, blend 1 cup of squash with the cheeze sauce in a blender. If you are using canned squash, you can just stir the squash directly into the pot.

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The outcome was incredible. Thick, with a believable cheese flavour.

Best of all, it’s quite low in fat, full of nutrients, and easy to make.

Finger. licking. good.

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The sauce makes enough for 4 servings of Macaroni (I used brown rice elbow macaroni).

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Mix it up and add in your desired mix-ins. I used kale (help me!), but you can use spinach, peas, broccoli, or any vegetable that tickles your fancy.

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I stirred in a bit of leftover roasted squash too.

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This recipe is definitely “in the vault”, as we like to say.

Eric was crazy for this mac ‘n cheeze and he’s a big cheese lover so I take that as a compliment. Brownie points earned.

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Things on my mind…

PUMPKIN Mac ‘n Cheeze. I’m so going there.

When the heck is it going to stop raining?

A 5-minute cheeze sauce without cashews or squash? Coming up tomorrow…

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{ 489 comments… read them below or add one }

Eat Hike Sleep Repeat October 3, 2011

Your timing is perfect. I have been on a mac and cheeze kick for awhile now. I think your addition of the dijon is what I’ve been missing. Just made a cheeze sauce with chanterelles. Need to make another batch now with your recipe!

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Marla @ Your Full Plate October 3, 2011

This looks absolutely delicious! You are the queen of healthy comfort foods!

I am a butternut squash fiend, but I find them to be a little labor-intensive. I’ve found it to be an awesome timesaver if I buy the biggest honkin’ squash I can find, peel, seed, chop it just as you describe, and then lay the chunks out on a cookie sheet (keeps them from becoming a giant frozen squash blob) in the freezer overnight. Then the next morning I throw the chunks in a container and I have them to use across multiple butternut squash recipes.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

Great tip!

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Jenni October 24, 2013

My grocery store sells pre-cubed, pre-peeled squash chunks. I currently only make 1 or 2 dishes with it, so I prefer to pay a few extra dollars to save the time (not to mention my fingers or having to retrieve runaway butternut squash from the floor or the sink).

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Amber K October 3, 2011

I have never been a fan of squash, but these sorts of recipes really intrigue me. I might not like it by itself, but mixed with the rest of the ingredients? It could be amazing. Oooh the possibilities.

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Dayanna October 3, 2011

is this the same or similar recipe to the butternut squash recipe posted last year? if so.. yay – so delicious!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I would say it’s pretty similar, although not as heavy or thick.

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Megan @ The Detoxinista October 3, 2011

I love the cashew-free idea! Can’t wait to get my hands on a butternut squash so I can try this! ;)

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Shelley @ MileHighHealthy October 3, 2011

This recipe had me drooling! I love butternut squash so much and have yet to find a satisfying vegan mac-n-cheese recipe. I prefer not to use soy (many recipes use silken tofu) and I agree that the cashew cheese sauces can be very heavy. This recipe looks creamy and dreamy and amazing. It’s still in the 80s here in Colorado (seriously?!) but as soon as I feel a fall chill, I want to try this recipe!

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ktmade October 3, 2011

Thank you so much for this recipe Angela! I have a cashew allergy, so I’m always sad about the great vegan cheeses that I can’t eat. I can’t wait to try this one!

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Maya@DessertisinaDifferentPocket October 3, 2011

This looks amazing!!!! I am definitely going to try it and not tell the husband it’s not real cheese…
I legitimately cut off the top of my finger slicing a papaya (seriously? a super soft papaya??) so I better watch it with the squash…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

yikes! stay safe

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J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) October 3, 2011

Looks incredible! I have been wanting to try butternut cheez sauce for awhile. Thanks for reminding me to use up my squash. YUMMMM!!

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Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy October 3, 2011

This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

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angela October 3, 2011

I’m makin this tonight. Heading for the store now. Will let y’all know. :-)

Can’t wait … it look D-Lish!

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Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen October 3, 2011

Whoa! This looks so decadent and delicious. I love your blog!

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Becca October 3, 2011

The only problem with removing the cashews is you are removing a big amount of PROTEIN from the meal :( If only there was a way to keep your recipe idea, but to increase the protein in the meal (’cause I know brown rice pasta isn’t as high in protein as other grain pastas, such as kamut or spelt)… Maybe making your cashew sauce but replacing the cashews with chickpeas? That would make the dish lighter, but upping the protein. As for this dish, maybe stirring in some chickpeas or other legumes just before serving would increase the protein content.

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Nichole October 3, 2011

Quick question, do you think this would work with rice milk? My son is an allergy induced vegan but is also alergic nuts. I love the vegan recipes, but they almost always include some sort of nut/tree nut product.

thanks,
Nichole

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I can’t see why not :)

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Heather (heathers dish) October 3, 2011

I’m definitely approving! Yum :)

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Nicole @ giraffelegs October 3, 2011

yayyy so excited to try this!

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Jess October 3, 2011

Thanks for the dinner suggestion- so making this tonight!

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K October 3, 2011

I’m amazed at how perfectly cut (in half) your squash was!
This looks like something I will definitely try this season!

Thanks!

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Rebekah October 3, 2011

I’m over here LOLing by myself because I read the title of this post (just the title) and said in my head, “Shut. Your. Mouth. Angela.” Baaahahahahaha! Needless to say, I’m all over this dish :)

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life October 3, 2011

Oh yum – I made some roasted butternut squash soup at the weekend for the blog this week and have some leftover roasted squash, so I’ll give this a try.

And the art of chopping and peeling squash is still lost on me. It’s always accompanied by some brute strength and a bit of cursing… :P

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I know, I HATE chopping them up!! When Eric’s home I tend to bribe him :)

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Kat October 3, 2011

my most recent preggo craving has been for (vegan) cheezy things and since I finally gave up cheese a few months ago, I’m always on the lookout for new recipes – this one looks awesome! can’t wait to make it

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katie@ KatieDid October 3, 2011

oh many, absolutely delicious. I just posted a recipe for pumpkin/ goat cheese sauce with roasted cauliflower. The cauliflower acts like macaroni, and it became an amazinggg substitute for mac n cheese.

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Sara October 3, 2011

You really can’t go wrong with any combination of butternut squash and nutritional yeast. I’ve never made the cashew sauce because I don’t have a food processor…though I suppose you could use cashew butter. My staple “cheese” sauce is almond milk, nutritional yeast, curry, spicy mustard and cornstarch.

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Jacqueline October 3, 2011

This looks amazing! Do you think that it would have a good flavor if you made it with pumpkin as well?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I would like to hope so! I hope to try it out soon.

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Kathy October 3, 2011

Hi Angela, this looks delicious! Do you know if it would reheat well though? I read somewhere that arrowroot does not reheat well and causes dishes to turn slimy (regardless of whether dairy products are included or not..). I’ve been wanting to try arrowroot, but since I usually only cook for myself, there are almost always leftovers! :) Being able to reheat them would be nice. Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

You are right that arrowroot can make sauces slimy!
When I took this sauce out of the fridge, it was slimy and a bit clumpy.
I popped it into the micro for 30 secs, gave it a good stir, and heated for another 30 secs or so. Stir, stir, stir and it was back to the same consistency and taste.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

you can also use flour too :)

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Kathy October 3, 2011

Hi Ang. I am looking to find a really awesome cheez sauce, so am anxious to try this. I use this recipe that I got off the internet some time ago for the tofu scrambles I make. Can’t remember who actually posted it, but I think its pretty good:
1/2 Cup WW Flour, 1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast, 1 tsp garlic powder in pot. Add 2 cups water & cook until thick. Take off heat & add 4 tbsp earth balance & 1 tsp mustard – salt & pepper to taste. (Actually requires quite a bit of salt in my opinion to give it a seasoned taste.)

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Vicky October 3, 2011

Looks lovely!

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit October 3, 2011

I love taking old recipes and making them lower in fat. I’ve really enjoyed doing that over the last couple of weeks. It’s amazing how fast the fat adds up! Can’t wait for the pumpkin mac n cheese. I make something similar for breakfast with leftover pasta and pumpkin or apple sauce with a crunchy topping (quinoa flakes + cinnamon). Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I love the idea of a crunchy topping Leanne. A healthy ‘corn flake’ cereal might work too. :)

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit October 3, 2011

Yes! That’s a great idea. I can’t eat corn, but I have made it with these guys a couple of times: http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/our_foods/cereals/crunchy_flax.html even almonds + pecans work too!

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Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 3, 2011

This looks soooooo good! I’m not vegan but I bought nutritional yeast yesterday because I happened to see it and wanted to try it. IT IS SO GOOD. I am addicted!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I’m glad you like it! It actually took me a while to learn to like the taste.

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Carissa October 3, 2011

Last time I tried to make your butternut squash cheeze sauce for something, I ate so much of the squash after it was done roasting that I didn’t have enough to actually make the sauce (it was a small squash). This time I’m vowing to keep my fingers off the squash and actually make the sauce! :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

haha that’s funny :) I’ve been known to do that with recipes too.

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Jaclyn T October 3, 2011

This looks so darn tasty!

–Jaclyn T
Nature Inspired Jewellery
http://www.etsy.com/shop/trickart
http://positiveponderings.blogspot.com

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes October 3, 2011

This looks gorgeous! :)

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Sharon @ Bit of the Good Stuff October 3, 2011

Hi Angela. This dish looks absolutely stunning! We haven’t eaten mac n cheese since we stopped eating animal products last January. I will definitely give this recipe a go. Thanks so much for sharing it! xx

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Vanessa October 3, 2011

Wow! Amazing Angela. =) I am SO making this tomorrow w/ kabocha squash. Yummmy!

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Monica October 3, 2011

I am going to make this with pumpkin tonight!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

oh let me know how it goes :)

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles October 3, 2011

I used to be a “blue box” fanatic. I love how easy and healthy this is. Definitely comfort food at it’s finest. Definitely going for it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I used to love the blue box too!

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Brandina October 3, 2011

Wow…I never would have thought that butternut squash, combined with so few other ingredients, could taste cheesy at all. My curiosity overwhelms me when I see the recipes you post. I’ll definitely be trying this one soon.

I also told the boyfriend (who hates all kinds of squash) and he said he’d try it….I’ll let you know if he likes it!

Thanks for all your recipes!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I hope you both enjoy it!

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JEM October 3, 2011

Thank you for the lighter cheeze recipe! I made the cashew-based cheeze and it is delicious but it does sit heavily and I could only have a few bites. You rock.

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Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} October 3, 2011

This looks delicious to this cheese lover. :-)

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers October 3, 2011

Thanks! I love having pasta Fridays at my house, so I think this will be a perfect way to kick of the weekend.

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