Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze

486 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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{ 486 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa (bakebikeblog) October 3, 2011

oh my – this looks delightful!!!

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simone October 3, 2011

just wondering if you can come up with a pumpkin cornbread recipe????

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

mmm that sounds good :)

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Rebecca P October 3, 2011

I made this for lunch today but I used a cup of leftover pumpkin that was in my fridge. I also added a tbs of white miso. It was fantastic! I stirred in spinach, topped it with breadcrumbs and baked it in the oven for 20 min. My 2 year old also loved it (although he left the spinach in a little pile in the middle of his plate). We will definitely make this again. I worked out the nutritional information and it has only 486 cal and 8 g of fat per serving not a bad way to indulge in Mac and cheese!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

wow that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

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Alyssa (EverydayMaven) October 3, 2011

Wow this looks fantastic!!! I have working on a very similar recipe with the goal of cutting the fat. I can’t believe you ONLY used 1 T of Earth Balance! I am all over this – definitely making this weekend :)
P.S. Do you use the Organic Whipped E.B. or the Vegan?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

I use the soy free Earth Balance :) in the tub

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Maddie October 3, 2011

This is not about the recipe you posted today. I have been making your cranberry oat bars for my 1 year old for about 6 months. No kidding, one of his first words was “bar” to ask for them. Today I only had one banana, so I pureed about 3/4 of a cup of strawberries and replaced one of the bananas with that. I also used dried blueberries instead of the cranberries, and cut back on the sugar to 1/4 cup since strawberries and blueberries are sweeter than the original ingredients. They are amazing! I’m not sure my son is actually going to get any. ;) Anyway, thought I’d share.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

Great modifications Maddie :) Glad they were enjoyed!

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Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City October 3, 2011

yum! looks so tasty. i have never thought of putting squash in with mac & cheeze :) thanks for sharing!!

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Angie October 3, 2011

My partner is a huge mac and cheese fan, so I am going to give this a try. I have one question though, do you cook the kale beforehand or just mix it in to the pasta??

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

I didn’t cook it beforehand, but just mixed it in and heated it for a few minutes. To be honest, kale wasn’t my fav in this. I would prefer spinach, peas, or broccoli probably!

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Megan October 3, 2011

Made this for dinner with roasted acorn squash from the CSA and petite peas. Yum!

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! October 3, 2011

This looks incredible! I am a squash fiend and I LOOOOVE vegan cheese sauces (even better than real cheese in my opinion!!)!!! I need to try this asap!!

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 3, 2011

The whole thing look awesome but the sauce itself looks…drinkable! I would even just like to dip veggies in it, use it as any sort of dip, topping, dressing, coating…it is versatile, big time.

“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.” <— Amen lady. I
feel the same way about cashews and using them in raw/rawish/vegan recipes. They are fantastic but it's also good to make things that are dependent on soaking them or just using nuts. I know you're having GI issues…take a look at nuts. I have all kinds of things I could tell you about nuts and if you wanna chat or hear my 10 year long trial and error stuff concerning them, email me.

But back to the recipe..it looks incredible!

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TeenyLittleSuperChef October 3, 2011

Hi Angela! I’m so happy you posted this recipe for a low-fat vegan version of mac and cheese. I just posted a butternut squash non-vegan version on my blog last week and it was so yummy, but I’m really excited to try this one out as I’m beginning to dabble more and more with vegan dishes. Thank you! And thank for so many other totally yummy dishes!

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blossjoss October 3, 2011

Looks great! Can’t wait to try it.

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Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf October 3, 2011

This reminds me SO much of Rachael Ray’s “Harvest Moon Macaroni.” I’ll have to try this! I never have cashews on hand (don’t like the buggers), but I do have plenty of nutritional yeast! :)

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J @ Ess and Jae V2.0 October 3, 2011

Ummmmm……do you promise it’s good? It looks…..ummmm…..a little odd. :-)

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 3, 2011

I have to say, I’m glad you’re straying away from cashew based sauces because that means I can actually eat these recipes. Yay! :D I will definitely be trying this out!

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Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit October 3, 2011

Love this. Making it tomorrow. :)

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Pibble October 3, 2011

This looks wonderful! I have a butternut squash in my fridge that this would be perfect for.

Can I offer a finger-saving tip? Squashes are quite happy to be roasted whole. I’ve been eating much more squash since I learned that you can throw them into the oven without cutting them in half first and then seaon them after they are cooked.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2011

Really?? Wow, that sounds too good to be true! Can I ask what temp you roast it at? Also do you prick it with a fork to let air escape?

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Pibble October 7, 2011

I roast my squash at 350 – although my oven is older, so this may not be 100% accurate. I often poke it with a knife after 20 minutes or so (after the skin has softened up) to see how close to “done” it is, and to keep the skin from puffing up too much. Just one poke seems to do the trick.

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Liz @ Something To Chew On October 3, 2011

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. You are a GENIUS.

Saving this one!!

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lynn @ the actor's diet October 3, 2011

go to the pumpkin – go there…

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katie October 3, 2011

I have the squash in the oven as we speak! Can’t wait to try this!!

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Vanessa October 3, 2011

i am eating this right now and it is AMAZING. but w/ kabocha squash and no nutch…

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Lauren Zietsman October 3, 2011

I have a mystery squash in my fridge from my CSA box this week–think I may have to attempt this tomorrow with…whatever squash that is.

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Janna Kepley October 3, 2011

O_O Ok, that tops it, time to try your vegan cheeze. I’ve been on my wagon (My name is WeyrCat and I’m a mac-in-cheese-oholic) for MONTHS, but this… I got an email today from a food website with TEN, TEN different mac and cheese recipes in it, and now this. I GIVE IN! I will have vegan cheeze as soon as I can find the nutritional yeast.

PS: My Sparkpeople “Healthy Headlines” had the Green Monster in it today, so I’m sure you noticed you got BOMBED on that page hehe. I’m behind 16 posts due to school. It’s ok, I’m sure you don’t mind :D

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

It seems like the stars are telling you to make mac n cheeze!

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Ella, RD October 3, 2011

I love how you call it “cheeze” heheh. I have been a lurker for a while but I figured I would comment now, since I started my own blog :) Even though I’m not vegan, I enjoy reading, especially now that I’m an RD and get plenty of questions from vegans and vegetarians.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

Nice to meet you!

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jackie hatch! October 3, 2011

Yum!!!!!!! Need to make this ASAP!!! It’s been raining I’m Boston for days too! :/

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Ally at AGIHK October 3, 2011

Oh I am SO making this! Yum!

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Whitney October 3, 2011

Angela… WOW… You outdid yourself with this recipe!!!!

As soon as I saw this post today, I had mac n cheese on my brain ALL DAY and knew exactly what to make tonight! I’ve had a butternut squash on my counter for the past two weeks, waiting to find something that caught my attention in a good way to use it. This was BY FAR the best mac n cheese recipe I’ve ever had or tasted– vegan or not! I liked it much more than the cashew cheese sauce you’ve shared before (although that was fab too!), as this really replicates the rich, creamy, smooth texture of a velveeta-like cheesy dish. AMAZING!

I was spoon-feeding myself out of the bowl, murmuring with glee. I mixed with snap peas, frozen peas, spinach, and extra roasted squash. DELICIOUS! THANK YOU!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

So glad you liked it! I never know with mac n cheeze recipes because I find they are such a personal preference at times. I’m really glad you liked the same things about it that I did (smooth like Velveeta is a great description!)

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Katie | @wholelivingimprint.tumblr.com October 3, 2011

holy vegan! That looks so scrumptious!!

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olivia October 3, 2011

this looks totally amazing. once my academic week is over, this is the first food i’m going to make. until then it’s salads from the hospital, which don’t even compare to the salads on your recipage. thanks for making your recipes so manageable for a busy and stressed student!

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Alexis @ hummusapien October 3, 2011

I can’t wait to make this!! The only question is do I add spinach or kale….decisions decisions!!

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Danica @ It's Progression Not Perfection October 3, 2011

That looks so good! I’ve never made my own “cheeze sauce” but it’s definitely tempting now : )

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Kris | iheartwellness.com October 3, 2011

I think I love YOU!!! This post has touched my heart….I love MAC ‘N Cheese and real cheese kills me!!!!!

Love this!
xxoo

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) October 3, 2011

I will absolutely be making this!!!

I made your roasted tomato, onion, and garlic coconut soup this evening, and it was delicious :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie October 3, 2011

This looks AMAZING! I love a girl that adds veggies to mac and cheese! So glad the cheeze came out amazing so you wouldn’t have to eat yucky leftovers by yourself for a week!

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Mahealani @ Pu`uhonua October 4, 2011

Wow, this is fantastic! Thank you so SO much for the recipe, I can’t wait to try this!

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Rose October 4, 2011

I live in Israel and I can’t find Earth Balance. Should I try making the recipe with out it?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

hmmm…Can you find any other non-dairy butter replacers?

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Jen October 4, 2011

This looks amazing, I’m definitely going to try it. So healthy too! Thankyou for the recipe!

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Esen October 4, 2011

THIS LOOKS SO SO GOOD! i can’t wait to make it!! great recipe!

xx
esen

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Stephanie @SnackingonSunshine October 4, 2011

Angela you’re a superstar! I can’t wait to give this a try :)

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Jessica October 4, 2011

I am so excited to make this!!! :D I have a butternut squash in my fridge that I had no idea what to do with–but I am pretty sure it is fate that I read your post!!!

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Angelique October 4, 2011

YUM! I can’t wait to make this for my family.
I am so thankful for your blog.
Each day when I see Oh She Glows pop up in my Inbox, I can’t wait to open the email.
Thank you for all of the work and love you put into this blog
and for providing such lovely inspiration every day!! It is very appreciated.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 4, 2011

Aww thank you Angelique :) I’m thankful for you!

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