Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze

487 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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{ 487 comments… read them below or add one }

Cortnie October 5, 2011

Looks easy and delicious! Thank you!
xo
cortnie

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Candice R October 5, 2011

OH. My. Goodness.

MUST TRY! My mouth is watering just reading the post about this…. YUM

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Julie October 5, 2011

Made this tonight, and it was delicious. Thanks for another great recipe!

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Anna October 5, 2011

Made this for dinner tonight. Definitely a winner!

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olivia October 5, 2011

i made this last night and added broccoli. i used the shiritaki noodles, which are soy, or something like that, and i wouldn’t recommend using those. it really took away from the flavor of the sauce. tonight i made quinoa pasta and used the sauce, and i love it. i added some herbamare, and i think i found my new favorite “cheesy pasta” dish. thanks for sharing angela!

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Liz October 5, 2011

Thanks so much for this recipe. I made it for dinner tonight for my very picky (non-vegan) kids, one of whom doesn’t like squash. They gobbled it up and went back for seconds! So thick and luscious and cheesy … perfect.

By the way, I noticed the posts about liquid smoke; I have found it at Loblaws. It’s in the section with the bbq sauces and such.

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Maggie October 5, 2011

Weird question Angela- do you have any tips for cleaning up Earth Balance? I end up using butter instead because I am so itimidated by the clean-up….it sticks to everything!!

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Alexis @ hummusapien October 6, 2011

I made this last night with kale and it was awesome! The kale added great crunch and texture!

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melissa gillan October 6, 2011

Is it weird to say i love you?? haha the one thing i miss most is my mac n cheese, so i have been making the 5 ingredient one you posted (which i love!), but i am so excited to try this new one!! The amount of earth balance in the 5 ingrdient sauce did cross my mind (but i figured stirring in spinach cancelled that out…), so when i saw this i jumped for joy! thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 6, 2011

LOL “I figured stirring in spinach cancelled that out” I thought I was the only one who thought that way. Why do you think I start my day off with a green monster….that cancels everything out. wink wink.

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Melissa October 6, 2011

you. are. amazing. no joke, you have me drooling over my keyboard.

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Melissa October 6, 2011

oh and FYI this is like the 1000th recipe I’ve pinned of yours, they’re all so delicious looking!!

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Kati October 6, 2011

I’ve been searching for years for the best dairy and cashew free mac & “cheese” recipe for my food allergic kids. Tonight I have found it. This was amazing! I didn’t add kale or any mix ins. They gobbled it up and wanted more more more. This is going to be my new standard recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 7, 2011

Wow I’m so happy to hear this Kati :) I will have to test it on my nephews and nieces :)

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Sara October 7, 2011

Angela … AH-MAZE-ING!!! This is one of the best recipes I’ve made in a while and I could have eaten the whole darn pot it was so good (don’t worry, I didn’t). I used penne pasta because that’s what I had in the pantry and added steamed broccoli. I will definitely be keeping this recipe as a staple. Easy and delicious!!! Thanks a bunch!

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Courtney @ Cookin Up Life October 7, 2011

This was wonderful! I made it last night and I am in love girl :) Thanks for sharing this! I have 2 whole bags of nutritional yeast and looking for yummy recipes like this! Congrats on the nominees… voted :)

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Zoe October 8, 2011

Thank you Angela, this is the second recipe I’ve tried from your site and, once again, it turned out fantastic.

Planning to make your burger recipe this weekend so will let you know how it goes!

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Shana October 8, 2011

You can roast butternut squash right in the skin! Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place flesh side down on a foil lined baking sheet and pour in 1 cup of water. Bake 425 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until it is easily pierced with a a fork. Remove from oven and remove flesh from the skin with a large spoon. It’s all ready to puree for soups, sauces, and eating! Saves a lot of time!

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Angela February 2, 2013

love this tip, thank you!

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Jamie October 8, 2011

I had been eye-balling this for the past few days and finally had the chance to make it tonight. It was definitely worth the wait! So delicious! Thanks for sharing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 8, 2011

Glad you enjoyed it! =)

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nicole October 8, 2011

this was fantastic. i had extra cheeze sauce (didn’t make quite as much pasta and wanted a little lighter coating) so i put it in a jar, added some green chiles, some onion powder, cilantro and some spice — VOILA! VEGAN QUESO! it was amazing.

thank you for a great, creative recipe. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 9, 2011

great ideas :)

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olivia October 8, 2011

This is probably the best thing that has happened to me, culinary speaking, since Isa’s maple-dijon green beans and potatoes. Your recipe is the first I have found to actually taste, dare I say, BETTER than actual mac and cheese! I omitted the dijon and added a pinch of nutmeg for a more classic flavor. I was out of almond milk, so I substituted coconut milk, which worked out fine.

Absolutely incredible. Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 9, 2011

now that is a good review!! Glad you liked it Olivia :)

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Anne Marie October 9, 2011

I tried this tonight with spaghetti squash instead of butternut. It’s sooo good! I overcooked my squash yesterday so instead of strands I got mush. I though I’d try it as a substitution and it worked! I can’t wait to try it with butternut squash soon!

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Fiona October 9, 2011

I made this for dinner tonight, it was delicious and I got so many compliments on it from everyone who tried it! Thanks for the great recipe :)

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Elise October 9, 2011

I made this the other night with buckwheat instead of pasta and IT WAS AMAZING! I added in kale and sprinkled it with some cayenne. mmmmmmmm.
I’ve made about a dozen of your recipes and I absolutely love every single one of them. Namely: carrot apple ginger soup, curried lentil soup, chocolate/carob chips, maple/hemp/chia almond butter and weekend kale glow salad!! I’ve also hopped on the VOO bandwagon and have never been happier with my morning oats. My friends and family keep asking where I learned to be such a great cook so I tell them I know how to read directions and send them to your page ;) thank you for all the inspiring meals!!

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Kate October 9, 2011

I made this tonight after I picked up some pre-cut butternut squash pieces at Costco and oh. my. gosh. DELICIOUS! Everything about this recipe was so intriguing I couldn’t wait to try it. Now I can’t wait to share this recipe with friends; I would take this mac ‘n cheeze recipe over the real stuff EVERY time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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Kris October 10, 2011

Just wondering if this re heats well? or is it so good you never have had leftovers? Thanks, would love to have a recipe to take to work with me for lunch.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 10, 2011

The macaroni + sauce doesn’t reheat that well, so I suggest keeping the sauce separate to reheat and use fresh noodles. It also gets a bit clumpy but you have to give it a good stir when reheating.

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Rachel October 12, 2011

I just ate this for lunch at work today. I made a serving of pasta this morning and packed it with some leftover squash. I packed the sauce separately, and heated them separately. Was great with baby arugula!

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Angela February 2, 2013

Glad to hear that!

Also a good tip for reheating cooked noodles it to heat them gently in a pot of hot simmering water (only for 1-2 minutes until they soften) works like a charm! No more throwing out leftover pasta.

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LSM October 16, 2011

Made this earlier today and reheated when I got home from work. I poured in extra almond milk before popping it in the microwave, and it came out great!

On a side note, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this one when I first made it. The sweetness of the squash kind of turned me off and I was bummed (I’m not a “sweet and savory” kind of person), but it seems like the sweetness dissipates and the flavors really come together as it sits. I am actually a fan of the reheated version! I mixed in spinach and added s+p.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 16, 2011

Good to know, thanks for your feedback!

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Diane October 10, 2011

Delicious! I can’t believe how good this is. My roommate even ate this which is really saying something! She is quite the cheese lover! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

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Magda October 11, 2011

I made it with pumpkin. AWESOME!!! If I didn’t make it myself, I would bet all my money that there’s cheese in the sauce :) Next up, I’ll try to recreate pasta with curry-cheese sauce that I used to love :) Thanks for the inspiration :)

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toota October 11, 2011

thankxxxxx for everything

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Caroline October 12, 2011

ohhhhhh my goodness. just made this and devoured it in about 2 minutes. i cut the recipe to 1/3 of the original and ate the whole thing….oof. completely worth it though! because i didn’t have any arrowroot or corn starch on hand, i subbed in some coconut flour which gave it a lovely subtle sweetness i didn’t expect. tossed in some chicken sausage, mushrooms, broccoli and baby spinach, too. a perfectly satisfying and comforting fall dinner–thank you!

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Kathryn October 13, 2011

This sounds delicious! I am trying to avoid all processed oils, do you think this recipe would work without the Earth Balance? Would you recommend just omitting it or adding something else in it’s place?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 13, 2011

You could probably get away with leaving it out. Let me know if you try it!

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Gloria October 13, 2011

I made this tonight with kale, and it was deeelicious! I’m glad I have leftovers :)

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Audrey October 14, 2011

I made this for lunch today and it was really good! I had some butternut squash in the fridge that had been pre-roasted (a super easy way to do this is to just cut it in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds and place in a shallow dish with an inch or so of water in it. Cook at 350*F or so for 45-60 minutes, or until soft. Then, all that’s left to do is scoop the soft flesh out of the skin and discard scraps. SO much easier than cutting and peeling it! And the good news is, I didn’t even need a blender for this recipe. I just scooped out enough of the flesh and whisked it in!). I added a little more garlic powder and some red pepper flakes. It was delicious served over brown rice penne with great northern beans and steamed swiss chard + peas! Next time I think I might try it with less Earth Balance (or else use oil or something).

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Molly Miller October 14, 2011

The hardest part was cutting up the squash! Most delicious thing I’ve tasted in quite some time! Two thumbs up! :)

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Finola October 15, 2011

I just made a variation on this (my first ever attempt at a vegan white sauce!) and it actually turned out pretty good! A lot better than all my other new-vegan experiments, and this is definitely going to be something I’ll make again, tweaking to make it better.
I didn’t have arrowroot, can’t find nutritional yeast/wouldn’t buy it if I could (trying to avoid yeast at the moment), don’t like mustard… so you can probably guess it was quite different to yours! I used buckwheat flour (I live in Spain at the moment and it’s been very hard to come by gluten-free flours…) which made it decidedly not white but still tasty! I had a bit too much butternut from the one I roasted but just used it all, my sauce was a bit lumpy as all I’ve got is a stick blender. I mixed in some leftover millet, so I made a bit less pasta that I should have done, but it still turned out lovely! Will try to blend the sauce longer next time/roast the butternut longer and use a bit more pasta. I heated it about 15 mins in the oven with sunflower seeds on top – yum.
I only read the comments about reheating this after I made it, so we’ll have to see how reheating it goes as I’m just cooking for one sole vegan in an apartment full of meat/cheese heads! …. but thank you for making me finally feel like I’m not a vegan failure in the kitchen!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 16, 2011

I’m glad it still turned out for you despite the changes! Have fun experimenting :)

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Kennedy @ Running After Balance October 15, 2011

This was the perfect meal for carb-loading! I’m running the Scotiabank half marathon tomorrow and just made your recipe for dinner… added in steamed broccoli & pumpkin seeds. WOW. SO good and very satisfying. This was also my first time cooking with nutritional yeast – tastes great!
Thanks!

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kelli October 16, 2011

just made this and it was fantastic! thanks for sharing!

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Nicole @ PancakesandPilates October 17, 2011

I made this last night (Oh She Glows dinner is becoming a Sunday night tradition) and my boyfriend was crazy about it. I told him it was vegan afterwards and he just said “really?” without looking up, scarffed it down and asked if he could have some more. :)

I used whole wheat pasta and added kale, peas and chunks of roasted butternut squash. Very tasty and filling, but didn’t leave me feeling stuffed. Delicious and nutritious!

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Theresa October 17, 2011

Hi, this is my first comment on your blog. I made your butternut mac & cheese this weekend and OMG is it good! Thanks for the recipe, I foresee this becoming a autumn staple in my house. Next up the pumpkin mac & cheese. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2011

Hey Theresa, I’m happy that you enjoyed it. Thanks for your comment! :)

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thehungrybirdie October 17, 2011

This looks absolutely amazing, can’t wait to give it a try!

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Monica Giliati October 18, 2011

I tried this recipe this weekend, (the one using cashews) and can only say one thing: …reunited and it feels so good!!!! As a long time dairy intolerant, this was the best treat ever! It was cheesy and gooey and deliscious just like a real cheddar mac n’ cheese… Thanks for letting me be a child again;)
Oh and definitely mix in a green for that added flavour!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 18, 2011

hehe reunited and it feels so good..that’s cute! Now I have the song in my head :) Glad you liked it!

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Kate R October 18, 2011

Made this Saturday night with my boyfriend – it was incredible. So incredible that….we made it again Sunday night (no, not leftovers, we made it again, a whole other batch!!) Also, thank you for introducing me to nutritional yeast!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 19, 2011

that’s great to hear!

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