Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze

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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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{ 480 comments… read them below or add one }

michelle October 19, 2011

I made this tonight and I was so surprised at how much it tasted like cheese sauce! Thanks for the great recipe…I’m having it on roasted veggies for dinner :)

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whitney smith October 19, 2011

I made this for dinner tonight and it passed the husband AND cheese loving 5 year old test! Thanks for the great meal….this ones a keeper!

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B'klynHeart October 20, 2011

In-flipping-credible! I can’t wait to try the pumpkin version, but tonight was with roasted butternut squash. My add-ins were kale and red kidney beans and oh! Such wonderful comfort food, I have such a happy belly! Thank you!

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Karen Beth October 20, 2011

Oh my goodness… I made this tonight and it is more divine than I could have imagined. Definitely a keeper! Love it. THANK YOU!!!

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megan @ blackberries for jam October 23, 2011

Angela, I made this for lunch today and it is one of the most incredible sauces I have ever tasted IN MY LIFE. Thank you so much! I will be making this often!

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Celina October 23, 2011

OH MY GOD I just made this with more nutritional yeast, no earth balance, pumpkin, regular mustard, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes…I ATE IT ALL. This could deffinetly be on an episode of The Food Network’s “The Best Thing I ever Ate.” :D

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Mia October 24, 2011

The amount of sauce I ate straight from the blender is CRAZY. OMG!!! Oddly enough not a huge fan of it on pasta, it still tasted great, but the pasta got lost. I feel like I’m going to take this sauce next time and do a rice and broccoli casserole (old school comfort). I need to figure out if this sauce freezes so I can keep it to randomly break out for veggies. You seriously knocked it out of the park with this sauce.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 24, 2011

Thanks Mia! I ate a lot from the container too… ;)

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Kimberly October 24, 2011

I made this tonight for dinner! Delicious! I am happy I have leftovers for tomorrow :)

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Heather October 25, 2011

made this tonight – so freakin’ delish!! I made the sauce before blending it with the squash (as in your directions) and obviously had to taste it…but could have ate that sauce alone!! great with and without the squash. was wondering if you have ever used the sauce without the squash?

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Samantha October 26, 2011

This looks so good. I have some already roasted butternut squash in the fridge and have been eyeing this and your Butternut Squash and Black Bean burritos.

I was wondering if unsweetened original soymilk would work fine in this? I don’t know much about the differences in milk substitutes and I only have vanilla unsweetened almond milk right now and that would definitely not be the best decision!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 26, 2011

Im not sure, but I would guess it would work!

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Porsha October 29, 2011

We absolutely loved this recipe. I added a little hot sauce just to give it a little kick, but my goodness this is a great recipe!!! Thank you

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Stephanie October 29, 2011

I just wanted to let you know that I have not had the chance to make this yet…but I told a family friend about it who is all about meat and potatoes for her family of 4 boys and they all LOVED this recipe! That is definitely saying something…wooohoo!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 30, 2011

yay that’s great!

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Jennifer@ knackfornutrition October 31, 2011

I just made this recipe to take for lunches/dinners at work this week and it is divine!

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Katie November 1, 2011

This sauce is AMAZING! I am hooked! Tonight I’m having it with pasta and broccoli, but I can’t wait to try the other recipes. Thanks :)

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Erica November 2, 2011

Oh, girl! You can roast squash so much easier than that. Next time, try slicing it in half (lengthwise, like you did), rubbing a little olive oil on the opened side, and lying it face-down on a baking sheet. Cook around 400 for 40 minutes to an hour and voila! When you take it out, flip the squash over and scoop it out with a spoon. No need to skin or chop beforehand. It’s much easier!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 2, 2011

Thanks I have done this before so I will have to use it for this recipe next time I make it!

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Audrey November 9, 2011

I made this again today to serve over steamed cauliflower and it was really yummy! I omitted the Earth Balance this time and it still tastes great. In fact, I can’t even taste the difference.

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meredith November 12, 2011

thanks so much for figuring out how to make vegan mac and cheese! i just made this sense i got a beautiful squash from the farmer’s market this morning and it was an incredible lunch treat. i appreciate you sharing your talent and creativity in the kitchen! will definitely be making this again. do you know how long it will last me in the refrigerator?

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jennifer November 12, 2011

OMG! i just made this with the canned pumpkin and it is amazing ! and easy :)

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Allison November 12, 2011

Just made this tonight… Delicious! I used canned pumpkin, and added a bit of nutmeg.

I wouldn’t say it tasted like cheese at all, but held up wonderfully as a ”pumpkin cream sauce’ ;)

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Jesse November 18, 2011

this was AWESOME! I forgot that I had to use the stove, I just threw everything in the blender and it tasted phenomenal. I even used a bit less butter :). It was freaking AWESOME! Thanks Angela!

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Kim M. November 22, 2011

I made this tonight with canned pumpkin because I had it on hand. I also threw everything in a baking dish and topped it with some breadcrumbs and baked it. It was sooo good! Thanks for the recipe!

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Jillian November 25, 2011

Mmm! I saw this recipe and I knew I had to try it! I made it for Thanksgiving and is was delicious. The only downside was that I stored it in a glass dish with a glass top and it dried out a little over night but it was still awesome.

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sara November 28, 2011

this recipe is off the chain!! i’m eating it now and couldn’t even wait until i finished to say thank you! so tasty, so healthy, and because i had leftover roasted pumpkin in the fridge, came together in about 10 mins! gahhhh amazing!

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Alane April 15, 2012

I LOVE this recipe. It will definitely rotate into my regular meals. I shared this with several friends who all loved it!

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Alexis April 25, 2012

Made this for the carnivore boyfriend last night and he loved it!! This recipe is amazing, better than any regular mac n cheese recipe I’ve ever had. Thanks!!

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Lena April 27, 2012

I tried this several months ago and fell in love! I’ve been seeing a mac’n’cheese quinoa style (quinoa’n’cheese?) floating around on pinterest, so I’m debating on subbing pasta with quinoa. I love pasta though! :)

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Allison June 5, 2012

I make this again and again, either with roasted squash or canned pumpkin. It’s excellent every time! Very good on broccoli. So easy and delicious. Thank you!

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Gillian June 6, 2012

This was amazing! I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out, because I tried the sauce on it’s own and it was a little strange.

I put this in a casserole dish, topped with panko, and broiled for 10 mins. Less creamy, but soooo delicious! thanks!

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Jae June 12, 2012

Made this last night for dinner. Super delicious!

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Erinne June 21, 2012

Found this on Pinterest and made it tonight…delicious! I added toasted whole wheat bread crumbs and peas with a side of broccoli rabe mmm thanks so much!

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ShareItFitness August 10, 2012

This looks great!! I was going to ask how you thought it would be with brown rice pasta, since that’s been my thing lately, but I see that is what you use too :) Can’t wait to try!

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Rachel H. August 10, 2012

Just made this for a potluck dinner tonight….I’ve loved all of your recipes so far but this was unreal good. I’m cutting out all oils for a month so I left out the Earth Balance and it was so so so good. Great work!

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Beverly August 18, 2012

Yum! Just made this today. It is soooo good. This will be on holiday menus! Thank you, thank you!!!

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pam September 5, 2012

this looks yummy but wanted to caution you about the use of nutritional yeast. (and all deactivated yeast: autolyzed yeast, tortula yeast, yeast extracts, etc.) the heating process that deactivates the yeast produces glutamic acid, a close cousin of monosodium glutamate. it is a neurotoxin and will make sensitive people extremely sick. i would get migraine symptoms from even trace amounts of this ingrediant.

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Kristall September 19, 2012

this comment is the equivalent of seeing a stranger drinking a Coke Zero in the at the bus stop and berating them that the aspartame will kill them. Clearly the people with this intolerance would stay away from this recipe…don’t be such a Debbie-Downer. I’m sick and tired of the fear-mongering around food nowadays. Maybe we should all stick to tap water?

Recipe looks FAB, btw and I’m not even vegan!

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k September 16, 2012

can i use brown mustard instead of dijon

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Mary Jean September 19, 2012

This looks amazing!! I don’t use earth balance, have you every tried this with an equal amount of coconut oil??

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Sennie September 23, 2012

Here’s an opinion from a non-vegan:) I wanted to make a meal for my vegan friend, who had just had a baby, and this recipe sounded so amazing I made it today. Now I’m not used to vegan cooking, so some of this could be acquired taste. I thought the nutritional yeast added a very yeasty taste – not cheesy. If I made it again, I would not put that much. Also, I felt it still needed something else, so I sprinkled Herbamare generously, which made it better. Out of my kids two (6 & 13) tried it, but decided to have left-overs, instead. Three (also 13) thought it was ok, but not a keeper recipe, and hubby said it was ‘interesting’:)
Anyways, here’s an opinion of a true dairy-loving mama, I hope me sharing my opinion doesn’t offend anyone.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 24, 2012

Not at all, thanks for sharing! I hope to re vamp the recipe soon. Others have mentioned in the comments that they doctored up the sauce a bit, maybe that would help?

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Radhika Sarohia September 24, 2012

Finally bought a butternut squash and made this sauce, it is very good
I will be making this often, thanks for the recipe!:)

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Radhika Sarohia September 24, 2012

Just wanted to add that I left out the Earth Balance (to make it a little lower-calorie) and it tastes just fine to me without it
I am also now in major trouble (haha) because I bought a huge thing of avocados which means I’ll be making the chilled no-bake chocolate torte from this site for days and days yessss:p

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Chelsie September 24, 2012

I was surprised to see this was the most popular recipe on your blog. I would think the butternut squash would make this sauce sweet and sweet just does not sound good mixed with pasta – hence why I have yet to try it. Does it not make it sweet? I’m intrigued…

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