Vegan Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheeze Sauce


Yesterday’s joke has actually turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy; I’ve been eating pumpkin non-stop all week. And I can’t seem to stop. Maybe there is some truth to my Long Weekend Hangover theory after all. Pumpkin does make everything better.

Oh, and I have a great Pumpkin chia pudding recipe coming up. It might be one of my all-time favourite quick & easy pumpkin recipes. It’s that exciting.

But so is this cheeze sauce…


I was thrilled to find out that many of you went crazy for my Butternut Mac ‘n Cheeze recipe. This recipe might go down as one of the most popular in 2011. I received all kinds of comments, tweets, Facebook comments, and emails about this recipe last week. It’s always good to know that you guys enjoy the same crazy things that I do!


I knew a pumpkin version of this cheeze sauce was not far away. Many of you commented and told me that you made a pumpkin version and it turned out great. I was pretty excited about how quickly it would come together. All I had to do was stir in a cup of canned pumpkin at the end of making the sauce. Quick and easy!

There’s no blender required. No food processor. Just a stove top (but I’m sure you could also make this in the microwave too).

This Pumpkin Cheeze sauce exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t keep my spoon out of it.


Ok, Ok, it was my finger. Sue me.


This was so easy I wanted to shed tears of happiness. I’ve been having my share of frustrations with recipes over the past couple weeks and to have something come together perfectly on the first try was welcomed.

I love how orange the sauce is too. I never thought I would see the day when I would eat a cheeze sauce and feel healthy! The nutritional info was also a pleasant surprise (see end of recipe). I forgot how much protein and fibre nutritional yeast has in it!


I also wanted to point out that I made a couple adjustments to the original recipe. I cut the milk down to 3/4 cup instead of using 1 cup to make the sauce a bit thicker. I also cut down the salt to 1/2 tsp instead of 3/4 tsp. Lastly, I increased the nutritional yeast to 6 tbsp instead of 5 tbsp. I’ve updated these changes in the Butternut sauce recipe too.

I made two servings of pasta and added enough sauce until I felt like it was enough.


…which is a lot. :)

Bring it on!


As for which version I like better?

It’s close. I would have to say the butternut version wins by an inch. You really cant beat fresh, roasted butternut! With that being said, I know I will end up making this version more often just because it’s so easy.

Now, you can spice up this sauce any way you’d like.

I think a little cinnamon stirred in would be lovely to bring out the pumpkin flavour. I actually added some dried sage (after the photoshoot) and that was nice too.

I served it with red kidney beans and sautéed kale and a sprinkle of Herbamare. I also used some leftover cornbread topping and mixed it into my mac ‘n cheeze. Great idea.


Wondering where to purchase nutritional yeast? You can find it in the natural foods section of many grocery stores (Loblaws/Superstore carries it) as well as bulk food stores and health stores. I’m sure you can find it online too. For those of you who purchase nutritional yeast, please leave a comment and let me (and others) know where you buy it!

What other ways do you think this sauce could be adapted? Any other mix-in ideas? Any other vegetables?

I vow to try them all.

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{ 251 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz October 14, 2011

I love love love pumpkin and can’t get enough of it! I love all of your recipes with pumpkin, keep them coming! One question, I have never used nutritional yeast (I am not vegetarian but I love your website and recipes!) is this something I can just leave out of this recipe when I make it?


Kris October 16, 2011

I am curious about this too. I seem to be allergic to yeast so have not tried making this sauce as I don’t know if it needs the yeast for flavor or not. . . .


Mary October 17, 2011

Don’t leave out the nutritional yeast, that’s definitely what brings in the cheeze flavor. Almost every vegan cheeze recipe I have found uses nooch. It tastes so much like cheese its scary…as in I frequently put it on broccoli by itself for faux cheeziness.


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 24, 2011

Hey Liz! Yes, Mary is right. The nutritional yeast is essential in the cheeze recipes as it’s what gives it the cheese-like flavour. I hope you can find some (there are a lot of wonderful suggestions on where to buy it in this comment thread too).


Lyana October 24, 2011

NY is different from baking yeast and is okay for you to eat.


Jen October 15, 2011

I am eating this right now, as I type this, and just had to interrupt my meal to say — THIS IS DELICIOUS! It is so yummy and so easy. I’m never making box mac n cheese again! (well, as soon as I finish the Costco box of Annie’s in the pantry)


Monica Harry October 15, 2011

I browsed but didn’t READ all 165 preceding comments, so I’m sorry if I’m repeating information. I just wanted to let you know that I recently found (and love) a canned version of organic butternut squash at Whole Foods. The brand name is Farmer’s Market Foods, and they usually have butternut, pumpkin, and pumpkin-pie filling. In our store, it’s on the same aisle with the canned fruits and other pie fillings. I have a hard time distinguishing between the taste of pumpkin and butternut squash once they’re mixed into a recipe, so I interchange them any time I have one fresh, but not the other, but I keep a can of each type on hand for pumpkin/winter-squash emergencies.

Vegetarian Times has an AWESOME reader-submitted recipe for Butternut Squash Enchiladas, and if you’ve never tried them, I HIGHLY recommend you go to their site, search on the recipe, and head straight to the kitchen. LOVE. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 15, 2011

Hey Monica! That sounds great I will keep my eyes peeled for it next time Im at WF. I’m also going to check out that recipe…do you have a link by chance?


Olivia October 15, 2011

Hi Angela,
I just made this recipe for dinner tonight, and it is FABULOUS. I cannot believe how delicious it is! I was wondering if you had ever experimented with this cheeze sauce as a pasta bake or something like that?
Going back for seconds :)
Thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 16, 2011

I don’t think I have, but I really want to!


jenny braun October 16, 2011

In the states you can buy it at Better Health stores or the bulk food store. I’m sure whole foods has it also.


Myra October 16, 2011

Hey Angela,
I just tried your recipe; used it as the sauce for a pasta bake dish with spinach and kale and it is delish.


Shana October 16, 2011

I made the pumpkin cheeze sauce and it was amazing! I made a spicy version and poured it over some baked tortillas. The pumpkin is barely detectable but the cheezy flavor really comes through. This is a great year-round recipe! Thanks!


Anna@ActiveFingers October 16, 2011

I finally made this tonight and love it! I might have added the pumpkin early but I still think it turned out tasty :)


suzanne October 17, 2011

Mmmmmmmm….had this with brown rice, black beans and broccoli last night. Delicious! My son and husband devoured it too! (my other 2 barely tried it – they are soooooo picky and it is mostly in their heads – they do not know what they are missing!). Thanks Angela


Jeni October 17, 2011

This was so good! I didn’t have any pumpkin so I had to use squash, but I couldn’t stop eating it!


Jodi October 17, 2011

I made this tonight for dinner and it was incredible! My carnivore boyfriend even loved it and went back for seconds. I can’t wait to pour this sauce over even more foods! I found that one recipe was enough for 1 lb of macaroni, and I added some steamed kale in and it was so delicious. Thanks for the recipe!


Jolene ( October 17, 2011

Angela, that cheese sauce looks AMAZING!!! I can’t wait to try it!


Kerry October 18, 2011

I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was amazing! I had never tried a vegan “cheese” sauce before, and I was amazed at how cheesy it tasted! I also loved the subtle pumpkin flavor. I added the sauce to some pasta and peas, and it was perfect! Thank you for sharing the recipe!


Kathryn D October 18, 2011

Made this last night. LOVED it. Husband not so much but that’s okay cuz there is more for me!


Kristina October 18, 2011

OH.MY.HEAVEN! I just slumped back in my chair and savored every morsel of this delicious sauce! Thank you SO SO much for a wonderful recipe!


Karen October 19, 2011

Made it for dinner and mixed it with pasta and a few handfuls of steamed spinach and kale and then topped it with Annie’s cheddar crackers and Daiya cheese and it was delish!!! :)

Yumm thanks!


Jackie October 19, 2011

This sauce is absolutely delicious! I made a few additions by blending some cashews with almond milk and white miso and adding it to the sauce at the end. For me, miso adds that “tangy” cheese taste. My whole family loved it. Thanks as always!


Jennifer October 19, 2011

Just made this and I can’t believe how good it is!! My husband even loves it! I put it on broccoli, cauliflower, and whole wheat pasta. It def made the whole wheat pasta palatable. Can’t say enough how much I love your blog. I have grown so much as a vegetarian:)


Meghanne October 20, 2011

I made this last night and combine it with kelp noodles, some ground ostrich and rainbow chard. It was delicious. Thanks for another great recipe.


Viola October 20, 2011

I’d like to know WHO would be storing this sauce in the fridge? I cannot wait to try it! I don’t think it will last more than five minutes!


Justeen @ Blissful Baking October 20, 2011

WONDERFUL recipe!! I made it for dinner, and thoroughly enjoyed every bite! Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow :)


Nikita October 21, 2011

I made this last night and it was delicious! The only thing is, I used cornstarch because I didn’t have arrowroot and it made it quite thick- I ended up using a full cup of (nondairy)milk instead of 3/4 to thin it out.


Rebecca C October 21, 2011

I made this with corn starch like Nikita and it was too thick. But very delicious!


Katie October 22, 2011

Just made this and it was a HUGE hit!


Mandi October 23, 2011

Great recipe, thanks! It was delicious over raw spiralized zucchini as the pasta.

I used coconut oil instead of Earth Balance since I don’t eat soy, and I used some water down coconut milk in place of other milk. I also upped my seasoning to include more garlic, some onion powder, and more mustard.

For my non-vegan hubby, I sprinkled some real cheddar cheese over the top so that he wouldn’t realize that the rest wasn’t actually cheese and he was totally fooled. I think that when I make it next time, I’ll sprinkle a little raw vegan nut cheese on the top for myself too.


Deborah October 23, 2011

Regarding the nutritional yeast, I purchase it at Whole Foods in the bulk bins. I was pleased to find it my local Vitamin Shoppe. Can’t wait to try this recipe!


RebekahK October 24, 2011

Just tried this and I am pleasantly surprised! I didn’t add a full can of pumpkin (it was too overpowering for my taste, maybe I would like the butternut better) and I added a little Valenica hot sauce and a ton of fresh cracked pepper. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe.


Aisha October 26, 2011

Wow! Nothing short of amazing and has me thinking about all the other pureed veggies I can turn into ‘cream’ sauce! I served mine casserole like with blanched spinach layered on top sprinkled with bread crumbs. And unlike real mac n chz it actually tasted good as leftovers, maybe even better as leftovers!


Apryl November 9, 2011

I loved this pumpkin recipe – very creamy and cheezy. Next time, I will try it with soy milk instead, I’m not a huge fan of almond milk myself but I did enjoy it regardless.


Lauren November 14, 2011

I just made this and i just want to say thank you.
My tummy thanks you.
My mind thanks you.
Holy delicious-ness, Angela!

((Wegmans has nutrtional yeast))


Brandy November 28, 2011

Just made this now. It’s really good! Must say I added 2 extra tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 2 extra tablespoons of of earth balance, and a 1/4 cup more almond milk. I prefer a little thinner texture with more of a butter flavor. Haven’t quite gotten the whole brown rice noodle cooking thing down yet though – man they are difficult!!


Meghanne June 4, 2012

A tbs of tahini does wonders for this amazing sauce!


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

good to know, thanks!


Kassondra June 7, 2012

Does it taste okay without the the yeast? I have a food sensitivity to yeast and am trying to stay away from it. I also can’t have cashews or soy among other things. I am trying to go vegan because I feel like It would be healthier, but I absolutely love cheese. I came across this recipe and it looked great, except for the yeast…will it still be good without it?


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 8, 2012

I don’t think it tastes good without the yeast, as the nutritional yeast is what gives it the cheezy flavour. Sorry about that!


Claire June 13, 2012

I’ve had my eye on this for a while, but nutritional yeast isn’t something I’ve ever seen in the shops here (even health food shops) so it’s had to wait until I could order some online. Definitely worth it though! I did change it a little – I didn’t use any form of fat at the beginning and based on the end product, I don’t think it was necessary at all! I did use sweetened almond milk (I’ve only seen one brand here) so that might have made up for the lack of added fat. I needed to use quite a bit more than in the recipe – probably because I used cornflour (starch) rather than arrowroot. I also used chilli powder rather than garlic powder (which I didn’t have). However, the biggest change I made was to use sweet potato instead of pumpkin. I baked my sweet potato in the microwave then scooped the flesh out into the sauce. I then blended it using a hand blender, which also blended the yeast flakes in beautifully. I had 100g of the sauce with 50g (dry weight) pasta, 100g petit pois peas and a handful of chopped watercress – came to 318 calories! So, delicious and extremely healthy. I’ll certainly be making it again, and I’m planning what to do with the remaining sauce already.


Claire June 14, 2012

Just to add – I gave my distinctly carnivorous brother a spoonful of the sauce when I pulled it out of the fridge for lunch today. He said it was “pretty good”. Then I told him that it didn’t have any cheese in it. I believe his exact words were: “What sort of witchcraft is this?”


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 14, 2012



Kait @ yogabeautylife October 29, 2012

Just made some of this for tonight’s stormy dinner! I figured it would be nice and hearty to carry us through the hurricane. I might have gone a bit nuts with seasonings (I don’t know how but some liquid smoke got in there…and cayenne, sage, and paprika. WHAT?!) but it tastes soo yummy with the last of my frozen-so-it-might-not-survive-the-storm spinach that I needed to use up!


Shannon October 31, 2012

This is amazing!! Over colorful pasta shaped like pumpkins and leaves, this made the perfect Halloween dinner. My pumpkin was a bit lumpy so I whipped out the immersion blender to get it silky smooth. Perfecto!


Primavera November 16, 2012

OMG! this was so good and so easy to make! I sauteed some kale, mushrooms, onions and veggie sausage to add to the pasta cheeze mix, will definitely make this again!


Becca December 10, 2012

I’ve recently grown fond of using my mac and cheese to stuff a squash. This sauce sounds like a fabulous way to incorporate the squash into the sauce itself. Om nom nom!


April January 5, 2013

I just made this for supper and it was DELICIOUS!


Kristiana February 22, 2013

Would this be good If I added broccoli to it??


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