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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Vegan

by Sophie

The famous butternut squash mac and cheese vegan is healthy and gluten-free yet so delicious. This is my instant pot go-to vegan meal, which is taste-tested and kid-approved. Presenting my vegan butternut squash mac and cheese.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese vegan

I recently worked with an online magazine and created a pumpkin-based pasta casserole for them. That was a vegetarian version of this sauce that I am going to share with you. The light flavors of garlic, sweet onion and sage worked beautifully with the pumpkin cheese sauce that I made for the casserole. But it was not dairy-free. Therefore, I created this vegan version of the famous butternut squash mac and cheese and used chickpea pasta to make it gluten-free.

What’s In Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

Ingredients of mac and cheese with buttenut squash

Cashew and nutritional yeast add the cheese-like flavor to this squash-based sauce. But if you don’t want cashew, you can always use macadamia nuts or store-bought vegan cheese. Don’t skip the sautéed onions and sage as both of these add a really nice flavor to the butternut sauce. Even though my kids are not big fans of squash, they really loved this dish.

Vegan mac and cheese

In my version of vegan butternut squash mac and cheese, I make everything in the instant pot. It’s kind of dump and go meal. So you just sauté the sauce ingredients and blend them and dump the rest of the ingredients in the instant pot and pressure cook them. After the beep, quick-release pressure and add the vegan butternut squash sauce and serve.

Customizing Your Vegan Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash:

butternut squash mac and cheese vegan

Vegetarians and meat-eaters can customize this recipe by adding cheese, heavy cream and even bacon bits. For a crispy crust, a panko and sage mixture and few minutes of broil will give you a nice, brown and crusty top on your mac and cheese casserole.

How to make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Vegan Recipe?

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Vegan Recipe:

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients: butternut squash cubes(around 4 cups divided), ½ white or yellow onion chopped, 3-4 cloves of garlic pods roughly chopped, few leaves of sage, 1 tbsp avocado oil, ½ cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews soaked for an hour, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 cups of water or vegetable broth, ½ cup nutritional yeast, 16 ounces of chickpea or any gluten-free pasta macaroni or rigatoni, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes, juice of half lemon, salt and pepper to taste, fresh chopped parsley to garnish

Method:

How to make Butternut Squash Pasta
  • Set the instant pot into the sauté mode and allow it to be hot before adding the oil. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic, onions, 3 cups of butternut squash, and sage followed by salt and pepper.
  • Once the veggies look cooked and roasted(5-7 minutes), transfer them to a blender jar.
  • In the same pot, add pasta, rest 1 cup of the butternut squash, 2 tsp of the onion-garlic-sage mixture, half the nutritional yeast, almond milk, broth, and dry seasonings.
  • Season with salt and pepper and pressure cook for 4-minutes in the high manual.
  • While the pasta is cooking, blend the sautéed onion-butternut squash, cashews, nutritional yeast and lemon juice to a smooth puree. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. After the beep, quick-release pressure and open the lid.
  • Use a spoon to break the cooked butternut squash cubes and mix them well with the pasta.
  • Add the vegan cheese sauce and mix it really well.
  • Vegetarians can add cheddar cheese and heavy cream at this point if they want to. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.
  • Enjoy.
butternut squash vegan mac and cheese
butternut squash mac and cheese vegan

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Vegan & GF

The famous butternut squash mac and cheese vegan and gluten-free yet so delicious. This is my instant pot go-to vegan meal, which is taste-tested and kid-approved. Presenting my vegan butternut squash mac and cheese.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 30-minute vegan dinner, butternut squash mac and cheese, instant pot mac and cheese, Vegan mac, vegan mac and cheese, vegan mac n cheese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 340kcal
Author: Sophie
Cost: $6

Equipment

  • Instant pot

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Butternut Squash (Cubed and divided)
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic pods roughly chopped
  • 4-5 Sages leaves
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews soaked for an hour
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 16 ounces chickpea or any gluten-free pasta macaroni or rigatoni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried onion flake
  • juice of a half lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chopped parsley to garnish

Instructions

  • Set the instant pot into the sauté mode and allow it to be hot before adding the oil. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic, onions, 3 cups of butternut squash, and sage followed by salt and pepper.
    Ingredients of mac and cheese with buttenut squash
  • Once the veggies look cooked and roasted(5-7 minutes), transfer them to a blender jar.
  • In the same pot, add pasta, rest 1 cup of the butternut squash, 2 tsp of the onion-garlic-sage mixture, half the nutritional yeast, almond milk, broth, and dry seasonings.
  • Season with salt and pepper and pressure cook for 4-minutes in the high manual.
    Sauteeing for butternut pasta
  • While the pasta is cooking, blend the sautéed onion-butternut squash, cashews, nutritional yeast and lemon juice to a smooth puree. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. After the beep, quick-release pressure and open the lid.
    Adding sauce to pasta
  • Use a spoon to break the cooked butternut squash cubes and mix them well with the pasta.
  • Add the vegan cheese sauce and mix it really well.
    Vegan mac and cheese
  • Vegetarians can add cheddar cheese and heavy cream at this point if they want to. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.
  • Enjoy!
    butternut squash vegan mac and cheese

Notes

  • Use whole-wheat pasta if you don’t want to use chickpea pasta.
  • Use cauliflower florets instead of pasta for a vegan, low-carb version.
  • Skip oil and add aquafaba as an oil alternative.

Nutrition

Serving: 200g | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 23.4g | Fat: 18.1g | Fiber: 19.6g | Sugar: 5.1g
vegan Butternut squash mac and cheese

How to Add a Crispy crust To Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

Mix together a cup of panko breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp melted vegan butter and Italian seasoning mix. Add the mixture over the Mac and Cheese in a casserole dish. Bake at 350F for 10-minutes till the top is brown and crust. Serve warm.

What Can Be the Best Cashew substitute in Vegan Cheese Sauce?

Macadamia nuts are the best cashew substitute in this vegan cheese sauce. They are mild, have a neutral flavor and taste the best in this vegan butternut cheese sauce.

Can I Add More veggies to This Dish?

Yes, very much. Customize this recipe with some chopped carrots and broccoli added to the pasta while pressure cooking.

What’s The Best Substitute Of butternut squash?

Any variety of pumpkin or pumpkin puree can be the best substitute of butternut squash in this recipe.

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5 comments

Noelle December 10, 2019 - 6:58 pm

5 stars
Wow this mac and cheese looks amazing! Great idea with the butternut squash, yum!

Reply
Taylor Kiser December 10, 2019 - 7:06 pm

5 stars
So creamy and delicious! This is my kind of comfort food!

Reply
Erika December 10, 2019 - 7:51 pm

5 stars
I love the idea of using butternut squash in this vegan dish, yum!

Reply
Michele December 10, 2019 - 8:11 pm

5 stars
It’s amazing that this recipe is dairy free. It is SO amazing! And so pretty too!

Reply
Roxana December 10, 2019 - 8:47 pm

I love butternut squash mac and cheese. It’s the perfect vegetable for that. Love this easy to follow recipe.

Reply

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