Vegan Squash Mac and Cheese

Creamy vegan butternut mac and cheese

Creamy vegan butternut mac and cheese

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups butternut squash (about 12 oz), peeled, seeds removed and cubed
  • 16 oz. pasta
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/ 2 – 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, to taste
  • 1 small lemon, juice of (or 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 vegetable broth or pasta water (or mix of both)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

– Cook the butternut squash in oven or stovetop

Oven: Preheat oven to 400, spread on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add butternut squash, drizzle with a tiny bit of oil, toss well to coat, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until fork tender.

Stovetop: Add squash to steamer basket and cook until fork tender

– Soak the cashews:  Cover cashews with hot, not boiling, water and let soak at 10 minutes OR cover cashews with cool water and let soak for 2 – 3 hours.

– Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions, reserving pasta water if desired.

– In blender, add the cooked butternut squash, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and few grinds of fresh cracked pepper, add 1 1/2 cups broth or water and blend until creamy. Add more water as needed to thin to desired consistency. It will thicken as it sits, so you don’t want it to start out too thick to start.

– Add the butternut squash “cheese” sauce to the pasta and stir to combine, heat over low to warm through if needed.