This vegan butternut squash mac and cheese is so creamy and has a rich flavor that all your family will love. It is a perfect weeknight dinner as it is simple & quick.
I'm always on the hunt for easy recipes that are nourishing to feed my family and this one is such a hit. This vegan baked mac and cheese is definitively a favorite cheesy meal, but what I like from this squash pasta version is that it is so quick! You only need 15 minutes to cook the squash on the stove, then blend the sauce ingredients together and add to noodles. It also makes for delicious leftovers that we pack as lunches to-go.
For an ultra fast mac and cheese meal, also check out my vegan powdered mac and cheese mix!
And, if you haven't made pasta dishes using vegetables yet, you are missing out! Butternut squash is such a versatile vegetable and I use it a lot when making creamy squash soup for its amazing blended creaminess. It can also be used to make a creamy pasta sauce like in this recipe where the squash gives a nice orange cheezy color to the sauce that's super appetizing.
Ingredients to make vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
This is a very simple recipe using only a few wholesome ingredients.
- Butternut squash. You will need 4 cups of cubed vegetable which is about a small-medium size squash.
- Raw cashews. They help make this sauce creamier and richer.
- Nutritional yeast. Brings all that delicious vegan cheese flavor.
- Lemon juice. A little tang to brighten up the sauce.
- Fresh garlic. The sauce won't taste very garlicky, but will deepen flavors.
- Vegan plain milk. Any kinds work, as long as it is unsweetened and unflavored.
How to make vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
- First, soak your cashews for 8-12 hours (I do overnight), but even a few hours will work. If in a rush, you can also soak them in hot water for 30 minutes. This will make them more blend-able.
- Cook the butternut squash until tender (boil in water or steam), about 15-20 minutes. You can do this while the noodles are cooking.
- Then, blend all the sauce ingredients until very smooth.
- Combine the sauce and noodles and serve!
Watch how to make it
Tips when making this recipe
- I usually blend the sauce right after cooking the vegetable and pour it over warm noodles, so the dish is warmed up enough to eat. If the sauce has cooled down too much before serving, then simply warm some in the microwave, give it a good whisk and combine with the noodles.
- When blending the sauce, start with 1 cup of vegan milk, then taste and check on the texture of the sauce. If too thick, then add a little more milk and blend again until it's just right for you.
- This sauce is best when salted enough. Start with 1 tsp of salt, then taste and adjust. It is a good volume of sauce and the cheesy flavor will really stand out if salted properly.
Vegan butternut squash mac and cheese recipe variations
- Make it spicy: If you love spicy food, try adding any hot sauces, marinated jalapeños and red pepper flakes. It goes really well with the creamy consistency from the sauce.
- Boost it with more veggies: Try adding bright green veggies for a beautiful pop in color (green peas, broccoli, asparagus, etc). Caramelized onions are also surprisingly delicious with this recipe.
- Make it smoky: Have you tried BBQ sauce with a cheezy dish? It is so good. The smoky flavor somehow blends so perfectly with a creamy cheezy dish. Also try topping your pasta dish with this smoky tofu or some vegan TVP bacon bits.
- Make a herbed mac and cheese: If you have some vegan pesto, then add a few dollop at serving to bring interesting flavor.
How to store this vegan pasta dish
Keep the leftovers in a air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. This recipe makes a good amount of sauce, so don't hesitates to freeze any extra (without the noodles) for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge and give it a good whisk before warming it up (I use the microwave).
More pasta dishes you might like
- Garlic cream primavera pasta bake
- Hidden vegetable pasta sauce
- White sauce pasta
- Cauliflower Alfredo
- Vegan cajun pasta
- Tahini pasta
- Pasta with hummus and roasted vegetables
- Vegan avocado pasta
- Homemade vegan squash ravioli
I hope you will love this vegan mac and cheese as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below with a star rating and let us know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Butternut squash Mac & Cheeze
Mac and cheeze
- 4 cup butternut squash - peeled and cubed
- ¾ cup raw cashews - soaked for at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 to 1 ¼ cup plain vegan milk - unsweetened
- 1 tsp salt - or to taste
- pasta of your choice - cooked according to packaging instructions
- Boil the squash in water (or steam) for about 15-20 or until soft. Drain well.
- Add the cooked squash, cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, milk and salt. Blend until very smooth, for about 1 or 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Combine the sauce with the noodles and top with vegetables. Enjoy!
- Store leftover in a air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer (without the noodles) for up to 3 months (it makes a good amount of sauce, don't hesitate to freeze the extra!). Thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm up in the microwave or on the stove.
- Adjust the consistency of the sauce to your taste. I recommend you start with 1 cup, then add more, small amount at the time, until just right for you.