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+ servings

Butternut Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs. butternut squash (about 1 medium squash, peeled and cubed)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, divided
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp large-flake nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 1 Tbsp white miso
  • 1 lb elbow pasta (any gluten-free variety will be great here, too)
  • 2 cups cooked vegetables, optional, such as steamed chopped spinach, blanched peas or lightly steamed broccoli florets
  • ½ cup cup dry breadcrumbs (gluten-free if you’re avoiding gluten)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and prepare a 7 x 11 pan (or something equivalent)
  • Coat the squash with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, then spread it evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until very tender and just starting to brown. Remove from the oven. Decrease the oven's temp to 350°F.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until just starting to brown.
  • Add the coconut milk and ¾ cup of the almond milk.
  • Whisk in the nutritional yeast and arrowroot powder. Cook, whisking constantly, until nice and thick, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and add the remaining ½ cup of almond milk, the butternut squash, 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and the paprika, lemon juice and miso.
  • Stir to distribute the ingredients somewhat evenly.
  • Working in batches, transfer to a blender or food processor and process until totally smooth and creamy.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  • Stir in the pasta and adjust the heat to maintain a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente. Drain well and let cool briefly.
  • Put the pasta in a large bowl and add the vegetables.
  • Add the sauce, using only 2 cups of it if not adding the optional vegetables. Stir gently until thoroughly combined.
  • Spread the mix evenly in the prepared pan and scatter the breadcrumbs evenly over the top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is golden. Serve right away.