Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese (with a vegan option)

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I love macaroni and cheese but I don’t love the fat and calories that come along with it.  A few weeks ago one of my friends was telling me about a vegan mac and cheese recipe she made using butternut squash and cashews.   She said it had a good consistency and actually tasted pretty good.

Looking for a great vegan meal? Try this tasty Butternut Mac n Cheese!

I went searching for the recipe because I thought it sounded interesting.  The one I found was a vegan recipe using the squash, cashews, some spices, and pasta water to make the sauce.   I was really concerned how the cashews would be in the sauce.  I thought that it might make it grainy and not very good.

Everything you need to make a delicious Vegan Mac n Cheese!

As I was making the sauce I liked that the butternut squash turned the sauce the color of a cheese sauce so it actually looks like cheese.  The consistency surprisingly wasn’t too bad.   The cashews get ground up and aren’t too grainy.  I added in some spices along with some mustard to give it a little more flavor.

I ended  up serving the sauce two different ways.   The first way was as the recipe is written and then I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on top of the dish.  The cheese is totally optional and obviously would turn the dish vegetarian instead of vegan.  The other way was to add a half cup of cheese to the sauce and then pour it over the macaroni.

Delicious Vegan Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

The vegan sauce is good.   It’s not fooling anyone into thinking it’s a cheese sauce but it has good flavor and I’m sure it’s a great vegan substitute.  My only problem with it is that it was a little sweeter then I would have liked from the butternut squash.  When I added the cheese it seemed to be not as sweet and I enjoyed it a lot.

Looking for a tasty Vegan meal? Try this Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese!

Either way this is a delicious macaroni and cheese recipe.  It also has a lot less fat and calories using the squash and cashews instead of cheese.  I was most surprised that the consistency was similiar to that of a cheese sauce.  I would definitely make this as a meal when people who eat vegan come over for dinner.

Looking for a great vegan meal? Try this tasty Butternut Mac n Cheese!

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese (with a vegan option)

Yield: serves 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This macaroni and cheese dish is vegan, dairy free, and totally tasty!


  • 1 1/2 c. butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 16 oz. macaroni
  • 1/4 c. reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 c. raw cashews, soaked in water
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)


  1. Place the squash, onion, and garlic in a large pot of water over high heat. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  3. Place the butternut squash, onion, garlic, cashews, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Dijon, garlic powder, paprika, and nutmeg in a food processor. Process until completely smooth.
  4. Add in the reserved pasta water and blend until a sauce has formed. If using the cheese add it in now and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the sauce over top of the cooked macaroni noodles. Mix to coat the noodles and serve hot.
  6. bottom of the blender.
  7. Add butternut squash sauce to the macaroni noodles and stir, making sure every noodle is covered in sauce. Warm through if needed.


Recipe adapted from Veggie Inspired


I love this creamy Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese...and it's vegan!

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