Butternut Squash Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese
Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Vegan, Healthy, Gluten Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Squash Sauce
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or dried thyme works as well)
  • ½ cup (50g / 125ml) cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water*
  • ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • salt + pepper
For the Pasta
  • 200g pasta (I used gluten free buckwheat penne)
  • 1 cup (100g / 250 ml) frozen peas
  • Handful kale leaves
Cauliflower Crumbs
  • 2 cups (120g / 4oz /500ml) cauliflower rice**
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp dried herbs of choice (I used italian)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
The Sauce
  1. Preheat your oven to 175ºC/350ºF and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Chop your butternut squash into small cubes, smash your garlic cloves (don't bother peeling), add your thyme leaves, and spices. Toss everything together with the coconut oil and bake for 20-30 minutes or until squash is soft.
  3. Once squash is cooked and cooled add to a food processor with the drained cashews, mustard, yeast, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Squeeze the garlic out of their skin and also add to the processor.
  4. Blitz while slowly adding the water. You want all the ingredients to blend and become a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
The Pasta
  1. Cook the pasta according to instructions.
  2. On the last 2 minutes of cooking, add in frozen peas and kale leaves.
  3. Drain and reserve some of the pasta water.
Cauliflower Crumbs
  1. Mix together all the ingredients and bake for 5-7 minutes in 175ºC/350ºF, taking care not to burn. If your oven has the option, use the broiler in your oven so it gets nice and crispy.
To Assemble
  1. Simply mix your pasta with the sauce, adding some reserved pasta water if you think it needs some thinning down.
  2. Add to an oven-safe dish (if baking) and sprinkle your cauliflower crumbs on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes and serve immediately!
*If you're not making the sauce ahead, try to use the leftover pasta water for extra flavour!

**To make cauliflower rice simply pulse the florets in a food processor until small and grain-like. Alternatively you could also hand grate it!
Recipe by Sprinkle of Green at https://www.sprinkleofgreen.com/butternut-squash-vegan-mac-n-cheese