Butternut Squash Mac + Cheese
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Hello & Happy Wednesday!
There are very few fall mac and cheese concepts that exist today, but this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is definitely a hit!
I personally only eat pasta in the fall and winter as I find it comforting and filling. My approach to every pasta recipe is to maximize the nutrient density due to the high carbohydrate content. Thus, I jumped at the idea of creating a butternut squash mac + cheese dish!
While many don’t realize it, pureed roasted butternut squash makes for the prefect dairy free cheese sauce base with the color mirroring the classic cheddar cheese color!
What I love about this dish is that its truly a surprise in every capacity. Upon hearing the words butternut squash mac and cheese you may find it a little off-putting. However, when made with the right ingredients this recipe encompasses everything that fall eats should be!
Packed with nutrients, slightly sweet, slightly savory, with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, its sheer perfection!
I’m enamored with this dish because its comprised of minimal affordable ingredients, involves little skill, offers multiple textures with the pasta, crispy shiitake bacon and Wasa Thins cracker topping, has a rich unprocessed cheesy flavor profile from the nutritional yeast and cashews, a hint of sweet with the spices and a hint of spice with the shiitake bacon, this dish can be made in bulk for meal prep or entertaining a larger groups, and has great presentation! I’m also now obsessed with Wasa Thins Rosemary & Sea Salt! Crispier lighter texture, great flavor with 9 grams of whole grains and just 70 calories per serving!
If you love classic mac and cheese casseroles, are enamored with fall inspired dishes, and crave a mac and cheese that’s not loaded with calories and cheese
You need to try my recipe for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese!
Locate Wasa brand crackers at your local Kroger!
Why this recipe rocks:
minimal and affordable ingredients
Perfect for fall!
A hint of sweet
Can be made in bulk
Coat the shiitakes in the ingredients and roast
Roast and puree butternut squash ingredients + combine w/cooked pasta
Crush Wasa Thins Rosemary Flats in a plastic bag and set aside
30 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 1 small pack Wasa Rosemary Flats
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 box elbow macaroni
- 1 cups plain almond milk
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 2-3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp rosemary (more for garnish)
- 1/4 cayenne
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 onion
- ¼ cup cashews
- 2 clove garlic, grated
- 1 packages of shiitakes (sliced)
- 1 tbs tamari
- 1 tbs liquid smoke
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tbs vegan Worcestershire
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Shiitake Bacon: Slice the mushrooms, coat in all the ingredients and bake in the oven on 250 for 30 minutes. Rotate the mushrooms midway for an even cook. Mushrooms should be crispy, not hard. (coat in ingredients for however long you can)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cubed squash on a baking pan and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Add the almond milk to assist with pureeing. Soak the cashews in hot water for ten minutes, drain, add to the blender with the butternut squash along with the nutmeg, nutritional yeast, sea salt, cayenne, and dijon mustard.
- Boil pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside. To make the Wasa topping last one package of crackers in a ziplock bag, smash for 3 mins until you get crumbs of all sizes, set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, rosemary and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the 1/2 cup almond milk and cook until just starting to thicken (about 3 minutes). Take the sauce off the heat, then stir in the 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese until fully incorporated. Add butternut squash mixture stirring to combine. Season to taste with kosher salt.
- Combine the full mixture with the cooked pasta. Add the pasta to a baking dish and top with vegan parmesan cheese, Wasa Rosemary Flats, shiitake bacon, and chopped fresh rosemary and bake for about 20 minutes.