One of my favorite pasta dishes as a child was mac and cheese. Since becoming vegan it was something I thought I’d never have again. But while I was preparing to make dinner one day, an idea came to mind as I looked down at the flavorful organic squash on the kitchen counter.
What I love about this recipe is that it uses a vegetable as the base for the sauce, which gives it a delicious creamy texture and wonderful rich taste, as well as having all the nutrition of a colorful garden squash.
Here is my simple vegan mac and cheese recipe that’s quickly becoming one of our favorites.
3 lbs organic squash (buttercup, acorn, or similar)
1 large onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
½ Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tamari
2 tsp Herbamare
1 Tbsp blonde miso
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
½ cup almond milk
3 cups of water
1 cup Daiya cheddar shreds (or other vegan cheese)
2 (12 oz.) packages gluten-free fusilli pasta
a pinch of black pepper (for the top)
- Prepare squash for steaming by cutting in half then in quarters. Remove the skin and seeds, then cut into smaller chunks. Place the squash into a steamer basket over a pot of water. On medium to high heat, steam the squash until soft. Allow to cool.
- In a frying pan, heat the olive oil, then add onion, garlic and thyme. Fry for 5-10 minutes until onions are soft and have a slight brown edge. Be sure not to overcook.
- In a blender, blend the steamed squash, cooked onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, miso, Herbamare, almond milk and water. Blend on high until the sauce is smooth and creamy. It should have a consistency similar to that of yogurt, so if it’s too thick, you might need to add water.
- In a large pot, bring to boil 6-8 quarts of water and add pasta. Cook for 9 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly, then drain well again.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Take two cups of sauce from the blender and place it in a smaller pot for later.
- In a chafing dish, pour half of the remaining sauce to cover the bottom evenly. Add cooked pasta. Pour in remaining sauce and mix well together.
- Sprinkle vegan shredded cheese over your dish along with cracked black pepper and place into the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese has slightly melted. Note: Be sure not to leave the dish in the oven too long, to prevent the sauce from drying out.
- Just before serving, heat the two cups of sauce you set aside to drizzle on top of the individual plates.