Creamy and easy vegan butternut squash mac and cheese that has all of the delicious flavors of cheese and fall while being entirely dairy free and gluten free! The perfect healthy comfort food!
The best easy vegan mac and cheese recipe
I just know you’re going to love this creamy vegan mac and cheese. Made with butternut squash and carrots for some secretly added veggies, this fall inspired rendition of a healthier comfort food classic is the best way to kick off the autumn season!
Plus, this butternut squash mac and cheese is so easy to make. All you’ll need to do is blend the sauce, make the pasta, and bake it all together!
Both kids and adults love this recipe, mainly because it’s a simple dinner recipe that can be dressed up or left as a childhood comfort food classic.
I personally love making this vegan mac and cheese as a wonderful main for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It’s a great dish that dairy free and non dairy free eaters will enjoy, and gives another option for those who have allergies.
In fact, this vegan mac and cheese is entirely nut free and made free from the Top 8 Allergens!
How to make the dairy free vegan butternut squash cheese sauce
Many dairy free vegan homemade cheese sauces contain nuts, but I wanted to a bit different.
This homemade vegan butternut squash cheese sauce is made from very simple and entirely nut free ingredients:
- Roasted butternut squash + carrots
- Oat milk (or any dairy free milk)
- Coconut cream
- Nutritional yeast
- Vegan butter or coconut oil (both can be nut free)
- Arrowroot powder or cornstarch
You won’t believe how creamy this butternut squash cheese sauce gets. With just a touch of arrowroot powder or cornstarch (used as a thickener that helps get that creamy and gooey cheese sauce that we normally think of.
Now, you don’t have to use this butternut squash cheese sauce for just making vegan mac and cheese.
But seeing as you’re here for the vegan butternut squash mac and cheese recipe, let’s make some dairy free mac and cheese now 🙂
How to make vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
Trust me, you’re going to love this fall inspired baked vegan mac and cheese dish. It’s incredibly easy, and the perfect star meal for your meal prep!
Both kids and adults will just love this, along with all types of eaters!
To make this vegan butternut squash mac and cheese:
- Start by roasting the butternut squash and carrots together. I have a whole post on this to get the butternut squash caramelized, so be sure to check that out.
- Then make the pasta. I recommend using chickpea pasta in here for extra vegan protein!
- Next, we’ll make the vegan butternut squash cheese sauce: puree all of the ingredients until smooth.
- Toss the pasta with the cheese sauce, and bake in a casserole dish.
Once baked, serve warm and with fresh herbs alongside some more roasted or steamed veggies!
This easy vegan mac and cheese recipe also makes for a wonderful side dish at any vegan Thanksgiving (or maybe it’s your vegan dish to bring to a more traditional Thanksgiving- and you might even turn some plant based with this recipe!).
What pasta should I use for homemade mac and cheese?
I personally recommend using either elbow pasta or rotini, like in the photos of the recipe. But really it’s up to you, whichever pasta is your favorite!
Whether or not you’re gluten free, I love making this butternut mac and cheese with a chickpea or bean pasta for the added vegan protein. But you’ll also get some vegan protein from the nutritional yeast.
Other than that, of course you can use whole wheat pasta or any type really.
Tips for making the best vegan butternut squash mac and cheese recipe:
- Cook the pasta al-dente: the pasta will continue to cook while baking, so you want to make sure that it doesn’t get too soggy before it’s baked!
- Use the vegan butter for a really creamy vegan cheese sauce: using the vegan butter in place of coconut oil will give this baked vegan mac and cheese the ultimate cheese-y creamy taste. However, if you are nut free and don’t like using a vegan butter, such as Earth Balance, you can use coconut oil as well!
- Keep the same casserole dish that you used to roast the butternut squash and carrots: that way you have less dishes to clean up! However, you can also roast the butternut squash and carrots on a sheet pan.
- Don’t skip on roasting the butternut squash and carrots! Roasting adds much more flavor than steaming will.
- Use whichever pasta you’d like: if you don’t want to use a bean pasta, no problem! Swap in whichever pasta you’d like for your homemade vegan mac and cheese recipe.
- Have leftovers? Store any leftover vegan mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week!
I hope you love this vegan butternut squash mac and cheese as much as I do! If you make it, be sure to let me know down below in the comments section, as well as giving it a rating so that others can see it.
Happy butternut squash cheese-in!
More healthy fall meal ideas you’ll love:
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Creamy and easy vegan butternut squash mac and cheese that has all of the delicious flavors of cheese and fall while being entirely dairy free and gluten free! The perfect healthy comfort food that also makes a great vegan Thanksgiving main dish!
Butternut Squash Cheese Sauce:
- 3 cups roasted butternut squash
- 1 cup roasted carrots (roasted with the butternut squash)
- 2 cups oat milk (or almond milk or coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp melted vegan butter or coconut oil
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder or 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp thyme
- Sea salt + pepper to taste
- 1 box (about 3 cups) dried chickpea pasta (or favorite pasta)
- Roast the butternut squash and carrots together, according to the directions for the roasted butternut squash.
- Once roasted, allow the veggies to cool while you make the pasta. Keep the oven on at 375F.
- In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Add in the pasta and cook according to the package directions (usually between 8-15 minutes).
- Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In a large food processor, add the remaining ingredients, except the pasta, to the processor and puree until smooth and creamy.
- Add the pasta to a large casserole dish. Pour the butternut squash cheese sauce on top and lightly toss.
- Place the butternut squash mac and cheese into the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm with desired sides. Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge.
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