Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheese” {Vegan}

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I don’t think that there is much that you can’t do with butternut squash.  You can roast it and put it in almost anything from salads to pastas, you can make delicious soup out of it, you can make desserts, and you can even make macaroni and cheese with it!   I like to affectionately refer to butternut squash as “roasted gold”, and it really lives up to the name!

 Before I get into this awesome mac n’ cheese, I have to get something off my chest.  It is officially fall here!  I never thought it would happen, but we had our first fire last weekend and I’ve even broken out the pants and sweatshirts!  I am a happy girl!  We went on our first hike last weekend, and although it did make me feel pretty out of shape, it was beautiful and the weather was perfect!

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All the sweat (literally) and tears that the 110 degree summer weather brought are just a distant memory at this point.  Just like they say that women who go through labor somehow block out all the pain they feel or else they would never have another baby, I’ve blocked out all the summer misery and as far as I’m concerned, it is going to be fall forever.

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Which means that I’ll be enjoying butternut squash and fleece blankets forever!  While Summer is all about grilling and eating corn on the cob on the patio,  fall is all about comfort food and eating mac n cheese while curled up in a comfy blanket with an orange cat snuggled on your lap.  

This butternut squash has no dairy in it, but really does taste like an awesome cheesy goodness sauce!  You could always boil the butternut squash rather than roast it, but I’m pretty obsessed with roasted butternut squash and really have no desire to eat it any other way!

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My new game is that I try to feed my husband foods that you think would have dairy in them, but that do not.  I don’t tell him what the secret ingredients are and I then ask him very sweetly, “how did you like that dish?”  I totally tricked him with the almond ricotta in these lasagna roll-ups  and I was so proud of myself!  Although I didn’t quite trick him into thinking this butternut squash sauce was actual cheese sauce, he was surprised when I told him that no dairy was involved in this recipe.  While I don’t necessarily condone lying to the people you are cooking for, it is pretty exciting to see them eat and enjoy things that they would never willingly try if they knew what was in it!  Does that make me a bad person?  I didn’t think so!

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Butternut Squash Mac-N-“Cheese”

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Category: Entree, Gluten Free, Vegan


  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite size chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3/4 pound pasta
  • 2 teaspoons chopped sage
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a large sheetpan, add the cubed butternut squash and garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast butternut squash for 30-40 minutes, until tender and browned, flipping occasionally. Let cool.
  2. Add roasted butternut squash, vegetable broth, onion powder, nutmeg, yeast, thyme, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to a blender and blend until a smooth sauce forms.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Throw in red onion slices, season with salt and pepper and cook for about ten minutes, until onions are softened and beginning to brown.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is 2 minutes from being finished throw in the broccoli florets. Drain pasta and broccoli and add to a large bowl. Add the onions, the butternut squash sauce and chopped sage and mix until combined. Warm the mac n cheese on low heat, if needed. Season with salt.


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And now some photos from our hike, enjoy!

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Eric and I play this fun game where we lay a soft fleece blanket down in a random place throughout the house and we see how long it takes Cheeto to find said blanket and take a nap, this time look about 1 minute :)

Butternut Squash Mac-N--Cheese--

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  1. says

    I’m glad the fall weather has finally hit your area, Izzy! And I love how versatile butternut squash is! I haven’t cooked with it at all this fall yet, so I’m definitely going to have to change that. I love that you added it into a mac ‘n cheese dish! Such a great way to jazz it up and make it a perfect fall side!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you Gayle! Me too!! I’ve been buying one a week and it seems like the possibilities are endless! I bet you could make an awesome dessert with it :)

  2. says

    I made dinner for my dad of ground tofu tacos once. He didn’t even know it, but when I informed him that he had just had tofu, I thought he was going to go through the roof!! I think it was more about his obstinance in eating it rather than accepting the fact that he actually ate it and couldn’t tell the difference! hehe!! Oh this looks delightful, Izzy! I bought my first butternut squash of the season this weekend and am thinking about how I want to use it… there are so many ways, but this looks delicious!

    PS – I love your updates about Cheeto’s adventures!

    • She Likes Food says

      That is hilarious, Traci! It isn’t like you were feeding him something inedible! I bet he was just angry he didn’t know! When I told my husband about the almond ricotta in the lasagna, his first reaction was him saying that he knew it wasn’t real cheese in a annoyed tone, but then a few minutes later he finally admitted that he actually couldn’t tell the difference and really enjoyed it, haha! What is it with men?!! There really are so many ways to use it! I have a long list and might just be posting butternut squash recipes this fall! I’m so glad that you are a fellow cat obsessed person! It makes me so happy :)

    • She Likes Food says

      I don’t think I’ve ever tried cauliflower in my mac and cheese but I bet it is awesome! I’ll have to try it soon :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Yah for sweatshirts!! We had another fire last night and I was wearing pants and a sweatshirt and it was glorious!

  3. says

    So happy you guys are getting some great Fall weather – Fall hikes are the best (That photo of the Cacti – beautiful!) :)
    And this butternut squash mac and cheese look to die for! The picture of the sauce on the pasta – swoooon! I cannot wait to try this recipe – it is right up my alley! And I laughed out loud when I read that you sometimes “trick” your hubby by not telling him the ingredients until after he is eating it. I do the same with my boyfriend. Whenever I reinvent a recipe to make it “healthier” I always wait until he tries it before I tell him what is actually in it 😉 I can always tell if he “truly” likes it if he wants seconds! Pinned :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Ceara!! I’m so happy too! It is way too hot to hike anywhere in the summer so I get pretty excited when we can go again :) I’m so glad you like this recipe! That sauce seriously is so good and I can’t stop thinking of things I want to put it on! Haha, that is hilarious! I always wait until the end too, or else I know he won’t even touch it!

  4. says

    What a great way to incorporate butternut squash into something as delicious as mac and cheese, and it even is gluten free. Butternut squash tastes so much better when roasted and I do agree it can be called roasted gold. I’m glad you are getting some nice fall weather there :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Mira! something about roasting vegetables just makes them so good! I hope you are enjoying some nice weather too :)

  5. says

    Yay for finally having fall weather! This dish looks super cheesy, it’s hard to believe there’s not any in there. I’ve been meaning to try butternut squash in dishes like this, I really need to give this recipe a go!

    • She Likes Food says

      You’ve got to try more butternut squash! I’m beginning to think it goes with everything and am having trouble figuring out recipes that don’t involve it :)

  6. says

    I’ve considered trying a version of this recipe that I’ve seen elsewhere but didn’t go for it because I got nervous that it wouldn’t turn out. But now that the butternut squash crop is in and I have your awesome recipe and tips, it’s time to try. I think it’s great you added broccoli to the mac n cheese. The addition veggie action here is wonderful. Yours looks delicious and would be a perfect side to a nicely roasted turkey.

    • She Likes Food says

      You really should try it out, Laura! It is so easy to make that I don’t think it is possible to not have it turn out! This really would be a perfect side to some roasted turkey! I hope it all turns out delicious for you, I know it will :)

  7. says

    I LOVE THIS RECIPE! Anything with squash is so good to me right now! And nutritional yeast makes everything better. Love this twist on mac and cheese, girl! Great nature photos too. It still looks incredibly sunny and warm :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Al! I think that all my recipes for the next few months all contain squash, I just can’t imagine not cooking with it right now! Oh yes, nutritional yeast is amazing and I have been putting it in everything lately, including some pesto I made last night! Haha, the nights and mornings are cool, but the afternoons are still pretty sunny, good eye :) xoxoxo

    • She Likes Food says

      It seems that everything is much better roasted, especially this butternut squash! So glad you like this recipe, Kathy :)

  8. says

    Huzzah to finally being able to experience the wonderful activities fall has to offer without having a heat stroke from wearing a fuzzy sweater in 100 degree heat! You hiding the fact that there is no dairy in this recipe from your husband until after he tried it definitely doesn’t make you a bad person; in actuality it makes you a fabulous person! You are like the health foods fairy, sprinkling a little pixie dust to help hide flavors that people more traditionally minded food-wise might be wary of sampling. There’s nothing wrong with spreading some delicious and nutritious love! Speaking of which, I need to try this recipe ASAP. What an awesome dish! I would’ve never thought of using butternut squash as a pasta sauce, but this looks delectable! Have you heard of using butternut squash to create a type of caramel? I haven’t tried that out yet, but I look forward to, along with this recipe, before the end of fall:-)

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, I couldn’t agree more, Dulcie! I tried to go on a lunch time run yesterday and I decided that it is a little too soon for that, I really did think I was going to have a heat stroke! The health food fairy, ha! I like that! Not sure my husband likes it, but he’ll thank me one day! OMG! I have never heard of butternut squash caramel, but it sounds amazing and I need to check it out asap!! How neat! Let me know if you try it before I get to it!

  9. says

    Yay, so glad you are finally getting some fall weather :) Love the pictures from the hike! Love this vegan mac & cheese and that you were able to fool your husband that there was no dairy in here. Roasted butternut squash always seems to make everything better :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Kelly! I am so thankful about the fall weather too! Fooling the husband is the best feeling every, haha! It really does make everything better :)

  10. says

    Yay for fall weather! Loved all your nature pictures—I miss Arizona! :) And this mac ‘n’ cheese is totally genius! I’m crazy over anything butternut squash and I am LOVING how cozy and gooey this pasta looks! Pinned.

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Sarah!! You should totally come visit! It is the perfect time of the year right now! I’m so crazy for all things butternut squash right now too! Thanks so much for pinning girl!

  11. Jason says

    Unfortunately, I did find a major flaw in this recipe. When I took the squash pieces out of the over, they seemed to keep disappearing into my mouth… I’ll just have to find a way around it.

  12. Mollie says

    I just made this for dinner for my non-vegan family and everyone loved it! so creamy and delicious and much better than traditional mac and cheese. Also I love how it didn’t use cashew nuts unlike many other recipes – thank you!


  1. […] Pretty much every single recipe I can think of these days includes some sort of squash as the main ingredient.  I guess it must be squash season!  This is my second edition of upgrading a few of my older fall recipes.  A few weeks ago I updated this Fall Quinoa Salad and today I give you Vegan Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese with Crispy Sage Breadcrumbs that is based off of this recipe. […]

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