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.
This was my first time cooking with butternut squash this season and I forgot how amazingly delicious it smells when you cut into it! It is sweet and comforting, just like winter squash should be. Squash can be a little intimidating to cook with because it looks like it is hard to get into. There are a few different types of winter squash that you don’t have to peel in order to enjoy, but butternut squash has a pretty thick skin so you definitely want to peel this one.
The butternut squash starts to sweat a bit once you peel it so you have to hold on tight! Once you peel it, you will make a cut just above the larger bottom part that has all the seeds in it and then cut that part in half. Scoop all the seeds out and then cut the squash into bite size pieces. You can boil the squash kinda like you would do with potatoes but my absolute favorite way to prepare it is to roast it. It brings out such great flavor and is the perfect preparation for making this mac n cheese!
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks (9-10 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1¼ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon herbs de Provence or other dried herbs
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 2½ cups plain unsweetened almond milk
- 12 ounces dried pasta
- ½ cup breadcrumbs, gluten free if necessary
- 2 tablespoons earth balance or butter
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage leaves
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cubed butternut squash and garlic cloves on large sheet pan and toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Bake butternut squash until fork tender, about 50 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, add the roasted butternut squash, nutritional yeast, herbs de provence, nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon salt, onion powder, paprika, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and almond milk to a blender and blend until you have a creamy sauce.
- Add the cooked pasta and butternut squash sauce to a large bowl and mix until combined. Pour mixture into a large backing dish (about 9x11). Use a spoon to smooth out the top. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Once butter is melted, add the bread crumbs and sage and stir until combined. Evenly top the mac n cheese with the bread crumbs and bake until heated through and topping is crispy, 25-30 minutes.