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vegan butternut squash mac and cheese in crock with breadcrumbs and sage

Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese features a silky vegan butternut squash cashew cheese sauce and a crispy sage panko topping.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword butternut squash, cashew cheese, comfort food, dinner, easy, fall, mac and cheese, sage, sauce, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 600 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 pound dried pasta

For the panko sage breadcrumb topping:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 8-10 sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the cashew bechamel:

  • 1/4 cup cashews soaked in hot water for 1 hour and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cashew milk
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter or other vegan butter substitute
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place squash in a steamer basket set over boiling water and cover. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and blend until completely smooth. 

  2. Boil pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

For the panko sage breadcrumb topping:

  1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add sage and smashed garlic, cooking until sage is crisp on both sides, about 1-2 minutes. Remove sage leaves and drain on paper towels. 

  2. Add panko to skillet and stir to combine. Cook until breadcrumbs are golden and toasted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, then combine sage leaves mix with toasted breadcrumbs. Set aside.

For the cashew bechamel sauce:

  1. To make the cashew b├ęchamel, blend cashews and 1/2 cup of cashew milk in a food processor or high-speed blender until completely smooth. 

  2. Melt vegan butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until flour is cooked and mixture has turned golden brown, about 3 minutes. 

  3. Gradually whisk in the remaining cup of cashew milk, followed by blended cashew mixture, nutmeg, nutritional yeast and garlic. Stir to combine, and cook until mixture has thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt.

Assemble:

  1. Remove bechamel from heat and fold in butternut squash puree until completely incorporated. Add pasta to pot and combine with sauce. Spoon into greased individual ramekins or a 9x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle generously with breadcrumb mixture and bake for about 20 minutes.