In this post: mac & cheese is one of the best comfort foods. But when you’re avoiding meat and your kids can’t eat cheese, you can make vegan butternut squash mac and cheese!


You may be thinking, “Butternut squash? In mac and cheese?” I get the concern about replacing cheese with a vegetable, but I promise you this is possibly the best vegan mac and cheese you will ever eat! It’s perfect for your dairy-free kids, health-conscious friends, and anyone avoiding meat. With a recipe this yummy, who wouldn’t want to make butternut squash mac and cheese vegan? 🙂

Close up of crispy butternut squash mac and cheese vegan in a glass baking pan.

What is Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese?

Butternut squash mac and cheese is a vegan variation of mac and cheese that uses blended butternut squash combined with homemade cheese sauce to create a delicious and creamy mac and cheese. You can top your butternut squash mac and cheese with gluten-free bread crumbs for a delightful crunch!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This butternut squash mac and cheese recipe:

  • is quick and easy to make
  • doesn’t require any fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients
  • is free of the most common food allergens

Ingredients

  • Butternut squash: when blended, it should equal out to about 2.5 cups.
  • Gluten-free pasta: I love rice pasta but you could alternatively use corn, lentil, or chickpea pasta instead!
  • Gluten-free bread crumbs: if you can eat gluten, you should try panko breadcrumbs.
  • Vegetable broth: if you’re not vegan you could use chicken broth instead!
  • Unsweetened almond milk: or use any other unsweetened non-dairy milk.
  • Daiya cheddar flavor cheese shreds: or your favorite vegan cheese.
  • Dairy-free yogurt (optional, see below): soy, almond, coconut, etc.
  • Garlic: adds a nice tangy spice.
  • HP sauce: or if you can eat gluten, Worcestershire sauce.
  • Dijon mustard: combined with HP sauce, this adds a special umami flavor.
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste): you can include other spices as well!

Substitutions and Variations

  • Pasta – you can use any pasta you want! Including wheat if you can eat gluten. You can also trade some of the pasta for cauliflower to add more veggies. As for pasta shapes, try penne, spirals, macaroni, or rotini.
  • Yogurt – instead of dairy-free yogurt, you can add 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast.
  • Additional ingredients – some ideas are broccoli, spinach, vegan hot dogs, potatoes, mushrooms, kale, peas, jalapenos, or vegan meatballs.
  • Seasonings – try dill, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, or red pepper flakes.

How to Make Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Vegan

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Grease a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish.
  3. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place it in the microwave, cover, and cook for about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the butternut squash from the microwave and scoop it into a food processor (or blender). Add the broth, milk, Daiya cheese, yogurt (or nutritional yeast), garlic, HP Sauce, Dijon mustard, and seasonings. Blend until smooth.
  5. Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta well and place it in the prepared casserole dish.
  6. Add the cheese and squash mixture to the pasta and stir well.
  7. Sprinkle the gluten-free bread crumbs over the top of the pasta and lightly spray everything with olive oil.
  8. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes (until bubbly). If desired, broil on low for 5 minutes to brown the top. Serve warm and enjoy!
Vegan butternut squash mac and cheese in a glass baking pan.

What to Serve With Mac and Cheese

Serve your butternut squash mac and cheese with side dishes like:

Recipe Tips

  • Depending on the strength of your microwave, you may have to microwave your squash for longer. Alternatively, you can bake or air fry your squash, but I like how quick the microwave is!
  • This mac and cheese packs well in the freezer so you can cook it in bulk and save some for later.
  • Many recipes use flour or tapioca starch to thicken the sauce, but, in my opinion, this recipe doesn’t need it. If you make this recipe and want a thicker sauce, you can try adding one of these thickeners.
  • Broil the mac and cheese for 5 minutes after it’s cooked to brown the top and make it nice and crispy!

Storage and Reheating

  • Refrigerator: store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days.
  • Freezer: package the mac and cheese into a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 3 months. You can also store the sauce separately from the noodles for up to 6 months!
Close up of crispy butternut squash mac and cheese vegan in a glass baking pan.

FAQs

What can I use instead of butternut squash?

You can swap out the butternut squash for other types of squash like pumpkin, acorn squash, carnival squash, or honeynut squash. I’ve also seen people use sweet potato instead of butternut squash!

How many fresh butternut squashes do I need?

You’ll only need one fresh butternut squash (weighing about 2-3 lbs or 900g – 1.3 kg). If your butternut squash is on the smaller side, you may need more than one; if it’s larger, you may not need the whole thing.

Is butternut squash mac and cheese vegan?

This butternut squash mac and cheese recipe is vegan! Most other butternut squash mac and cheese recipes are vegan because this variation of mac and cheese was created to replace regular mac and cheese for people who don’t eat dairy.

What is the best pasta for butternut squash mac and cheese?

You can use whatever pasta you want! I usually opt for brown rice pasta or lentil pasta (for extra protein!) and both are super yummy.

Can I prep vegan mac and cheese ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can either make the whole thing ahead of time (and store it in the fridge or freezer) or make the sauce ahead of time to mix with the pasta soon before you want to serve the dish.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Vegan

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Vegan

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

The most delicious and creamy vegan mac and cheese out there!

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1 package gluten free brown rice pasta
  • 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs
  • 1/2 - 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup original unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
  • 1 cup Daiya cheddar flavor cheese shreds
  • 2 tbsp soy or other dairy free yogurt, almond, coconut (optional - if not using add 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp HP sauce or gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Grease a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish.
  3. Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place it in the microwave, cover, and cook for about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the butternut squash from the microwave and scoop it into a food processor (or blender). Add the broth, milk, Daiya cheese, yogurt (or nutritional yeast), garlic, HP Sauce, Dijon mustard, and seasonings. Blend until smooth.
  5. Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta well and place it in the prepared casserole dish.
  6. Add the cheese and squash mixture to the pasta and stir well.
  7. Sprinkle the gluten-free bread crumbs over the top of the pasta and lightly spray everything with olive oil.
  8. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes (until bubbly). If desired, broil on low for 5 minutes to brown the top. Serve warm and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

What is your favorite mac and cheese recipe?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *