Dairy free, gluten-free, guilt free and deliciously creamy with a variety of toppings, this butternut mac and ‘cheese’ is the perfect fall comfort food! Spicy mushroom and walnut ‘chorizo’, tangy and funky kimchi kraut, toasty and roasty cauliflower… choose one, pick all three, try your own or eat it plain… whatever you decide this mac and ‘cheese’ is absolutely delish!
’Tis the season of squash fa la la la la. Every time I go to the farmers market I come home with no less than three winter squash (squashes? squashies? squashsssss?)… which have accumulated in a box in the corner of my ‘kitchen’ (ie. living room). Many of them are destined to be roasted, have their flesh scooped out and frozen in 1-2 cup portions for easy use in the future. Butternuts, delicata, kabocha, you name it, I likely have (at least) one… I discovered long ago that when it comes to beautiful farmers market produce I can be a bit of a hoarder (my partner Adrian can confirm this for you).
You can roast the butternut squash and prepare toppings in advance. Once you’ve done that, the whole meal comes together in the same amount of time as it takes to cook the pasta. Boil water, blend sauce, cook noodles and you are ready to go. Here I have made just a few of my favourite toppings…
The walnut and mushroom ‘chorizo’ is easy to make and just as tasty as any carnivorous version. It also makes an excellent vegan version of my potato chorizo tacos.
Roasted cauliflower, when it’s browned and crispy and salted to snackable perfection.
And arguably my most favourite topping of all… kimchi kraut. I’ve just finished fermenting 6 Litres of it, and it’s honestly the perfect accompaniment to just about any savoury meal!
I hope you have a great weekend! Maybe even one that will include a choose your own topping mac and ‘cheese’ party!
Vegan Butternut Mac and ‘Cheese’ 3 Ways
- 1 medium (about 2.5 lbs.) Butternut squash
- 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 cups Stock
- 1/3 cup Nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup Tahini
- 3 Tbsp. organic White miso paste
- 2 Tbsp. Tamari (gluten-free if desired)
- 2 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. Turmeric
- 1 lb. (454 g) Pasta (I used brown rice spiral pasta)
- Olive oil
- Toppings (recipes below)
Roast squash: pre heat oven to 375°F. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, drizzle with olive oil and rub all over inside and outside of squash. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Let cool then scoop out flesh (this can be done ahead of time).
Cook noodles: according to package directions.
Make sauce: While you are waiting for pasta water to boil, place roasted butternut squash flesh in a large pot with remaining ingredients (1 1/2 cups stock, nutritional yeast, tahini, miso paste, tamari, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic and turmeric). Heat over medium and blend until smooth using an immersion hand blender (or puree in a blender then add to pot). If sauce is very thick add another cup of stock to thin.
When noodles are cooked drain and stir into sauce. Eat it on its own or serve it with one of my favourite toppings:
- mushroom walnut ‘chorizo’ (recipe below)
- roasted cauliflower (recipe below)
- kimchi kraut
Mushroom Walnut ‘Chorizo’
- 1 Tbsp. ground Coriander
- 1 Tbsp. Oregano
- 1 Tbsp. Paprika
- 2 tsp. ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Cayenne
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 lb. Mushrooms (I used crimini)
- 1 cup Walnuts
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
Cut mushrooms into quarters. In several batches pulse mushrooms and walnuts until coarsely chopped. Place in a large bowl and toss with spice mixture and minced garlic.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add mushroom mixture and stir to coat in oil. Cook about 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until moisture from mushrooms has evaporated and everything in starting to brown.
Stir in apple cider vinegar and cook another 2 minutes.
- 1 head Cauliflower
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
Pre heat oven to 400°F. Chop cauliflower into bite sized pieces and toss with oil. Place on baking tray in a single layer (use two baking sheets if crowded). Bake for 40 minutes, until browned and crispy. Season with salt to taste.