You really can make healthy mac and cheese from scratch with this easy recipe. You don’t have to worry about what kind of cheese to use either. There’s no cheese in this mac.
I thought you might want to add this to your Thanksgiving menu.
The flavors are so close to my original gluten-free mac & cheese. It tastes like the real deal, only a little lighter. But it’s still creamy and filled with the richness you expect when you take a bite of one of America’s classic noodle dishes. Leftovers hold well in the fridge, too. Always a bonus when you’re dealing with gluten-free pasta.
It passed the Joe test with flying colors. Our dinner conversation that night went something like this:
Amy: How’s the mac & cheese?
Joe: This might be mac but it’s not cheese.
Amy: It’s mac and cheese. Just try it.
Joe: I’m not eating it until you tell me what you put in here.
Amy: It’s so good, honey.
Joe: Is this what happened to the butternut squash? (I’ll have no idea how he knew the butternut squash was gone…I didn’t even think he noticed that kind of stuff!)
Amy: (smile) Yea.
Joe: (hesitant bite after careful investigation, including sniffing) Oh, it’s good.
Three helpings later….
Joe: This tastes just like mac & cheese. (smile)
Amy: (another big smile) I thought you’d like it. (“I told you so” wouldn’t have went over well.)
Yea, it’s one way to hide the veggies and eat more plant based food. But, it tastes and feels like an indulgence. So go for it.
What is on your holiday side dish menu?
A flavorful vegan macaroni and cheese dish that tastes so much like the dish we all grew up on.
- 8 ounces gluten-free macaroni noodles
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups (1 pound 3 ounces) cleaned and cubed butternut squash
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk or non-dairy milk of choice
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 of a large onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. Add one tablespoon kosher salt. Once the water is boiling rapidly, add one tablespoon olive oil and stir in the gluten-free pasta. Stir every couple of minutes to keep it from sticking together. Cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse with warm water.
- Steam the butternut squash until tender, about 10 - 15 minutes.
- Put the cashews and non-dairy milk in high-speed blender (I use a VitaMix) and blend until smooth.
- Add the butternut squash, nutritional yeast, onion, garlic, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, ground mustard, paprika, and white pepper. Blend until smooth and combined.
- Transfer the cooked macaroni back to the cooking pot. Add the butternut squash mixture and stir to combine.
- Transfer to a baking dish.
- Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until the edges are bubble and the center is hot.
I started with a 2 pound 14 ounce squash and had enough raw squash leftover to cook as a side dish for a meal. I like Tinkyada's Brown Rice Elbows because of their shape, how they hold up after being baked, and the way they fill up with the creamy butternut squash filling.