Mac and cheese is the ultimate feel good comfort food and this vegan version is just as creamy and dreamy while using only real ingredients such as butternut squash, cannellini beans and tumeric. Use gluten-free pasta shells to keep this recipe completely GF.
- 1 box gluten-free pasta shells (Banza brand is made from chickpeas)
- pinch of salt
- 1 small butternut squash *
- 4 TB. plain nondairy milk (we used Good Karma flax milk)
- 1 (15oz can) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegan buttery spread
- 1 1/2 TB. Dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add pasta shells and pinch of salt. Return to a boil and then reduce, until pasta is tender (follow directions on box for best results). Scoop out 1 cup of cooking water, set aside and THEN drain shells.
- Clean squash, cut in half and remove seeds. THEN cook in oven or microwave depending on time:
- Bake method– preheat oven to 350°. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a baking dish. Bake in a 350°F oven 45 to 50 minutes or until tender. To check doneness, pierce the squash with the tip of a sharp knife. It should slide in easily.
- Microwave method– Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a baking dish with 2 tablespoons water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 9 to 12 minutes or until tender, rearranging once. To check doneness, pierce the squash with the tip of a sharp knife. It should slide in easily.
- In a food processor, combine 1 1/2 cups mashed squash, dairy-free milk, 1/4 cup of cooking water and remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth-ish. It won’t be completely smooth until heated.
- Pour blended sauce into a saucepan and bring to a low boil and whisk into a smooth texture. Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss to coat.
Optional mix-ins: 1 cup organic baby peas, 4 sliced and cooked tofu dogs, sriracha sauce.