4 Ingredient Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.
If you love creamy, decadent, rich, flavorful recipes then you will LOVE this butternut squash mac and cheese. The only four ingredients are butternut squash, nutritional yeast, oat milk, and pasta. This recipe is made up of whole foods plant-based ingredients packed with a ton of important micronutrients.
4 Ingredient Mac and Cheese
This mac and cheese only requires four key ingredients – your pasta of choice, sauteed butternut squash, nutritional yeast, and oat milk. Here’s a breakdown of each ingredient:
- Butternut Squash. This starchy carbohydrate is what’s going to keep you satiated for hours. Diet culture has taught us to be afraid of carbs, but that sentiment couldn’t be more false – starchy carbs are among the healthiest foods to incorporate into your diet. To learn more about why starchy carbs are so crucial to optimal health, check out The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall.
- Pasta. In this recipe I opted for a brown rice pasta. Brown rice is packed with nutrients including fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, and calcium among others. Any pasta works, but I recommend a brown rice, quinoa, or buckwheat pasta. Here are some of my favorites:
- Nutritional Yeast. If you want your vegan recipes to be cheesy, nutritional yeast, aka nooch, is a must. It’s a great source of protein, B vitamins, and trace minerals. Here are three trustworthy brands I rotate between:
- Plant-Based Milk. Honestly any milk works in this recipe – oat and macadamia milk tend to be creamiest, so if you want your pasta to be super creamy I would go for one of those two. The butternut squash is what makes it creamy, so if you use a lighter milk (such as almond milk) you will still be left with an incredibly decadent and creamy dish.
High Volume & Fiber
My absolute favorite part of this recipe (aside from it being plant-based and delicious) is the fact that it keeps you full for HOURS. Because these ingredients are packed with so many micronutrients, a small amount will keep you sufficiently satiated. Traditional mac and cheese is highly processed and has no real nutrients making it an empty calorie dish. Empty calories (empty meaning there are no nutrients) will satisfy you temporarily, but an hour later you will be hungry again. That’s why it’s SO important to eat nutritious foods that will sustain and energize you to last until your next meal without even thinking about food.
Fresh Herb Toppings
You can totally enjoy the pasta as is, but I love mixing in fresh herbs. I used fresh thyme here which pairs so well with the butternut squash, plus it’s packed with important nutrients such as vitamin A and vitamin C.
Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 butternut squash, cubed should yield about 3 cups
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 – 2 cups plant-based milk start with 1 cup. if mixture is too thick, gradually increase by 1/4 cup
- sea salt to taste
- fresh thyme topping
- shredded vegan cheese optional if you want recipe extra cheesy
- 1 – 2 cups pasta one serving is 1/2 cup
- chop the top and bottom off the butternut squash and peel entire squash. chop squash into cubes.
- heat a large pan with avocado oil on a low-medium heat. once hot, add your butternut squash and keep pan covered stirring every few minutes. repeat until squash is tender, then remove from heat.
- once the squash is completely cool, add to a blender along with nutritional yeast, sea salt, and oat milk. blend until creamy. if mixture is too thick, gradually add more plant-based milk 1/4 cup at a time.
- cook pasta according to instructions. drain then return to pot and pour butternut squash cheese into pot. mix to combine.
- divide pasta between 2 to 4 people and top with fresh thyme.