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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 6 cups

Spiced butternut squash blended with nutritional yeast and a little plant milk makes a delightfully rich and “cheesy” sauce for pasta and broccoli. Pumpkin, acorn squash, or delicata squash will also work in this recipe.

To make this recipe gluten-free, chose a whole grain pasta made with rice, corn, and/or quinoa.

butternut broccoli vegan mac and cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (1¾ lb.)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups dried whole grain penne pasta (8 oz.)
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • Fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Peel squash; halve squash and remove seeds. Cut squash into large pieces. Place squash pieces in a steamer basket in a large pan. Add water to saucepan to just below basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, about 12 minutes or until tender.
  2. Heat a large saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, thyme, and ¼ cup water to pan. Cook about 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Transfer onion mixture to a blender. Add squash and the next five ingredients (through pepper). Cover and blend until smooth. Pour squash mixture into a large saucepan.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli the last 5 minutes of cooking; drain. Add drained pasta and broccoli to squash mixture; toss to coat. Serve warm topped with fresh basil.

Comments (52)

(4.25 from 32 votes)
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Karole6 days ago
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What are nutrients values?

Connie Reilly1 week ago
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Can you use Yellow summer squash?

Josa Mendoza2 months ago
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OK this was really good. I did doctor it up a little bit though, I didn’t have any plant-based milk so I used a can of coconut cream. Everything else was pretty much the same I also added the franks hot sauce like some of the other readers commented. I will make this again.

Carol3 months ago
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Beautiful – the colors are radiant. I love Broccoli, I love Butternut Squash, and I Love Pasta! I am in the third week of a 6 week juice fast and I am adding this recipe to the list of those I will be making after my cleanse is over.
Thank you for posting it!

Sarah4 months ago
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I made this to bring to work and I like it. Added a little extra nutritional yeast and vinegar. The basil really makes it for me. I’m going to add chickpeas and eat it with a side of broccoli when I go to work.

Carol3 months ago
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I like your addition of chickpeas! When I make it I may add sweet peas, too, or maybe 1 inch cuts of steamed fresh green beans.

Maja4 months ago
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I was looking forward to try this recipe, but I must say I’m disappointed. The dish was way too bland, I was hoping for a deeper, more cheezy taste.Maybe with less milk and more nutritional yeast it would be better. But it definitely needs something to spice it up.

Deb4 months ago
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Thank you for this recipe. I wanted to try this because I love squash. It wasn’t a fantastic dish but it wasn’t bad either. It definitely needs some extra spice. I added some garlic powder, onion powder, and next time maybe some veggie broth while cooking the onions instead of water. I used the whole wheat elbows which is new for me also, getting used to that flavor. (my kids don’t like the wheat pastas). It made a lot for just me eating it so I froze some hoping it will be good later. I’m new to plant based eating but open to try most any recipe.

Wilhelm van Greunen4 months ago
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I made this and it was super delicious! I will definitely add it to my plant-based recipe collection. I used about 800g of cubed butternut (we use the metric system in Namibia where I’m from), and my sauce had the perfect consistency and clung to the pasta very well.u

Valerie Russell4 months ago
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Very tasty recipe. I roasted the cubed butternut squash instead of steaming it, and used oat milk. Yes, it is very saucy, but it is yummy squash puree, so all is forgiven.

Elizabeth Conley4 months ago
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Best vegan Mac and cheese recipe I’ve made so far. It made alot of sauce. Next time I’ll make twice as much pasta I think. A little bland but nothing some hot sauce couldn’t fix

Jane6 months ago
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I don’t think I’ll make this again. The sauce was grainy and didn’t cover the pasta, just sunk down to the bottom. I also had to add more seasoning.

edith6 months ago
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I love pasta, mac and cheese and broccoli, but I really don’t like squash. And sub suggestions or is it a bust for me?

Anna6 months ago
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It works well with sweet potato and potato mix or just sweet potato. Carrot might work too.

Diane Cutler6 months ago
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We love this recipe. I didn’t have broccoli so I used carrots instead and it is so good. We will be having this again and again. I have also shared it with other, even if they are not plant based.

K Boyd6 months ago
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This is not my favorite FoK recipe. I added lots more vegetables and some hot sauce.

Linda7 months ago
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Tasty and easy! I made a few modifications based on the reviews. I reduced the amount of oat milk to 1 cup, used a jar of pumpkin puree instead of butternut squash (lazy weeknight!), substituted lemon juice for the vinegar, and also roasted the onion, garlic, and broccoli in the oven. I topped the pasta with toasted pine nuts, a spring of rosemary, and chopped red chilis which added a nice spice. I’ll definitely make this one again.

Carol6 months ago
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Linda, what size can of pumpkin puree did you use? Thanks!

Sparti7 months ago
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Thanks for this review and all your tips! I’m going to try your suggestions 🙂

Christina8 months ago
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Easy to make and quite surprisingly creamy. It won’t replace exactly the flavour of what you expect from a mac and cheese but enjoying it as an alternative and being open to trying something different, this delivers! It was a bit on the sweet side so I added a little more white wine vinegar and some miso paste. A tasty and healthy alternative to a comforting dish. We will definitely make again!

Francine Shogel9 months ago
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It was delicious! Made a lot of sauce, so asking if can be frozen?

GP9 months ago
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Not made but will try for sure…could I sub low fat COCONUT milk/cream?

cathleen morris6 days ago
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The sauce was sweet and an unusual taste… I added a bit of Frank’s hot sauce to counteract but ultimately I ended up adding tomato sauce and it was actually very good, just not a Mac n cheese dish

EH9 months ago
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As someone who didn’t grow up with mac and cheese I really had no expectations and found this recipe to be better than anticipated (only roughly stuck to the proportions given though). The sauce was creamy and extremely filling (had it over leftover rice and steamed vegetables) and I didn’t mind the sweet taste of the butternut squash. I substituted the plant milk with a couple of teaspoons of cashew butter and water. Next time I will use lemon juice instead of vinegar. Thyme wasn’t at hand. Nutmeg might be good in this recipe. The only thing I didn’t enjoy so much about this sauce was the oniony aftertaste due to the onions being cooked rather than fried/sautéed.

MB9 months ago
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Wouldn’t normally take the time to comment but this was delicious! Will add more yeast and add salt at the table to taste. Creamy and nourishing!

Tina9 months ago
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This tastes delicious! Added less plant-based milk because it would have been too much. Was still plenty!

Colleen4 months ago
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I didn’t know what to expect out of this but it was better than I thought. I, like others, added more spice as I felt it was a bit bland. I also added more pasta too to have a better pasta/sauce ratio.

Sharon10 months ago
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Sadly, this recipe didn’t do it for me. Even with unsweetened milked, this meal tasted sweet and not savory. Also, it might be helpful to suggested squash quantity rather than “medium” as it I felt like there was too much squash.

I am never a fan when I have to throw out food (grew up in a family where this was a practically a sin), but this meal could not be eatened.

Peg8 months ago
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Wayyyy too much milk in this recipe. It came out more like squash soup with pasta and broccoli in it. That said, it was tasty. I would just use about half the amount of milk next time.

Kris8 months ago
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New to this, I knew it wasn’t going to be what I’m used to, but I do love my veggies. I felt it had way too much onion in it. Towards the end of my bowl, that’s all I tasted. I also think it needs another seasoning added to it.
Other than that, it was very healthy.

Marlo9 months ago
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I’ve made this recipe many times. Delicious!

Geana a Johnson10 months ago
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Love butternut squash.

Candice10 months ago
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This was simple to make but the flavor was a little too sweet for the family.

Sharyn9 months ago
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How many calories does this have per serving?

CJ10 months ago
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I really wanted to love this! I felt it was too much sauce to pasta ratio and it wasn’t a bold enough flavour for me, maybe with less milk would have been better and more nutritional yeast. Thankyou for the recipe, Nice to give it a try, just wasn’t for me 🙂

Didi Lacroix10 months ago
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Really yummy! I’ve made another vegan Mac & cheese before and it was not half as delicious as this one. Great texture as well. And I like that it incorporates broccoli, which includes a green vegetable.

Deb Lee11 months ago
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When is the vinegar added? I can’t se it in the instructions.

Hilary Thompson10 months ago
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In point 3 the instruction is “add the next five ingredients”, this includes the vinegar.

Sueathome11 months ago
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I made this and it is divine! I replace vinegar with lemon juice. I never use the yeast. It was superb!

Melinda W11 months ago
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This is absolutely delicious!!
Is the nutritional information available?

Angie11 months ago
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A very tasty and healthy recipe. Not too complicated to make. Great for taking to work and reheating too.

Mary Ciulla12 months ago
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Even when I was not a vegetarian or a vegan I put broccoli, or cauliflower, in my macaroni and cheese. I can’t wait to make this!

Kathleen Baas11 months ago
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Can’t wait to try this!

Corinne Krepel12 months ago
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Wondering if I can use frozen butternut squash??

Sueathome11 months ago
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Absolutely

Jennifer1 year ago
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Never thought it would be this good!

Jackie Heath1 year ago
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What a lovely, creamy dish. This dish was very easy to make, and tasted great, I will definitely make this again

Allyson1 year ago
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This was delicious! 10/10 will make again!

Marg1 year ago
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Yummy comfort food

Dannielle12 months ago
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This dish is delicious. I’m the only vegan in my household and getting my husband and kids on board can be a challenge. This dish is a hit with my entire family. Including my father who is a diehard vegan critic

Donna1 year ago
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My kids and I love this! I use elbow style macaroni and plenty of broccoli.

aram1 year ago
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I have no idea why broccoli is so good with cheese but it is – and that nutritional yeast always gives food a nice cheesy flavor!

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Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a vegan chef specializing in whole-food, plant-based cuisine. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of the Forks Over Knives: Flavor! cookbook, recipe author for the book Forks Over Knives Family, and recipe contributor to The New York Times best-selling book The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives magazine, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit darshanaskitchen.com for more.

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