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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 tsp. sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp. 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 (31)

(4.38 from 21 votes)
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Christina3 weeks 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 Shogel2 months ago
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It was delicious! Made a lot of sauce, so asking if can be frozen?

GP2 months ago
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Not made but will try for sure…could I sub low fat COCONUT milk/cream?

EH2 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.

MB2 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!

Tina2 months ago
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This tastes delicious! Added less plant-based milk because it would have been too much. Was still plenty!

Sharon3 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.

Peg1 month 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.

Kris1 month 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.

Marlo2 months ago
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I’ve made this recipe many times. Delicious!

Geana a Johnson3 months ago
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Love butternut squash.

Candice3 months ago
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This was simple to make but the flavor was a little too sweet for the family.

Sharyn2 months ago
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How many calories does this have per serving?

CJ3 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 Lacroix3 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 Lee4 months ago
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When is the vinegar added? I can’t se it in the instructions.

Hilary Thompson3 months ago
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In point 3 the instruction is “add the next five ingredients”, this includes the vinegar.

Sueathome4 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 W4 months ago
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This is absolutely delicious!!
Is the nutritional information available?

Angie4 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 Ciulla5 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 Baas4 months ago
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Can’t wait to try this!

Corinne Krepel5 months ago
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Wondering if I can use frozen butternut squash??

Sueathome4 months ago
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Absolutely

Jennifer6 months ago
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Never thought it would be this good!

Jackie Heath6 months 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

Allyson6 months ago
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This was delicious! 10/10 will make again!

Marg6 months ago
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Yummy comfort food

Dannielle5 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

Donna6 months ago
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My kids and I love this! I use elbow style macaroni and plenty of broccoli.

aram6 months 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

Darshana Thacker is chef and culinary project manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com for more.

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