Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

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.


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (106)

(5 from 57 votes)

Recipe Rating

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C Powell

I used Kabocha squash and one cup of milk omitted the vinegar. Add extra nutritional yeast. It was very delicious. Add milk as needed 😋


This was wayyyy too sweet. We felt like we were eating “pudding pasta.” My son loved it, but my husband and I had to muscle through it. Won’t be making this again.


I make this often. I use a 12 ounce package of frozen butternut squash cubes (I cut the recipe in half for the two of us), and add mushrooms. The thyme didn’t do it for me so I use curry powder instead.


My changes include add half the amount of milk, roast a Kuri squash, roast a head of garlic and the best part: stir in roasted walnuts just before serving.


Can I make this without yeast and vinegar? Thanks!

Rebecca Waldron-Geranis

Yummy, but too soupy! I would add only one cup of milk instead of two. I used a whole box 12oz. of Jovial GF fusilli which has been the best GF pasta I have found to date. Of course I added a little extra salt and pepper! I wonder about putting some chili flakes for a little heat. Maybe next time!

Granny K

What a great recipe! Used frozen sweet potatoes, two 10 oz bags, cooked in microwave for recommended time. Everything else followed as written. Used julienned snow peas instead of broccoli, and love, love, love this recipe! I prefer this Mac and “cheese” version over the cashew one. I’m really loving learning to cook all over again with fok!


Found this recipe to be disappointing. Read the other reviews that were helpful, but the butternut squash was too sweet. It tasted better the next day, but I will not make this again.

Fatima Delgado

Delicious!! I added one more table spoon of nutritional yeast and instrad of broccoli i used spinach and extra garlic its delicious and healthy!!

Gabriella Durango

This is a great recipe, but I highly recommend you use kabocha or kuri squash instead. Kuri squash in particular has a lovely creamy consistency that will make for a better sauce. Also, if you have time to roast the squash instead of boil, I think it tastes better. I roasted my squash, added it to cashew milk as it was heating in a saucepan, mashed it (an immersion blender works well here), till it was to my liking. Also start with less milk than you think you'll need and add more as you go.

Paul Simpson Sr

My son made it for me and it was great!


Why won't this recipe print or any of the recipes from the email received from FOKs dated May 13, 2023 @ 11:08. "MOST POPULAR FOK RECIPES OUR TOP 25 FAN-FAVORITES"?


I used doubled the yeast and added vegetable stock tablets for a more "cheesy" taste, I also put the blended mixture back in a pot on the oven to thicken a little before adding the pasta and broccoli, it tastes great.

Amanda L

After reading the other reviews, I only added 1 cup of oat milk. That have me perfect clingy texture. It was a little sweet but after adding extra salt and pepper it was good. I'm at the beginning of my wfpb journey so hopefully after my taste buds adjust I won't need so much salt.


So yummy. I didn’t realize we were out of broccoli until it was time to add it, so I used spinach instead. It was great.

Linda Aikey

When I have too much of a soupy version I add some oatmeal, perhaps a cup ground in food processor. Then because of it being mac and cheese, more nutritional yeast. Then I sprinkle to taste between 1/8 to 1/4 tsp: sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, ginger, curry, dry mustard, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper. Lemon juice works for me too. It zings up the taste buds.

Linda Aikey

If you try this recipe again, add a sweet potato and perhaps less squash. The touch of sweetness is really nice.


BeautifuL!!! Thank you!!

Brian Rogers

Anyone know the calorie count for this?


This recipe definitely didn't do it for me. I don't know why I keep expecting miracles from vegan recipes. This did not taste cheesy at all. It's my first time using nutritional yeast as a "cheesy" substitute and I'll probably never use it again.

Dena O’Neill

I’m finding the recipes on this site bland as well. There’s a lot of vegan Mac n cheese out there that are super tasty. Just don’t expect them to taste exactly like cheese. Keep searching!


I always add Franks hot sauce- you can’t go wrong (I put that $h*t on everything)

Margarita Crupe

Violife Parmesan cheese is a great substitute for nutritional yeast. You could purchase it at Fresh Thyme in your area. Substituting the white wine vinegar with fresh lemon juice gives it a clean and fresh taste. At times when I find a recipe, I tweak it with flavors I like.

Thea Lesnik

Keep trying :) I find it gets better and better as your taste buds get a custom to good food :)


I'm a part time vegan but 2 of my kids are plus 2 grand kids. I've found the Non Fortified nutritional yeast is by far the best tasting. The fortified has B vitamins added and yuck, it's awful. Plus I don't call it cheese or Mac n cheese. For my non vegans this conjures up a certain look and taste. I just call it creamy pasta.


Used 1 1/2 cups of almond milk instead of 2. Perfect consistency and delicious!! Thank you for this recipe!


Was pretty good. Took others comments into account and added more nutritional yeast, used lemon juice instead of vinegar, added some hot sauce, used leeks instead of onion, but still a bit bland and soupy. Added some chopped Kale with broccoli. Needs something else.....

Chili Dave

It was pretty good. I did add more nutritional yeast and hot sauce.


Nutmeg and cayenne


How many cups of cubed squash would that be?


Can i substitute nutritional yeast or leave out all together?

Gail Fuson

Why can these recipes not be printable


It is. At the top of the article is a print/save button. Click on that and it will open it as a pdf. Hold your curser near the bottom of the page and a little box with four options should open. The last, the down arrow, is the download button. Click that and download to your desktop or downloads folder. (I'm using safari but it works in Chrome browser too. In Chrome in the new window that opens, the download button is the down arrow at the top of the screen.


That’s always annoying! They are printable from the app at least


And to print, in the new screen that opens, in Chrome there should be a print button and in Safari go to File at the very top of the browser bar, click that and then click print


Agreed. It's ridiculous. As to the suggestion in a reply to your comment, using the file>print function (at least in Safari) results in a ridiculously wonky printout with giant empty spaces, overlapping type, instructions cut off or left out, and having to figure out which pages you need because otherwise it will print the entire webpage (upwards of 30 pages of paper).

Candace Lamoree

There is a print recipe option at the top of the recipe. I just saved it as a pdf.


It’s printable- select print/save, then open in browser, then print like you would from your phone


Because my husband and I will be attending a Thanksgiving dinner and we are now plant-based, I'll be trying this recipe to bring for us. Glad I read all of the other comments as it'll give me a better idea for what to add and what to change. THANKS!

Sammie J

MAKE IT 2 WEEKS BEFORE, this is not a one and done! See comments about soupy and bland.


Made this last night using suggestions by other commenters. Doubled up on the nutritional yeast and only used one cup of milk. Added hot sauce and some Taijin seasoning. It tasted pretty darn good. I'd make it again.


THIS is so delicious! Honestly, I was doubtful but wow was I 100% wrong. I will definitely prepare this again!

Ami Ross

I followed the directions exactly, and it was WAY too soupy. Any suggestions for thickening it up so this whole batch isn’t wasted? Thank you.


You can always add flour to the sauce. There's also either cornstarch or arrowroot powder.


Just add more nutritional yeast. I put 6-8 tablespoons in my “cheese” sauces, along with plenty of sea salt, black pepper, a teaspoon of Miso, a heaped tsp or two of onion and garlic granules. For extra richness you can also add some soya cream (i use Alpro or Oatly).

Susan Packwood

Good! Really needed more salt and mine was a little too soupy . But I used peas instead of broccoli which would have taken up more volume. But I love butternut squash, so I loved the taste.


Trying it, looks good.


I really enjoyed this meal, and will make it again. As others stated, it was a bit bland. I did what one suggested and doubled the Nutritional Yeast. Then when I heated it to eat again, I sprinkled more Nutrtional Yeast, Onion Powder, and Thyme.


Pretty good! Play with the seasoning to ensure you get it right. I added a little crushed red pepper for some heat and a lot more “nooch”. I also added sage. That helped.


Have been wanting to find a good vegan mac and cheese recipe and this fills the spot. Easy to prepare. I used acorn squash as that is what I had on hand. It all came together so easily.


What are nutrients values?

Connie Reilly

Can you use Yellow summer squash?


They are two different types of squash so I'm not certain that would be a good substitute.


As a southern gal who grew up on yellow summer squash, I'd say no. The water content in summer squash is much higher than in winter squash.

Josa Mendoza

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.


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!


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.


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.


Chick peas is the move!Oh and playing with the spices. I like coconut and oat milk but someone suggested coconut cream. That’s what I used. Very good! Great recipe!!! Glad I bought that squash even though I decided not to make what I’d planned.


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.


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 Greunen

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 Russell

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 Conley

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


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.


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?


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

Diane Cutler

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 Boyd

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


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.


Thanks for this review and all your tips! I’m going to try your suggestions :)


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


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 Shogel

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


Not made but will try for sure...could I sub low fat COCONUT milk/cream?

cathleen morris

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


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.


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!


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


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.


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.


I’ve made this recipe many times. Delicious!


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.


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.

Geana a Johnson

Love butternut squash.


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


How many calories does this have per serving?


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 Lacroix

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 Lee

When is the vinegar added? I can't se it in the instructions.

Hilary Thompson

In point 3 the instruction is "add the next five ingredients", this includes the vinegar.


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

Melinda W

This is absolutely delicious!! Is the nutritional information available?


Making a roux to mix in with the butter squash will give it more creaminess. I also add nutmeg and a splash of maggi or liquid aminos for a better taste.


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

Mary Ciulla

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 Baas

Can't wait to try this!

Corinne Krepel

Wondering if I can use frozen butternut squash??




Never thought it would be this good!

Jackie Heath

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


This was delicious! 10/10 will make again!


Yummy comfort food


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


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


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!

About the Author

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About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects 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 and follow her on Instagram for more.
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