Recipe: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheese”

Baked mac and cheese
Photo Credit: Loving it Vegan

October 10, 2019

Gretchen Lidicker is a writer, researcher, and the author of the books CBD Oil Everyday Secrets and Magnesium Everyday Secrets. She has a degree in biology and a masters in physiology with a concentration in complementary and integrative medicine. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Marie Claire, Forbes, and Travel & Leisure.

If you’re a frequent meal-prepper, it’s easy to get stuck in the habit of making the same bland foods every week. And while we love an Instagram-worthy salad, as the weather cools many of us are looking for something a little more, well, satisfying.

Enter: Alyssa Gagarin, a chef, personal trainer, and master of prepping meals you can’t wait to dig into during your lunch break. She describes her cooking style as “elevated home-cooking.” “It’s supposed to feel like real food but there’s a creative spin; there’s a little extra time put in to make something more exciting,” she says.

The Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheese” recipe below is no exception. It’s completely plant-based and also completely satiating. It really hits the spot on a brisk fall day.

Read more: How To Rethink Meal Prep So You *Actually* Start Doing It

Vegan Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheese”

  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:


  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup cubed butternut squash, peeled
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 garlic powder
  • 1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower, about 1 ½ lbs
  • Garnish: parsley, paprika
  • Optional: breadcrumb topping (recipe below)


  1. Heat a dash of olive oil in a small pot. Add diced onion and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add diced celery and carrots and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add butternut squash, cashews, and water — just enough to barely cover the butternut squash (approximately 2 cups) and bring to a boil. Salt the water with 1 tsp of salt.
  4. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend. Test by piercing with a fork- the texture should be soft enough to go through very easily.
  5. Transfer veggie/cashew mixture to your blender along with half of the cooking water.
  6. Add 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. garlic powder to blender.
  7. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  8. Pour the creamy sauce over cooked pasta and/or roasted cauliflower.
  9. Garnish with chopped parsley, a sprinkle of paprika, or crispy breadcrumbs (optional).

Breadcrumb Topping

  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:


  • Slice of bread
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Paprika


  1. Roughly chop a slice of bread (of your choice: I used a gluten-free Food For Life bread) and place pieces in a food processor.
  2. Pulse food processor until bread resembles crumbs.
  3. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan.
  4. Add breadcrumbs, a dash of garlic powder, paprika, & salt.
  5. Toss together and cook in olive oil until golden and crispy.
  6. Sprinkle on Mac 'N Cheese for crunchy topping!


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