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Recipe: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheese”

October 2, 2019
Baked mac and cheese
Photo Credit: Loving it Vegan

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

Meet the Make-it-Easy Masters
It’s easy to be inspired by women who do big, incredible things like starting their own medical practice, running a marathon, or writing a book. But we can’t forget about the small stuff, either! That’s why we teamed up with Youtheory to bring you the Make-It-Easy Masters series. You’ll meet 10 women who are doing big things while still making sure they get the little things done. They’re sharing tips, recipes, and wisdom on everything from meal prep to self care to natural beauty to inspire your journey towards good living.

Vegan Butternut Squash Mac & “Cheese”



10 min


30 min


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)


Heat a dash of olive oil in a small pot. Add diced onion and cook 1 to 2 minutes.

Add diced celery and carrots and cook another 2-3 minutes.

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.

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.

Transfer veggie/cashew mixture to your blender along with half of the cooking water.

Add 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. garlic powder to blender.

Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Pour the creamy sauce over cooked pasta and/or roasted cauliflower.

Garnish with chopped parsley, a sprinkle of paprika, or crispy breadcrumbs (optional).

Breadcrumb Topping



05 min


05 min


Slice of bread

Olive oil

Garlic powder




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.

Pulse food processor until bread resembles crumbs.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan.

Add breadcrumbs, a dash of garlic powder, paprika, & salt.

Toss together and cook in olive oil until golden and crispy.

Sprinkle on Mac 'N Cheese for crunchy topping!

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