I love Mac and cheese there is no denying it. If I see it on the menu either Todd or I will order some, that is a given. So when I had a major craving for some comfort food I went to thinking about Mac and cheese. My body does best without dairy in it, so I wanted to create a Mac and cheese plant based version, so that I didn’t have to deal with the effects of what happens to my body when I consume dairy. I will spare you the details.
So I got to experimenting with a butternut squash “cheese sauce.” And boy was it the best experiment I have done in quite some time. Here is what I used for my “cheese sauce.”
- Butternut squash
- Avocado oil
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable broth
You want to first saute your onions in a pot with some avocado oil for about 5-7 minutes or until they are nice and caramelized. Then add in your chopped carrot, butternut squash, fresh sage, garlic, and seasoning and cook for a few minutes or until fragrant. Then add in your vegetable broth along with your cashews and bring to a boil. Once your vegetables are fork tender you want to lower the heat and carefully transfer to a blender. I strained my vegetables but reserved the liquid and added 1 tbsp at a time until I reached my desired thickness for sauce. If you add too much liquid you can add in some almond flour to thicken up the sauce, but this step is only if your sauce is too thin.
You then want to prepare your pasta according to package, drain the pasta, and add your sauce to the cooked pasta. Set this aside and prepare your sage and almond meal crumble.
What you’ll need for the crumble includes:
- Almond meal
- Vegan butter or olive oil
- Minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simply add all these ingredients to a small pan, mix, and stir frequently for a couple minutes.
Then spray your ramekins with some avocado oil, add some of the mac and cheese to each one, top with crumble, and bake 350 for 20 minutes. Serve warm with fresh sage on top.
These are perfect for meal prepping ahead of time and on the night you are going to enjoy that is when you can bake. If you have any leftovers just store in an airtight container and you can reheat the next day.
Plant based Mac n cheese
- 1 medium sized butternut squash peeled and chopped
- 1 carrot
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped sage
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup diced yellow onions
- 1/2-3/4 cup of vegetable broth
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2-3 Tbsp almond flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter or sub olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Sauté your onion and sage with avocado oil for a few minutes.
- Add in chopped carrot, chopped butternut squash, garlic, and vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Carefully add everything to blender along with 2-3 Tbsp almond flour. * if you want your sauce to be thick strain some of the broth before blending*
- Cook jovial gluten free brown rice pasta according to package. Drain and place pack in pot.
- Heat over medium low heat for a few minutes.
- Pour sauce (I added about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce) in the pot with pasta, mix, add to greased ramekins, add topping, and bake 350 for 20 minutes.