A creamy mac and cheese with a hearty vegan twist! This luscious butternut squash mac and cheese is made with earthy, sweet winter squash to deliver a truly unique flavour that the entire family will love.
A vegan take on a classic mac and cheese, this butternut squash mac and cheese is creamy, filling, and easy to make.
This rich and creamy macaroni and cheese is made with a delicious roasted butternut squash sauce for a plant-based alternative to the traditional dish.
I make the butternut squash cheese sauce in a cast-iron casserole so it can go straight to the oven without having to transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Less washing up is always a winner in my book!
Even though it looks like a lot of work, making squash mac and cheese is easy. The most time-consuming part is cutting and dicing the butternut squash, but the recipe is a breeze once you do that.
What do you need for squash mac and cheese?
Pasta — Macaroni or elbow pasta is the best choice for mac and cheese, but any other type of short pasta will work just fine.
Butternut squash — Roasted butternut squash pairs great with pasta, and the final result is a sweet/savoury dish that tastes truly divine.
Plant-based milk — Almond milk, soy milk, and cashew milk are all great plant-based dairy substitutes for mac and cheese. You can't go wrong with any of these. I used cashew milk for this recipe.
Plant-based cheddar — I used the plant-based mature cheddar from Violife for this recipe. I like it because it melts quickly. It comes in a block, so you'll have to grate it yourself, but it's really worth the trouble.
Panko breadcrumbs — Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese-style breadcrumbs, typically made from white bread. They are crispy and have a more delicate flavour than regular breadcrumbs, and they're just the perfect topping for mac and cheese.
How do you make vegan butternut squash mac and cheese?
Start by preparing the butternut squash.
- Heat the oven to 200°C (395°F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Tip the cubed butternut squash into a large bowl, add the olive oil, season and toss well.
- Transfer the butternut squash cubes to the lined baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes until softened. If you'd like the butternut squash to be slightly caramelized, you may need 5 more minutes.
- While the butternut squash is roasting, cook the pasta and make the cheese sauce.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni 1 minute less than recommended on the package.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan (I use a cast-iron shallow casserole that goes straight to the oven) and add the flour once the butter is foaming.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture has coloured a bit.
- Start pouring the milk gradually while whisking continuously to avoid any lumps. When you've used all the milk, you should have a smooth sauce.
- Lower the heat and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, then stir in the mustard and cheddar.
- Add the cooked butternut squash and pasta and mix well to combine.
- If you're using the same pan for baking the mac and cheese, sprinkle the Panko breadcrumbs on top and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are golden.
- Alternatively, transfer the mac and cheese from the pan to a baking dish first and then proceed as above.
Extra recipe tips
- This vegan squash mac and cheese is freezable, so you can make a big batch and enjoy it later. To freeze, allow the mac and cheese to cool, then transfer to a freezer-safe container, label it, date it, and put it in the freezer. When you are ready to serve your macaroni and cheese again, defrost it in the fridge overnight and then reheat it for 2-3 minutes in the microwave until piping hot.
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
- If you're looking for more than just plain butternut squash mac and cheese, you can add vegetables like carrots, cauliflower or broccoli.
If you liked this vegan butternut squash mac and cheese, you might also like some of my other easy vegan pasta recipes:
- Vegan Caponata Pasta
- Vegan Pasta alla Norma
- Saffron Pasta with Lemon
- Vegan Spicy Miso Pasta
- Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Walnuts (Tagliatelle ai Funghi)