This might be my new favorite recipe of 2017 (at least this fall). It's got all the best flavors for fall, plus its super comforting and warm. It is gluten free, dairy free, and can also be made vegan. But don't worry- it still honestly tastes AMAZING and even gets the hub's seal of approval!
Spoiler alert- I know I call this "mac and cheese", but the "cheese" flavor is subtle. But to me, it has the same creamy, comforting texture as mac n cheese, and has a little cheesy taste to it via the nutritional yeast. Trust me, its so good, you'll be craving this once a week from here on out!
Butternut Squash Mac-N-Cheese
Makes about 4 servings (with pasta) (sauce recipe alone makes extra)
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes
For the Sauce:
veg oil (avocado or grapeseed are my fave)
3 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 t Turmeric
dash of Cayenne
1/2 t Allspice
S & P to taste
3/4 cup unsalted cashews
1 cup almond milk (coconut milk works too)
4 T nutritional yeast
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
1 T Honey
For the rest of the pasta:
4 links chicken sausage (You can use links or ground sausage, whichever you prefer)
Sage leaves (for garnish- optional)
I pckg GF noodles (My favorites are the red lentil pasta from Trader Joes, or Banza chickpea pasta)
Optional Garnishes: Crushed Hazelnuts, chives, arugala or kale.
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or sheet pan with cooking spray. I like to buy the butternut squash pre-cubed because it saves me a lot of time. If you're starting from whole, peel then chop it into about 1 in cubes. In a large bowl, toss cubed butternut squash with a drizzle of vegetable oil (I like Avocado oil), 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 t allspice, a dash of cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread out over the sheet pan, and bake for about 20 minutes.
2. In a large skillet, add about 1 t oil, then cook the sausage (if you want this to be vegetarian, or vegan omit this step, or sub for vegan chorizo!). If you want to add any extra veggies, you can add them here. (I've added peas, zucchini, or sundried tomatoes, and they all were great).
3. When the squash is finished cooking, transfer to a large bowl (if using an immersion blender) or a blender. Add 3/4 cup unsalted cashews, 1 cup almond milk, 4 T nutritional yeast, 3 cloves garlic, 1 T honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until very smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the sauce, to the pan with the sausage. Then add the cooked noodles + about 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and mix gently together. If you have extra sauce, store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or just eat it with a spoon because its that good!
5. Serve immediately and garnish with a fried sage leaf, fresh herbs, and a side of greens.