Cashew and Squash Vegan Mac & Cheese

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 servings


The magic ingredient in this creamy vegan mac & cheese? Cashews! They absolutely deserve a front-row spot in your pantry and in the recipes you use every day. When listing off all of the homemade vegan alternatives to cheese, cashews are usually the go-to because of their ability to achieve that creamy, cheesy texture (no need to have an industrial-strength blender either - all you need to do is to soak the cashews for about an hour to make them both easy to digest and to blend). The sauce base for this vegan mac & cheese is super simple: cashews, some liquid (broth, almond milk, or cooking liquid from veggies), nutritional yeast for that cheesy kick, lemon juice, garlic, tomato paste, and spices. With just these ingredients, you've already got quite the rich and creamy sauce, but there's still room for improvement in both the taste and nutrition department - so why not add a vegetable? Take advantage of the abundance of all kinds of squash varieties to jazz up this sauce. Just boil or steam and voila! Your sauce recipe is not only doubled in quantity, but twice as tasty too! The creamy cashew and squash blend is amazing on pasta, but also goes great with rice and grilled vegetables.

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How it's Made:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of
  • 2 cups of steamed or boiled squash (butternut, acorn, zucchini or winter) 
  • 2 cups of cooking liquid from the squash or almond milk
  • 5 tablespoons of Red Star nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons of
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups of whole wheat, kamut or spelt pasta (macaroni, penne, rotini, etc.)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Soak the cashews in a bowl of water for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain. Mix all of the ingredients except the pasta in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Season to taste. 
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until 'al dente', according to the package directions. 
  3. While the pasta is cooking, pour the sauce into a large saucepan and heat over medium. 
  4. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add to the sauce and mix well. 
  5. Serve the pasta is shallow bowls and garnish with cherry tomato quarters and chopped parsley.
Emilie Gaillet
Recipe By

Emilie Gaillet

Emilie creates healthy, and tasty recipes for PRANA as well as her own blog, Murmures. Her passion lies in the creation of recipes - from the chopping and stirring to the presentation and styling of her dishes.

Reviews

Awesome Written By: Dominic
It taste better than a real Mac and cheese. It's awesome