This recipe for mac and cheese takes butternut squash and turns it into a creamy, cheesy sauce. A bit of smokiness added to the sauce transforms takes it to the next level.
Smoky Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese [Vegan]
For the Pasta:
- 16-ounce package of pasta of your choice-
- Half of an onion, small dice
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped
- 1/2 cup organic frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, roughly chopped
- Parsley, for garnish (optional)
For the Sauce:
- Half of a large butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon chickpea miso
- 2 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
- Lemon juice, to taste
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lapsang souchong tea (or few drops of liquid smoke)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the ends off the butternut squash, and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and save for future roasting or discard. Rub the inside with a tablespoon of avocado oil and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Roast the squash for about 30 minutes, or until easily pierced with fork.
- While the squash half is roasting, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. be sure not to overcook but leave al dente, as you will be baking it in the oven for a few more minutes.
- Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Add the chopped onion and saute on low heat until the onions are caramelized, being careful not to burn them.
- To make the tea, boil 1/2 cup of water and add the tea, steep for 5 min and strain.
- Once squash is cooked and cooled for a few minutes, scoop out the flesh and add to blender. Add the tea, miso, brown rice vinegar, garlic, and nutritional yeast, and blend until smooth. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Add the sauce to the pot of pasta, along with the peas, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix well and add the mac and cheese to a baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds on top of the mac and cheese and bake for approximately 10 minutes.
- Optional: put the oven on broil for the last 2-3 minutes to get a nice browning on the sunflower seeds. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!