So creamy you will never guess it’s a healthy, vegan mac and cheese! Use butternut squash noodles to keep it gluten and grain free and only 6 ingredients!
Sort of in shock.
At a loss for words.
Not even sure how it happened.
But, my friends out there in the interwebz, we’ve created mac and cheese.
Liiiiiike, without the cheese. Without the “real” noodles. WITHOUT ANY GRAINS AT ALL.
And, like the gluten free mac and cheese with zucchini noodles, it has HIDDEN VEGGIES.
Before you even ask. Yes, it tastes RLY RLY GOOD.
And it’s RLY RLY creamy. And velvety. And so lusciously smooth and basically perfect and actually tastes ooey-gooey and cheesy without the cheese and it’s even HUSBAND approved and oh-my-gosh-can’t-even-breathe-over-the-excitement-of-this-recipe-that’s-happening-right-here-right-now.
PLUS PLUS PLUS. ONLY 6 INGREDIENTS.
If I could type the “100” emoji, I would probably have inserted it about eleventy billion times by now.
You guys. The cheese factor of our cheese-less mac and cheese is SO on point.
I played with using nutritional yeast for the “cheesy” FLAVAH in both the “Cheesy” Vegan Mexican Quinoa and Mexican sweet potato noodles wrap. Which, I really liked. You really liked. EVERYONE REALLY LIKED.
But, can you blame me for being on a quest to take the reading on the cheese-less-cheese-o-meter from here to HEEEERRREEE? I mean, we can do cheese.
OR we can do CHEESE. <– You’ve read enough posts by now that I can say things like this and feel okay about you actually understanding me.
During my extensive, self-given food blogger homework (read: wasting half my life scrolling through Pinterest and telling myself that I am “working”) my brain has been alerted that APPARENTLY you can make cashew cream into cheese by ADDING nutritional yeast.
Ya’ll know how I feel about the thick, rich, toasty yumminess that is cashew cream sauce. We’ve had berry cashew cream no bake bars, paleo cookies pizza with cashew cream and even a gluten free carrot cake vegan cheesecake.
Basically, when we’re dealing with creamy swirls of silky, spreadable cashews…it’s TRU LOVE.
You know I had to try it.
HOLD THEPHONE YOU GUYS. How did I not know about this deliciousness, liiiike, forever ago. I feel like I’ve been doing your taste buds a dis-service by not creating every. SINGLE. Recipe ever to include some kind of cashew creamy cheesy thing.
I even nervously slid a plate in front of my lactose-intolerant hubster, expecting him to say something along the lines of “I’d rather just eat REAL CHEESE healthy mac and cheese and die a horrible, stomach-hates-me-death than eat your pseudo-fake-cheese-mac-and-cheese that doesn’t even have real noodles.”
Don’t worry. He’s not actually that harsh with his critiques.
But, “I don’t really like it” does usually sound a lot like the above in my brain.
BUT NOT ABOUT THIS.
Those words did not NEAR leave his mouth. It was more like NO words, and a lot of slurping, chewing and inhaling tender twirls of chewy, sweet spiralized butternut squash noodles enveloped in the creamiest, most delicious, fake-cheese-that-tastes-like-real-cheese sauce (with only 6 ingredients!) that has have happened to our dinner-eating-life.
Also: butternut squash noodles
Bold statement alert: I MIGHT even like them BETTER than sweet potato noodles.
We first discovered how utterly slightly-sweet and perfectly YUM they were when combined with warm spicy-flavor in the curried butternut squash salad. Those some lightly-sweet undertones show their tasty-little selves and add a level of complex flavor to this mac and cheese that makes it feel FANCY….
While also being one of the easiest things that your healthy-comfort-food-loving self has ever made in your entire cooking-dinner LIFE.
Fancy, easy food. It’s comin’ to a face near you.
Vegan Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash Noodles
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1/2 Cup Onion diced
- 2 lbs Small Butternut squash peeled, seeded and spiralized with Blade B. (This is about 4 of squash total before prepping, or just over 1 1/2 lbs once peeled and seeded)
- 1 Cup Roasted salted cashews soaked in water overnight (140g) * (read notes)
- 6-7 Tbsp Nutritional yeast to taste **
- 6 Tbsp Unsweetened almond milk
- 1 - 1 1/4 tsp Salt or to taste ***
- Generous pinch of pepper
- Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil up in a VERY large pan on medium/high heat, reserving the rest of the oil for later.
- Add in the diced onions and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown and soft. Add them into a high-powered blender (I used a Vitamix.)
- Add the remaining 2 tsp of oil into the pan, and turn the heat down to medium. Add in the spiralized butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are wilted and fork tender, about 7-10 minutes.
- While the noodles cook, drain the water from the cashews and then toss the cashews into the blender, along with the yeast, almond milk, salt (read notes) and pepper.
- Blend together until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. The sauce should be pretty thick!
- Pour the sauce into the pot with the cooked noodles, and toss just to evenly coat the noodles.
Recipe Notes*I buy my cashews pre-toasted. Toasting them is really important to add flavor to the sauce. If you don't buy them toasted, then simply bake the cashews in a 350 degree oven until lightly golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Do this BEFORE you soak them overnight! ** Mr. FFF and I couldn't decide if we liked 6 Tbsp or 7 Tbsp better. So, start with 6 Tbsp, taste and add an additional if you want more. ***This needs a fair bit of salt to really bring the flavor. I liked it best with 1 1/4 tsp salt, but I do know that I like my food on the salty side, so I recommend starting with 1 tsp, and then adjusting to taste once blended together.
FOR THIS RECIPE, I RECOMMEND:
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PER SERVING: SMARTPOINTS: 9 POINTS+: 10. OLD POINTS: 8
IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAG @FOODFAITHFIT AND #FOODFAITHFITNESS ON INSTAGRAM! I LOVE SEEING YOUR RECIPE RECREATIONS!
Want more easy, vegan veggie-noodle dinners?
Vegan mac and cheese from around the web:
Nourish Bistro’s Vegan Mac and Squeeze – Eat Spin Run Repeat
The Best Pumpkin Macaroni and “Cheese” – Making Thyme for Health
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