This post has been sponsored by American Beauty® Pasta. All thoughts and Opinions are my own.
This plant-based Macaroni recipe is made with American Beauty® Thick and Hearty elbows and a creamy butternut squash sauce that even cheese lovers will appreciate.
Mac n' cheese is a favorite dish for my kids, and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate more nutrients while making it dairy free so I can enjoy it too. With butternut squash being in season, it's the perfect base for a creamy, veggie-packed "cheese" sauce. Combined with 12oz of American Beauty® Thick & Hearty Elbows, it's a healthier comfort dish that can be enjoyed all fall and winter. American Beauty® Thick & Hearty Elbows are a new cut in the Thick & Hearty product line. Regular American Beauty® Elbows can be substituted if Thick & Hearty can't be found.
Simple ingredients are used for this Vegan Butternut Squash Macaroni, and they can all be found at your local Albertsons. Be sure to download the Just for U App to find savings on your favorite items.
Save $1 on any (2) American Beauty® Pastas
How to Make Vegan Butternut Squash Macaroni-
Start by roasting 2 cups of cubed butternut squash that has been seasoned with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You can either peel and cut a whole butternut squash or buy it pre-chopped to save more time. We're also going to roast 1 sweet yellow onion at the same time.
All that caramelization on the squash and onions is going to add lots of good flavor to the sauce. To give the sauce a "cheese" like taste, add nutritional yeast, some cashews for more creaminess, and a squeeze of lemon for brightness. To get everything going in the blender, I added ¼ cup of pasta water.
The "cheese" sauce comes out so silky in a high speed blender, and the American Beauty® Thick and Hearty Elbows grab on to all of that delicious butternut squash sauce. Thick and Hearty Elbows pasta is cut with a bronze die, creating texture to hold onto more sauce.
The macaroni then gets topped with toasted panko breadcrumbs and bakes in the oven to form a nice golden crust on top. Serve the Butternut Squash Macaroni as is because really it's pasta and veggies 😉 or as a vegan side dish for a complete meal.
I can't wait to cozy up to a plate of this Butternut Squash Macaroni and at least pretend it's fall here in Arizona 🙂
Vegan Butternut Squash Macaroni
- 12 oz American Beauty® Thick & Hearty Elbows
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Butternut Squash Cubed and seasoned with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- 1 Sweet Yellow Onion Sliced into large chunks, and drizzled with olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Cashews Any kind works
- ¼ Cup Nutritional Yeast
- ¼ Cup Reserved Pasta Water
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Panko Bread Crumbs Seasoned with salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cubed butternut squash on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Chop onion into large chunks and place on the same sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 25 min or until squash is tender. Once done, lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Boil a large pot of water, season with salt, and cook 12oz American Beauty® Thick & Hearty Elbows until al dente (10 minutes). Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water and drain elbows.
- In a small skillet, add a teaspoon of oil, ½ cup of panko bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. Toast until panko develops some browning, about 2 minutes.
- In a high speed blender, add pasta water, roasted butternut squash, onions, nutritional yeast, cashews, and lemon juice. Blend until a creamy sauce forms. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Spray an oven-safe dish with cooking oil spray and add cooked elbows. Pour all the butternut squash sauce into the dish and mix well with the elbow pasta. Top with toasted panko bread crumbs, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 min. Turn broiler on for the last minute to get additional browning on the panko crust.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for a couple minutes, and serve.
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