Thanksgiving is upon us and what better way to celebrate then creating two sides, smothered butternut squash and macaroni and cheese, into one amazing dish? This all time favorite side dish is filled with buttery, cheesy goodness with half the fat. Most importantly Ahnestly vegan! I was inspired by my fellow Maryland blogger, Nom Yourself, and incorporated her amazing cauliflower ricotta cheese recipe ( I know…WHAT?!)
1/2 packet rotini pasta
1 medium butternut squash, cut into chunks
1/2 cup cauliflower ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cashew cheese
2 ½ almond milk, plus ¼ cup
salt and pepper to taste
*Homemade Bread Crumbs Directions: I used Ezekiel sesame seed bread loaf and toasted 2 pieces on 375 degrees for about 20 minutes (10 minutes per side) or until both sides were equally brown and crispy. Place bread in a food processor and pulse until most of the pieces are crumbly.
Bring pasta to a boil and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside
In a separate pot, add 2 1/2 cups almond milk and cut squash and bring to a boil on medium heat. Cover the pot and cook until squash is fork tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you like a little kick and are from Maryland like me, add a dash of Old Bay seasoning. Occasionally stir the mixture, so the milk does not burn the bottom of the pot.
Add remainder ¼ cup milk, bring to a boil until thickened. Then, add both homemade vegan cheese and toss a few times to fully incorporate. Make sure not to over mix the mixture as it will toughen and you will end up with a very dry mac n “no-cheese” dish. Toss in cooked pasta and give another stir to coat the squash-cheese mixture. Transfer to a baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle some bread crumbs on top of the mac n’ no cheese dish. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot and for a little something extra on a bed of lightly dressed kale.
More vegan Thanksgiving recipes to come!