Nothing says comfort food like Mac-and-cheese! However, if you are like my family, you try to stay dairy-free, or at least avoid a tub of cheese, cream, and butter (moo!).
With Thanksgiving coming up right around the corner, this is my go-to recipe for the comfort, without the guilt and heaviness of traditionsl, Mac-and-cheese. The good ole’ butternut squash fits in just fine (even better if you ask me)! It gives it a bit of sweetness too, that tastes like Thanksgiving.
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks (9-10 cups)
1 clove of garlic, peeled
3 teaspoons coconut oil
1 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
12 ounces dried pasta
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, gluten free if necessary (we made our own by toasting stake bread in the oven with salt and pepper, then processing it to fine crumbs in a blender or food processor).
2 tablespoons earth balance or butter
2 tablespoons dried rosemary for topping
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cubed butternut squash and garlic clove on large sheet pan and toss with coconut oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bake butternut squash until fork tender, about 50 minutes.
Remove squash from oven and allow to cool. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, add the roasted butternut squash, dried sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, onion powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and almond milk to a blender and blend until you have a creamy sauce. I did a 1/2 cup of milk at a time, till reached my desired consistency.
Drain the pasta, and then add the butternut squash sauce to the pasta in the pan. Pour mixture into a large backing dish (about 9×11). Use a spoon to smooth out the top. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Once butter is melted, add the bread crumbs and sage and stir until combined. Evenly top the mac-and-squash with the bread crumbs and bake until heated through and topping is crispy, about 25-30 minutes. You can omit the bread crumb topping, and it will still be delicious! Enjoy!
*Recipe inspired by shelikesfood.com