This Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is SO creamy, packed with flavor, and a truly filling dinner to enjoy during Fall! With roasted butternut squash and a creamy sauce made with NO cashews or coconut milk, it truly is the best butternut squash pasta!
While I've created my fair share of vegan pasta dishes, this is the first vegan mac and cheese to make it to the blog.
Thanks to the use of tapioca starch, we get that stretchy cheese consistency while the roasted & blended butternut squash creates the creamiest sauce!
Ingredient & substitution notes:
- Butternut Squash: I prefer to buy a whole butternut squash, peel it, de-seed it, and dice it before roasting. However, to save a lot of prep time you can use prep-cut butternut squash!
- Tapioca starch/flour: This ingredient is CRUCIAL to get that true "stretchy" consistency you expect from cheese (it's actually what I use in my homemade vegan mozzarella too!)
- If you can't find tapioca starch, you can omit it and still have a creamy sauce or substitute it with cornstarch if you want a thicker, but not stretchy, cheese sauce.
- Sage: I like using dried sage for roasting the butternut squash and like adding fried sage on top. However, this is totally optional and can be omitted or substituted with another herb if you don't like the flavor.
- Pasta: My favorite shape to use for this dish is the medium-sized pasta shells as I feel they really hold the sauce the best. However, any shape of pasta works.
How to make vegan butternut squash pasta
Roast the butternut squash & cook the pasta
If using whole butternut squash, start by peeling off the outer skin, removing the seeds from the center of the squash, and cutting the squash into cubes. It should make anywhere from 5 ½ to 6 cups of squash.
Then, add the diced butternut squash, avocado oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried sage to a tray. Mix together until coated. Then, roast the squash for 30-35 minutes at 400F.
While the squash is roasting, cook the pasta according to the package instructions, strain, and set aside.
Make the butternut squash sauce
Take 1 ½ cups of the roasted butternut squash and blend it with 1 ½ cups of oat milk to create a creamy sauce. Set aside.
Then, add the vegan butter and minced garlic to a saucepan and saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Next mix in the blended butternut squash and oat milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and Dijon mustard. Stir and cook together for 1-2 minutes.
Once mixed, add in the tapioca slurry (1 Tablespoon tapioca flour mixed with 2 Tablespoons water). Immediately stir it into the sauce until it gets a thick and stretchy consistency.
Combine & serve!
Remove the pan of sauce from the heat and add in the cooked pasta and remaining cubes of roasted butternut squash.
Serve as is, or add fried sage on top for a fancy and delicious twist!
FAQ & Tips:
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Definitely! The only ingredient you'll need to swap is gluten-free pasta in place of the pasta shlls. Otherwise, all of the remaining ingredients are naturally gluten-free!
How do I store vegan butternut squash pasta?
Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop until warmed throughout to enjoy!
How do I serve this dish?
Personally, I love eating this vegan butternut squash mac and cheese all on its own for dinner!
However, if you're looking for more protein, you can serve it alongside my Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu. If you're looking for more veggies serve it with a side of my Spicy Lime Broccolini or Miso Glazed Brussel Sprouts!
I can't wait for you to try this creamy & delicious Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese! It's packed with flavor and is the perfect cozy dinner to enjoy all Autumn long. Enjoy!
More cozy vegetarian pasta recipes you will love:
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Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 12 ounces dried pasta cooked according to package instructions
Roasted Butternut Squash:
- 5 ½-6 cups cubed butternut squash *depending on size of squash
- 3 Tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Butternut Squash Sauce:
- fried sage
Roast the butternut squash & cook pasta
- Preheat the oven to 400F and cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, roast the butternut squash. Peel the butternut squash, remove and discard the inner seeds, and cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Then, add the butternut squash, avocado oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried sage to a baking tray. Use your hands or a spatula to mix everything together until the butternut squash is coated.
- Add the tray of butternut squash to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Make the butternut squash sauce
- Remove the roasted butternut squash from the oven and let cool slightly. Then, add 1 ½ cups of the roasted squash and the oat milk to a blender. Blend together until smooth and set aside for later.
- Add the vegan butter to a saucepan and melt over medium heat. Once melted, add in the minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Pour the blended butternut squash into the saucepan along with the nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, and salt. Mix and cook together until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Mix the tapioca starch/flour and water together in a small bowl to create the slurry. Then, pour it into the pan and mix into the sauce ingredients.
- Continue cooking the sauce, stirring consistently, for about 2 minutes until it begins to get a thick and stretchy consistency.
- Remove the pan of butternut squash sauce from the heat and add in the cooked pasta and remaining roasted butternut squash.
- Stir everything together and serve as is or top with fried sage. Enjoy!
- Prep time can be cut down substantially by buying pre-cut butternut squash.
- Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop until warmed throughout to enjoy!