Foodie Friday: Vegan Mac & Cheese with Butternut Squash & Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese (Dairy Free recipe)

Friday, 8 May 2020

Vegan Mac & Cheese with Butternut Squash & Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese (Dairy Free recipe)
It's the ultimate comfort food - Mac & Cheese. Few things hit the spot better when you're craving a big bowl of carbs and cheesy goodness and this recipe allows you to sneak in some extra veg as well, without missing out on any of the indulgence. Oh, and it's vegan too!

With the pasta shelves now being readily restocked by the supermarkets (hooray!) after the stockpiling madness of recent weeks, it's finally time that I feel able to share one of my favourite comfort food recipes to enjoy whilst in lockdown and beyond. 

I love everything about a classic Mac & Cheese but sometimes it can be a little heavy going, so this version includes some cleverly hiden veg (so it's great to share with fussy kids as you can't really taste it) and skips out all of the dairy to make it vegan. Don't worry though - it's still got an awesome layer of cheese thanks to the best vegan cheese out there - Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese. Seriously, if you haven't tried it yet, make it part of your next essential shop ASAP. It's a game-changer!

This recipe is really easy, as most pasta-based meals are, and it's also amazing heated up the next day for a quick lunch with or without a salad - I'll leave that decision up to you ;)

Vegan Mac & Cheese with Butternut Squash & Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese (Dairy Free recipe)
Ingredients (makes 3-4 portions depending on how hungry you are):-
  • 200g Macaroni Pasta
  • 150ml Passata
  • 250g Butternut Squash
  • Generous handful of Petit Pois Peas
  • 150ml Cashew or Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Dairy-Free Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic (peeled & crushed)
  • 200g Vegan Cheese of your choice
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper to season
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Cut the Butternut Squash into chunks and add to a baking tray with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Roast for around 30 minutes until soft and tender. Alternatively, if you find it difficult to cut up Butter Squash, skip this step and get some ready chopped frozen Butternut Squash to use instead.
  • Cook the Macaroni Pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, add the Butternut Squash (roasted as above or frozen), 50g of the grated Vegan CheesePassata, Almond Milk, Dairy-Free Butter and crushed Garlic, and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Next, use a hand blender or a potato masher to break down the Butternut Squash into the sauce so that you have a smooth consistency. Season with Salt & Pepper to taste.
  • Add the cooked Macaroni Pasta to the sauce. Throw in a generous handful of Petit Pois Peas and stir to combine. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and top with a layer of the remaining grated Vegan Cheese
  • Cook in the oven at 180C for around 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve immediately - enjoy!

Storage tip: Once thoroughly cooled, you can store any remaining Mac & Cheese in the fridge in an airtight container for about 2-3 days.

Vegan Mac & Cheese with Butternut Squash & Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese (Dairy Free recipe)
What's your favourite Mac & Cheese recipe?

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