If you guys haven’t already noticed, we have a thing for mac n cheese. I mean, let’s be real here, who doesn’t have a thing for mac n cheese? It’s basically America’s number one comfort food. Sorry french fries and hamburgers.
Back in February we released a classic variation of mac ‘n’ cheese that’s also Plant Paradox-friendly, depending on how you feel about white rice pasta. This version is actually more rich and comforting than our original, which is largely due to butternut squash’s dense & velvety flesh, soy milk’s full-bodied mouth feel, and – oh yeah – smoky seitan bacon!
Did we stop there though? YOU’RE DANG RIGHT WE DIDN’T. We also incorporated vegan cream cheese into the sauce for added richness, roasted garlic because GARLIC, and a touch of red miso paste & Worcestershire sauce for depth & complexity, which is often lacking in vegan mac n cheeses. Shout out to Hot For Food for the pro tip of adding miso to mac n cheese.
Oh, and I can’t forget the one cup of nutritional yeast! Hella nooch is kinda they key to any great vegan mac n cheese. By the way, on a note of too much information, don’t be shocked if your pee’s extraordinarily yellow after eating a bunch of nutritional yeast – that’s that high riboflavin content passing through your system. No worries though! It’s only vitamins.
Making this dish goes a little something like this: roast butternut squash, roast garlic, boil pasta, blend sauce ingredients, sauté bacon, mix together pasta, sauce, & bacon, then feast. Now, that’s something any home cook can do, right!?
We hope you guys enjoy this mac n cheese! It’s:
- Indulgent, comforting, and nostalgic
- Rich, velvety, and al-dente
- Deep with roasted garlic
- Complex with red miso and Worcestershire sauce
- Cheesy with vegan cream cheese and tons of nutritional yeast
- Smoky with seitan bacon
- Vegan with gluten-free option
- A 1-pot meal!
If you like what your tastebuds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese For Every Season
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese w/ Smoky Seitan Bacon
Soul-hugging mac n cheese with rich & velvety butternut squash sauce, complex with red miso & Worcestershire sauce. Folded in with smoky bacon for that extra dose of comfort.
- 3/4 pound pasta shells, traditional or gluten-free
- 10.5 oz butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 8 medium cloves of garlic, skins on
- 1 1/2 c unsweetened soy milk
- 1 c nutritional yeast
- 1/4 c vegan cream cheese (we like Miyoko’s)
- 1/4 c vegan butter (we like Melt)
- 1 tsp red miso
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 oz seitan bacon (6 slices), cut into pieces about the size of your thumbnail*
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
Crunchy Topping (optional)
- 1/4 c hazelnuts, finely crushed
- 2 tbsps nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp activated charcoal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place garlic on one cookie sheet and butternut squash on another. Drizzle garlic with just enough olive oil to coat. Drizzle squash with just enough oil to cover along with a heavy pinch of salt.
- Roast squash until it’s fork tender – 20-30 minutes – and garlic until the skin is lightly browned – 12-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package’s instructions; it should be tender with a fair amount of resistance to the tooth. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of their skins. Add to a blender or food processor along with the butternut squash and the rest of the sauce ingredients – excluding the bacon and 2 tbsps of vegan butter. Blend until sauce is smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Heat the same pot the pasta was cooked in over medium heat. Once hot, add in 2 tablespoons of began butter and vegan bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned and crispy around the edges; about 3 minutes.
- Stir in sauce and heat until it’s bubbly. Rinse pasta with warm water, drain, then stir into the sauce. Heat for a couple minutes until the pasta it warm, then serve!
- For topping, simply stir together all of the ingredients and add on top of mac n cheese.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pot over medium heat with a splash of soy milk until heated through, stirring occasionally.
*Our favorite type of seitan bacon is made by Sweet Earth and it can be found in a bunch of super markets.
*For gluten-free, simply use a gluten-free pasta and replace the seitan bacon with soy/tempeh bacon or omit it altogether.