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Butternut and “Bacon” Vegan Mac and Cheese

butternut squash vegan mac and cheese recipe with vegan bacon

This easy Butternut and “Bacon” Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe is one of my favorite weeknight dinners. It’s meaty, cheesy, and not-so-secretly packed with lots of plant-based goodness!

I use frozen butternut squash (no chopping required!) nutritional yeast and spices to create a silky, veggie cheese sauce that perfectly coats each and every noodle.

but it doesn’t stop there. I’ve included a savory tempeh and mushroom bacon topping that gives this cheesy vegan mac and cheese tons of rich, hearty flavor.

Whether you’re interested in Meatless Monday or you’re a fellow vegan like me, this Butternut and “Bacon” Vegan Mac and Cheese is sure to satisfy!

butternut squash vegan mac and cheese recipe with vegan bacon

This recipe is from a collection of exclusive recipes featured in my virtual vegan cooking class called Quick + Easy Vegan Cooking.

My class offers 25 videos, exclusive recipes, budget friendly tips on stocking your pantry, meal prepping, and making fancy vegan desserts like my 3 Layer Special Occassion Cake.

Click here to learn more about my $29 vegan cooking class: https://ioa.pxf.io/c/2607796/973115/12764

Watch me make this mac and cheese here 👆
vegan mac and cheese with butternut squash, nutritional yeast, and mushroom tempeh bacon

Butternut and “Bacon” Vegan Mac and Cheese

Nicole Vranjican
Plant-based mac and cheese sauce made with butternut squash, nutritonal yeast, onion powder, and spices tossed with macaroni and baked with tempeh-mushroom bacon bits for a meaty, cheesy, vegan version of classic mac and cheese.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz short pasta noodles like fussili or shells

Mac and Cheese Sauce

  • 2 cups frozen butternut squash
  • 1 large cooked carrot
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3-5 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup almond or soy milk unsweetened
  • 3/4 cups pasta cooking water water the pasta cooked in
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheese

"Bacon" Topping

  • 1 pint button mushrooms white or cremini work well
  • 5 slices tempeh bacon I use Light Life
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

Garnish (optional but yum)

  • parsley, scallions, or chives for serving

Instructions
 

Prep

  • Cover the raw cashews in boiling water and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
    Then preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • While the cashews soak, clean the mushrooms and add to a food processor with the tempeh bacon.
    Pulse in a food processor until finely chopped (about the size of bacon bits)
    Set aside.
  • Then set a large, wide frying pan (without oil) to medium-high heat and add in the mushrooms and tempeh bacon.
    Cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to encourage browning.
    Then add in a tbsp of avocado oil and season generously with garlic powder, smoked paprika and cook for 5 minutes.
    Set aside.

Make the Pasta

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a big pinch of salt and stir in the pasta.
    Tip: use an oven safe pot so that you can put it straight in the oven to melt the cheese later on without having to dirty another dish!

Make the Sauce

  • While the noodles cook, drain the cashews and add them to the blender with the butternut squash, carrot, spices, nutritional yeast, and plant milk. 
    Then carefully ladle out 3/4 cup of the water the noodles are cooking in and allow it to cool slightly. Then add it to the blender and blend until very smooth and creamy.

Assemble

  • Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Add the sauce and vegan cheddar cheese and mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired (remember the bacon topping will also be a little salty)
    Then top with the bacon mixture and an extra sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 10 minutes to melt the cheese and then garnish with chopped scallions or chives.
    Serve warm and enjoy!

If you like this recipe please leave a comment and rate this post below! And if you’re on Instagram, tag me in a pic so I can see your recreation! @nikkivegan  

For more free vegan recipes, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel here.

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Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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