Cashew Butternut Mac n’ Cheeze

I have perfected my mac n’ cheeze recipe!!! Terry and I were licking our bowls after eating this – we had seconds… maybe even thirds. Maybe there was absolutely none left even though I made a pretty big casserole of it. It is that good. And if your squash is already cooked, it comes together pretty quickly.

It’s ooey and gooey and although untraditional – I would consider it an awesome thanksgiving main.  I think this will be on our table next week for the big day!

1 medium butternut squash, roasted (**see note below)

1/2 of a package of shell noodles (I used Tinkyada gluten-free rice noodles)

3/4 cup cashews, soaked 4-8 hours

2 tbsp plain coconut yogurt

the juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

1/2 cup of frozen peas (unless you can score some fresh ones!)

1/2 bunch of spinach, roughly chopped

2 slices of gluten-free bread, processed into crumbs (or 3/4 cup of bread crumbs)

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350. Start by cooking your pasta. While the pasta is cooking, make your cheeze. Drain the cashews and throw them in a high powered blender along with the yogurt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and half of the cooked butternut squash. Be sure to reserve half of the squash. Blend your cheeze. I added some almond milk to help it blend and thin it out a bit. When there is 1 minute of cooking time left on your noodles, add the spinach and peas (only frozen, if you have fresh, just throw them in the casserole at the end). Drain the noodles, spinach & peas and put them in a glass lasagna dish along with the half of the squash you put aside. Add your cheeze sauce from the blender and mix it up. Sprinkle your bread crumbs on top and season with a bit of salt & pepper. Bake for 20 minutes and broil for 3-5 minutes.

**For the squash (prep ahead of time, it’ll make everything else quicker & easier)

Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the ends off of the squash and peel it. Cut it in half lengthwise, pull it apart, scoop out the seeds and discard them. Cut the squash into cubes and place in a glass lasagna dish. Pour on a bit of olive oil, sprinkle on some salt & pepper and bake for 45 minutes.

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