Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash "Cheese" Saucego to recipe
A rich, creamy, cheesy sauce that’s simple to create, deceivingly healthy, vegan, and requires a secret ingredient that’s packed with nutrients and flavor. It is a delicious sauce to enjoy with your favorite pasta, or even with brown rice, lentils, quinoa, vegetables and tofu. This rich cheese sauce is a huge crowd pleaser since it’s so versatile and super tasty!
One key ingredient in this recipe has an impressive nutritional profile. It’s what makes the “cheese” sauce vibrant in color, creamy, and rich. It’s also an underrated food we all need to add to our weekly meals.
Butternut squash, although a huge pain in the ass to split open to get to the vibrant orange meat, offers sweet and nutty flavors that add a mild, pleasing taste when eaten by itself or added to different dishes. It’s most notable for the high levels of Vitamin A is carries (with only 1 serving, you get 100% of Vitamin A daily requirements). One serving also provides a healthy dose of Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Potassium. Lastly, with a nice boost of fiber, it helps lower blood sugar, blood pressure and weight.
Another recipe that we love to eat in the fall and winter is butternut squash soup. The vegan version of Butternut Squash Soup I make is nourishing and created with whole food ingredients to help keep you healthy during colder months.
An ingredient not often seen in non-vegan recipes but used frequently in vegan dishes is nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is also naturally dairy-free and gluten-free, making it an easy food source for those with those specific food allergies. It has no sugar or soy, is very low in fat, and is high in B vitamins (specifically B-12), minerals, and good quality protein.
I love this Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning – it has a natural nutty, cheesy flavor, which makes it a great option for cheese flavor for those who are vegan or can’t tolerate dairy. It comes in flake-form and can be easily sprinkled on a variety of foods like popcorn, eggs, salads, soups, and more. Of course, I also use it in vegan cheese recipes.
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil
- ½ large red onion - peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1¼ cups vegetable broth
- 3½ cups cooked butternut squash - about 1 large butternut squash (see note for cooking tips)
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon salt - or salt to taste (see note)
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1¼ cups cashew milk or coconut cream - see note
- 12 oz. cooked pasta of choice
- Heat avocado oil in a large pot on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Add red onion and cook, without stirring, for about 3-4 minutes. Then, stir occasionally until onions are slightly brown and caramelized.
- To the pot, add garlic and stir for one minute.
- Next, add broth, squash, nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, lemon juice, salt, thyme, and pepper. Stir.
- Reduce heat to low and let slow simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Stir in cashew milk, turn the heat off, and let mixture cool.
- Using an immersion blender (or food processor or powerful blender), mix everything together until it’s well combined and becomes completely smooth.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Stir together sauce and pasta in a large bowl. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- To cook butternut squash, preheat oven to 375F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds/strings. Place butternut squash skin side down on sheet pat. Brush avocado oil on the top and roast in the oven until squash is fork-tender, about 60-80 minutes, depending on size of squash.