This is a great kid-friendly recipe. The cheese sauce is butternut squash and cashew-based, which gives it a slightly sweet flavor. I typically put peas in this dish but have also been known to add broccoli, onions, spinach, or even a few mushrooms.


Prep time    20 minutes  

Cook time   40 minutes    

Yield               6 servings



  • 1 cup cooked butternut squash (or 1 cup cooked sweet potatoes)
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (for nut-free option replace cashews with ½ cup hemp seeds)
  • 1 ½ cups nondairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 ounces macaroni noodles (brown rice or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • Optional Garnish: ½ teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the cooked butternut squash, cashews, milk, cornstarch, nutritional yeast flakes, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a Vitamix or other high-powered blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and whisk until thickened. If you prefer it thinner, add water.
  4. Cook pasta noodles according to the package directions.
  5. Combine the pasta noodles, sauce, and peas in a casserole dish, and sprinkle with the panko bread crumbs and optional smoked paprika.
  6. Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

✏️ Tips & Hints

  • Using frozen butternut squash Is a huge time-saver.

  • It’s a good idea to soak your cashews for a few hours and rinse if you do not have a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix. This will help give you creamier results.

  • You can add other vegetables such a spinach or broccoli.

  • Try adding A Mexican spice blend to the sauce along with green chiles and red kidney beans to the macaroni – now you have a chili mac dish!