Butternut Squash "Mac and Cheese"

Venice, CA

Happy Wednesday!  I have been making this delicious butternut squash “mac and cheese” from my cookbook at least once a week for lunch and dinner for the past few months and am SO over the moon excited to share the recipe with YOU today!  It is absolutely delicious and so perfect for fall.  There is no doubt in my mind you will L-O-V-E this recipe!

I eat gluten and dairy free 80% of the time and try to cook at home as much as possible.  The reason is because I feel puffy, inflamed, and bloated if I eat gluten and dairy on a regular basis.  Following an 80/20 lifestyle allows me to look and feel my best while never feeling deprived or like I’m on a diet.  I hate feeling deprived!  I cook at home pretty often because this allows me to know exactly what goes into my food.  At restaurants, they could be adding BOATLOADS of salt, be cooking with bad vegetable oils instead of olive oil, or be adding MSG, dairy – who knows what else.

I do LOVE to eat out

Let’s not forget that I have an entire Travel App devoted to some of the best restaurants around the world, that one of my favorite dishes of all time is cacio e pepe which is loaded with gluten and dairy, and that I just ate my way through Italy (seriously did you see the amount of pizza and pasta I consumed?!) #Balance

I am obsessed with this yummy, nourishing, pasta dish which has the richness and creaminess of a real mac and cheese without any of the negative side effects!  It is total comfort food and makes the most amazing lunch, dinner or snack.  It tastes just as good the next day as a leftover!  I crave this and love that it’s loaded with nutrients AND flavor.  It’s really such a perfect dish for fall or a big group of friends!!!

I’m giving away an Instant Pot (this device has CHANGED my life and made cooking so damn easy) to one lucky reader.  All you have to do – is make my butternut squash mac and cheese at home by this Saturday and upload a photo to your Instagram or Instastory tagging @kattanita.  I will pour through all of the entries and be sharing ALL of them on my Instastory before choosing a winner.  I can’t wait to see how you make yours! <3

Butternut Squash “Mac and Cheese”
Gluten + Dairy free

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin
2 carrots, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 tbsp coconut cream
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups butternut squash diced (I buy mine pre-diced at Whole Foods!)
1 tsp dried mustard powder
2 garlic cloves (garlic powder also works)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use coconut milk too)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
16 ounces gluten free pasta (I love this kind, or you can use kelp noodles!)

Garnish (optional):
2 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 cup olive oil
Fresh thyme

Instructions:

1. Saute 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add the onions, carrots and a pinch of salt.  Sweat this down for 10-15 minutes – you want them to get nice and soft but not develop a deep color.  While this is on the stove, steam or boil the butternut squash in a saucepan for 15 minutes (or if you have an Instant Pot it does it in 5 minutes!!!)

2. Place the cooked squash, onions, carrots, olive oil, garlic cloves, mustard powder, coconut cream, almond milk, cayenne pepper, salt and nutritional yeast in a blender, and blend then taste. Adjust the seasonings as needed (add more salt or cayenne if you want more of a kick!)

3.  In a small saucepan heat 1/2 cup olive oil.  Combine the shallots and arrowroot in a bowl and then fry the shallots in the hot oil until brown and crispy.  Remove them from the oil and allow them to drain on paper towels.

4.  Cook the pasta to al dente (I use my Instant Pot and it takes 4 minutes!)  Drain the pasta and place into a saucepan.  Pour 1/2 of the butternut squash sauce over the pasta and stir to combine.  Slowly add in more sauce until the pasta is nice and coated.  Turn the heat back on and “cook” the sauce and pasta together, stirring constantly until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce.

5.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Place into a bowl and crack fresh pepper on top, then sprinkle with fried shallots and fresh thyme.  Bon Apetit!

Jessica Alexander Photography

Share this post: