Happy Kids, Inc: Not-So-Cheesy Mac 'n Cheese (Dairy Free)
Friday, February 27, 2015

Not-So-Cheesy Mac 'n Cheese (Dairy Free)

By Meg Hodson

Yum! Who doesn't love a good macaroni and cheese? It's something I fix in our house regularly and I am always looking for ways to reinvent it. 

I came up with this delicious version of mac 'n cheese a few ways. First, I always keep lots of veggie purees on hand in my freezer to blend into recipes like marinara sauce, pasta, and more. So, I knew my butternut squash puree would be perfect for a vegan, dairy free macaroni and cheese. 

Second,  I have been experimenting with nutritional yeast lately. What the heck is nutritional yeast, you may ask? It's an organism that grows on molasses and then is harvested, washed, and dried with heat to kill or “deactivate” it. Because it’s inactive, it doesn’t froth or grow like baking yeast does so it has no leavening ability. It's high in B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and protein. It's low in fat and gluten free. It's easy to find in the bulk foods section (usually near flour) and sometimes you can find it in the spice aisle (Bragg, best known for their apple cider vinegar, makes a nutritional yeast seasoning). It's often used to make "cheesy" sauces, so I knew it would be perfect for my dairy free macaroni and cheese recipe.

I tested this on my kids and they really enjoyed it! I hope your family enjoys it, too!

Not-So-Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound of your favorite pasta (I used large shells)
  • 3/4 cup pureed butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup pureed cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 dashes nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Boil your pasta according to directions. If you don't have butternut squash or cauliflower puree on hand, it's easy to make. With the squash, peel and dice the squash into cubes. Lightly toss with oil and salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor to puree. Add a little water if the mixture gets too think. For cauliflower, take fresh cauliflower and steam for 5-6 minutes. Transfer to blender or food processor and puree.
  2. When pasta is done, drain and return the same pot to the stove over medium heat. Add all remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Continue to heat for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add pasta to this mixture and stir well.
  3. Test taste. Sometimes you will need a little more salt to your liking.

Follow along:
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