Vegan Butternut Mac and ‘Cheese’ with Smoky Shiitake ‘Bacon’

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vegan butternut mac and cheese smoky shiitake bacon recipe
Chloe Flavor

Did you know that roasted, pureed butternut squash lends itself perfectly to a silky vegan “cheese” sauce? We’re not exactly sure why (something about its sweet, salty, buttery flavor), but we’re not one to question such a wonderful fact of life. Top off your portion of vegan butternut mac and “cheese” from Chloe Coscarelli’s Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy, Vegan with homemade smoky shiitake mushroom “bacon” to achieve next-level deliciousness.


Smoky Shiitake ‘Bacon’

1 cup (4 ounces) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Mac and ‘Cheese’

5 cups (20 ounces) peeled and cubed butternut squash

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

2¼ teaspoons sea salt, divided

1 pound elbow macaroni

½ cup raw cashews

1 garlic clove

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

Smoked paprika, for serving


1. Make the Smoky Shiitake 'Bacon': Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with the olive oil and salt. Arrange the mushrooms in a single layer. Bake on the middle rack of the oven, turning occasionally with a spatula, until lightly browned and very crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and toss with the smoked paprika and garlic powder; season with salt to taste. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

3. Make the Mac and 'Cheese': Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a small rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the olive oil; season with the pepper and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Roast, turning occasionally with a spatula, until fork-tender, about 30 minutes.

4. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot, off the heat.

5. In a blender, combine the butternut squash, 2 cups water, cashews, garlic, rosemary and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Blend on high speed for about 2 minutes, until very smooth. Add the sauce to the pot with the pasta and toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the sauce is too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Top each serving with smoky shiitake “bacon” and dust with smoked paprika.

Nutrition Facts
  • Smoky Shiitake ‘Bacon’

  • 71 calories

  • 7g fat

  • 2g carbs

  • 1g protein

  • 1g sugars

  • Mac and ‘Cheese’

  • 646 calories

  • 16g fat

  • 108g carbs

  • 20g protein

  • 7g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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