My kids were excited to try this lentil pasta with a “cheesy” butternut squash-based sauce. I think it was the bright orange color that made them think that maybe this was going to be like the boxed Mac and Cheese. What I think is great is that the recipe is actually dairy-free, gluten-free, incredibly high in fiber and protein and contains a heaping serving of vegetables. I eat this all the time.
I like using a legume-based pasta for this recipe, since these are so high in protein and fiber. And when you cook them and give them a bath in a delicious sauce, they have the taste and texture of regular pasta. Maybe with a bit more tooth. Okay, a whole wheat pasta. But still, good!
The sauce is composed of butternut squash, onion, nutritional yeast, some seasonings and coconut milk. It sounds weird but all comes together in the most magical way.
So creamy, so “cheesy” and delicious! You can also fold in some cooked broccoli or baby peas for some green color and even more veggies!
Butternut Lentil Mac n’ Cheese
1 lb legume pasta (lentil, chickpea etc…)
1 T. coconut oil
1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped
1 lb of butternut squash, chopped into chunks
1 c. water
3/4 c. coconut milk (canned, thick)
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
2 t. salt
1/2 t. chili powder
1 T. lemon juice
In a large pot, cook pasta according to directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a dutch oven or separate pot with lid. Add the onions and saute 5 min. Add the butternut and the water. Simmer with the lid on for 20-30 min, until the veggies are tender. Add the remaining ingredients. Let cool a little and then transfer to a blender and puree until it comes together into a smooth, thick, creamy sauce.
Pour the warm sauce over the cooked pasta and serve.