Recipes & DIY

Creamy Butternut Vegan Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese may be the ultimate comfort food. Gooey, creamy, and oh-so-filling, it’s perhaps one of the most loved dishes in our country. But it’s often filled with highly inflammatory ingredients, such as gluten and dairy, and typically contains loads of chemicals—especially the boxed versions. And while you absolutely should avoid these ingredients for better health, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your favorite comfort food—especially when there’s an alternative: my Creamy Butternut Vegan Mac and Cheese!

Featuring all the flavor you know and love, this gluten– and dairy-free mac and cheese dish is one you don’t have to feel guilty about! It contains health-promoting ingredients such as butternut squash, onion, garlic, pepper, coconut cream, and gluten-free pasta. Just how health-promoting are they? I’m so glad you asked!

A 2016 meta-analysis revealed that consuming the antioxidants found in butternut squash was linked to a significant decrease in the risk of pancreatic cancer. [1

Furthermore, the onions in this Creamy Butternut Vegan Mac and Cheese contain anti-inflammatory compounds and are full of the antioxidant quercetin. Interestingly, studies have found that quercetin actually can help relax the airway, providing relief of asthma symptoms. [2]

Finally, the garlic in this dish isn’t just for flavor. In fact, if you’re looking for a quick and tasty immune boost, garlic should be one of your top go-to foods. One study revealed that when participants supplemented every day with garlic for a period of 12 weeks, they experienced significantly fewer colds. Moreover, the group who took the garlic saw a reduced length of cold symptoms by approximately 70 percent (only 1.5 days of symptoms versus 5 days). [3]

The best part about this dish? It’s so delicious, you’ll never miss the old standard. So, let’s get cooking!


Creamy Butternut Vegan Mac and Cheese

Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


Butternut vegan mac and cheese - Dr. Pingel



1 bag (16 ounces) frozen butternut squash or kabocha squash

¼-⅓ white onion, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (optional)

¼ cup coconut cream (or 1 tablespoon nut milk, plus more as needed)

Gluten-free brown rice pasta noodles, cooked



1. Steam the butternut squash, onion, and garlic.

2. In a high-speed blender, combine the squash and onion mixture with the remaining ingredients, except the noodles.

Butternut vegan mac and cheese - Dr. Pingel

3. In a large bowl, place the noodles and vegan cheese mixture. Stir to combine. 

Butternut vegan mac and cheese - Dr. Pingel

4. Divide into four separate bowls, serve, and enjoy!

Butternut vegan mac and cheese - Dr. Pingel

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