Undisguised ‘comfort food’ with overtones of nourishment, my Baked Butternut Squash Mac N’ ‘Cheese’ with Hazelnut Crumble is a must-make make-ahead weeknight meal. Instilling those familiar flavors of cheesy gooeyness and warmth, but with an unprocessed and nutrient rich ingredient twist, this mac’s roasted butternut squash, cannellini, and cinnamon sauce, sneaks its way into every noodle, nook, and cranny so every bite is creamy dreamy perfection. Coupled with the savory crunch of a lightly toasted hazelnut and cinnamon crumble, I serve mine fresh out the oven with an extra heap of crumble for good measure.
2 pounds frozen butternut squash, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 box (16 ounces) macaroni pasta, prepared according to package directions
1 cup shelled hazelnuts, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Toss cubed squash, garlic, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil and bake for 20 minutes, or until squash is very tender. Transfer for a high-speed blender.
Add another 1 tablespoon coconut oil, cannellini beans, ¾ cup nutritional yeast, mustard, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg to the blender. With the motor running, slowly add the almond milk until mixture is creamy dreamy and pourable.
Transfer sauce to a large oven safe pot or casserole dish and toss with prepared pasta. Set aside.
Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees F.
In a food processor fitted with an S-blade, pulse toasted hazelnuts, remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil, remaining 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon until they form a coarse crumb. Sprinkle atop the pasta mixture, then place in oven for 20 minutes, or until pasta is warm and ready to serve. Increase oven heat to broil then broil for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until crumble is golden. Serve and enjoy!