Make a “Cheesy” Diary-Free Sauce With Butternut Squash

For those who don’t like cheese or are dairy-sensitive, mac and cheese is a comfort food that brings with it some uncomfortable consequences — until now. As luck would have it, those who have to avoid cheese can bring mac and cheese back into their lives with a simple recipe tweak. Substituting butternut squash for cheese will allow you to enjoy a faux mac and cheese that reveals a surprisingly cheese-like flavor, minus the consequences. The sauce is savory, salty, creamy, and fantastic when tossed with pasta. The best part is that you can really over-do the sauce-to-pasta ratio and still feel good about it because it’s mostly squash. If you’re a meat eater, toss in some fresh bacon bits and you’ll think you died and went to heaven. 



  • · 2 cups cubed butternut squash 
  • · 2 small shallots, chopped 
  • · ½ teaspoon oil 
  • · ½ teaspoon salt 
  • · ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • · A crack of black pepper 
  • · ⅔ cup pasta water 
  • · 2 tablespoons margarine or butter 



  • · Toss the butternut squash into a steamer and cook until very tender.
  • · Meanwhile, sauté the shallots in a pan with the oil until tender. 
  • · Add the shallots and cooked squash to a food processor or blender,   along with the salt, garlic power, black pepper, and pasta water. 
  • · Blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible, about 3 minutes. 
  • · Add the margarine and pulse until fully incorporated and smooth. 
  • · Serve over 2 servings of cooked pasta.