Cozy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta to Warm Your Soul
Indulge in the Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta A Comfort Food Delight with a Healthy, Dairy-Free Twist
Creamy Dairy-Free Butternut Squash Pasta A Healthy Comfort Food
When the temperature drops, all I want is to snuggle up with a warm, comforting meal. And what could be more comforting than a full bowl of pasta drenched in a luscious, creamy sauce? Pasta, my friends, is the answer to all of life’s problems. It’s versatile, delicious, and oh-so-satisfying. Plus, it’s quick, affordable, and can feed an army. I mean, seriously, how can anyone resist its carb-loaded charms? (Spoiler alert: they can’t!)
But hold on a minute! As much as we’d love to indulge in rich, heavy pasta every night, our bodies might not appreciate the third serving on the trot. That’s why I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen to create a healthier version of one of my favorite comfort foods. Brace yourselves, because this creamy vegan butternut squash pasta is about to blow your taste buds away!
The “Gloriously Cheesy” Inspiration
Imagine a grown-up version of mac ’n cheese, with a decadently cheesy sauce cascading over delicate angel hair noodles. That’s exactly what inspired this vegan butternut squash pasta sauce recipe. It captures all the creamy goodness of the original dish, minus the gluten and dairy. And the best part? It’s unbelievably easy to whip up. Now you can enjoy your favorite pasta without the guilt, and trust me, you’ll want to make this over and over again.
The Quest for the Perfect Pasta
Let’s talk about the star of the show: the pasta itself. For this recipe, I’ve chosen Banza angel hair chickpea noodles. These babies not only have the perfect texture but are also loaded with protein and fiber. They satisfy your taste buds and keep you feeling satisfied for longer. But feel free to use any type of noodle you have on hand. Pasta is pasta, and it’s all good in our bowl!
Creating a Creamy Plant-Based Sauce
Now, let’s dive into the secret behind the creamy sauce. Brace yourselves for the magical duo: cashews and butternut squash. When blended together with dairy-free creamer and a dash of chickpea miso, these ingredients create a velvety, luxurious base that will make you forget all about dairy. Adding nutritional yeast, garlic, and vegetable broth takes the flavors to the next level, creating a sauce that coats the noodles like a dream. Oh, and don’t forget to reserve some pasta water – it’s the ultimate secret weapon for making the sauce extra silky and cling to every strand.
The Perfect Pasta Party: Toppings Galore!
Every pasta deserves a little extra pizzazz, a touch of magic on top. In this recipe, we’ll take your taste buds on a flavor journey with a delightful combination of crispy bacon bits, fried sage leaves, shaved vegan parmesan, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. These toppings elevate the dish to new heights while adding that extra touch of decadence. Bonus: you’ll have some leftover sauce that makes for a fantastic melted cheese substitute. It’s slightly sweeter but pairs perfectly with tacos, nachos, and more. Trust me, this pasta is best served immediately, while still warm and cozy. So grab those forks and get ready to dive into a world of deliciousness!
Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pasta
- 12 ounces chickpea pasta (I used Banza)
- 8 ounces bacon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 heaping cups butternut squash, cubed
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup Nut Pods dairy-free creamer (unflavored)
- 2 tablespoons chickpea miso
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Handful of fresh sage leaves
- Ground black pepper
- Optional toppings: red pepper flakes or vegan parmesan (I use Violife)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Drizzle the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast on a lined baking sheet for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
While the squash is roasting, place bacon strips on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until crispy, around 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to soak up excess grease.
In a blender, combine 2 cups of cooked squash, cashews, garlic cloves, vegetable broth, creamer, chickpea miso, nutritional yeast, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Blend until creamy, adding more vegetable broth if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot with the remaining water and gradually add the sauce until the pasta is coated to your liking.
Break the crispy bacon into small pieces and set aside. In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the sage leaves until crispy. Place them on a paper towel to drain excess oil and sprinkle with salt.
Serve the creamy pasta in bowls, topping it with the fried sage leaves and bacon bits. For an extra kick, sprinkle some red pepper flakes or shave vegan parmesan on top.
Enjoy your warm, comforting masterpiece immediately!
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There you have it, my fashionable foodie friends. A bowl of pasta that’s as cozy as your favorite oversized sweater. So let’s dig in and treat ourselves to some comfort in a bowl. Bon appétit!