Mac & Cheeze with Caramelized Onions and Crispy Kale
This is the dream. Mac n’ cheese that’s jam packed with veggie-goodness. Mac n’ cheese that’s nutrient-dense and doesn’t leave you feeling totally full and heavy and yucky.
Mac n’ cheese without an ounce of guilt.
We’ll call her Mac n Cheeze—just out of respect for actual cheese. There’s a time and a place for the real deal, of course.
But when you’ve had a tough day and you really just want a big bowl (or two!) of ooey, gooey, creamy pasta, this is absolute perfection.
Plus, the recipe is super simple and really versatile. The sauce gets made in the blender and you can change up the add-ins depending on what’s in the fridge and what you’re feelin’! I’m pretty much always in the mood for caramelized onions and some greens, but I love the idea of tossing in some roasted broccoli and spinach, or black beans and peppers.
…just an idea for another day!
- 1/2 pound whole wheat penne
- 1 cup butternut squash cubes
- 1 small onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 kale leaves destemmed & torn into small pieces
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 425ª F. Toss the butternut squash cubes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.
Cook pasta according to direction on the package and drain.
In a small saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Slice onion into thin half moons and add to pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.
Remove from the pan and add the ripped kale leaves. Stir and cook until they start to crisp up, about 5 minutes.
In a high-speed blender, add the butternut squash, almond milk, nutritional yeast, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, garlic clove, salt, pepper, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne and red pepper flakes. Blend on high until thoroughly mixed.
Add the cheeze sauce into the pasta along with the caramelized onions and crispy kale. Stir together and serve!