Whenever I ask my community about what comfort foods they’d like to be transformed into a gluten-free and dairy-free version, mac and cheese always tops the list. I don’t believe ultra processed foods are part of a balanced UnDiet lifestyle (and there’s evidence to back this up too). A nutritious mac and cheese alternative the perfect thing to satisfy those cravings and nourish ourselves at the same time. And this spaghetti squash mac and cheese is amazing!
Why do we all love mac and cheese? The answer is simple. Most of us were raised on it. It was the go-to convenience food of our childhood and likely landed itself as a staple in our cupboards when we first moved out on our own.
The Health Impacts of customary Mac and Cheese
So what is so bad about macaroni and cheese? Well, if you were to make your own traditional variety from scratch, it will be loaded with copious amounts of cheese, butter, sour cream, maybe bacon and glutenous pasta noodles. You can read more about the negative effects of dairy here and the dangers of gluten here. If you’re a listener, you can find this information in the podcast episodes Is Dairy Healthful or Harmful? Exploring Truths and Myths and Is The Gluten-Free Diet a Fad?
And then there is the stuff we were raised on, the stuff that came in those blue boxes, that had an endless shelf-life. Remember this commercial? I do, because people were always telling me I looked like that little girl.
For decades, Kraft Dinner was packed with artificial flavours and colourings that have a wide range of health effects, which are particularly damaging to children. Due in part to a widespread petition, Kraft made the decision to remove its synthetic dyes and while I certainly want to recognize companies for making positive change, that doesn’t mean that powdered cheese sauce is going to now be a health food. And, like many other companies nowadays, Kraft has jumped on the healthwashing train and added things like omega-3s and cauliflower to its product line. Again, pumping a product with synthetic nutrients or slapping buzzwords onto the package isn’t going to make it a health food.
My Version: Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
Since we all love mac and cheese, and since we can never have too many ways to prepare spaghetti squash, you’re going to love my mac and cheese created with spaghetti squash pasta. Now please keep in mind when you make this, it contains neither the mac nor the cheese. But it’s amazingly delicious.
If you want to ‘soup up’ your spaghetti squash mac and cheese, try one or more of these:
- Sauteed shiitake mushrooms
- Diced green onion
- Pan fry or bake some tamari-infused tempeh if you are the type who liked bacon with your mac and cheese
- Add a little homemade ketchup
- Serve with a salad or whole grain of choice
- Try zucchini noodles or any other spiralized veggie noodle you like
And if you really can’t take mac and cheese without the pasta, opt for a gluten-free pasta (or use half noodles, half spaghetti squash pasta).Print
Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
A delicious and comforting spaghetti squash mac and cheese that’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
For the pasta:
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
For the cheese sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1–2 Tbsp miso paste
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds or tahini
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 large or 2–3 small cloves of garlic
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- Pinch of dry mustard
- Pinch of turmeric
- Sea salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice squash in half lengthwise and de-seed.
- Generously rub open side of squash with olive oil and place open side down on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.
- While squash is baking, make your cashew milk by blending the water and cashews together.
- Strain out the pulp using a nut milk bag or strainer (if you have a high powered blender skip this step).
- Put nut milk and remaining ingredients into the blender and blend on high until mixed (if you have a weaker blender, or are using a food processor, you may want to mince your garlic first).
- Place the sauce in a pot and heat on low just until sauce is warm.
- When squash is ready, using a fork, scrape out the insides into your bowl. Top with sauce and sprinkle with paprika or cayenne.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 50 mins
Keywords: spaghetti squash, squash, dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free mac and cheese, spaghetti squash mac and cheese, spaghetti squash pasta, vegan mac and cheese
27 responses to “Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese”
Can’t wait to try this- dying to experiment with more squashes- thanks! And by the way, best typo EVER: “1 large or 203 small cloves of garlic”- made me laugh out loud! At first I didn’t think it was a typo, that you just really, really, realllllllllllly love garlic :)
Ha! That’s one way to make friends.
Oh yum. This looks delicious. I love spaghetti squash and raw cheeze (so glad I seem to tolerate nutritional yeast). Adding this to my list to try :)
Oh yum, this mac n’ cheeze looks delish! I have a spaghetti squash that I was thinking about using for this exact thing, but now I have the perfect recipe for it!
This sounds delicious Meghan! And I love that you used spaghetti squash as the noodles!!
Yay, spaghetti squash is yummy. :-) You can put any kind of sauce on it and get that pasta high, which is nice. I have a spaghetti squash sitting patiently in my kitchen waiting for some attention…better get crackin’ on this recipe – thanks for the motivation!
Going to make this on the weekend for our 5 day challenge! I bought a spaghetti squash 2 weeks ago but had no idea what to do with it :)
And now you do and it will be delicious!
I used to love my mac and cheese super cheesy and super creamy, so I will probably make a little extra sauce to pour over the squash. I have been attacked by the Halloween candy and now cannot resist a piece of candy or 2 whenever I pass the candy jar, so I am definitely joining up for the 5 days low glycemic to kick the candy cravings. This is my first challenge ever! Yay! :)
YUM!!! Putting this on my meal plan for this week — I have everything on hand except the squash :)
A meal plan? Care to share that gem?
I plan out my meals for the week — with a family of five, I have to do it. We had the spaghetti squash tonight — soo good — and I doubled it too. Of course, with a side of green smoothie (spinach, coconut water, banana, hemp seeds, and chia seeds).
That’s so funny, I swear I made something very very similar for dinner tonight, and I had not seen this post! I thought I was so clever for creating it!
You ARE clever.
Mac & Cheese was all I craved during my first trimester! I tried to keep it pretty healthy, and Naz even concocted a homemade version once. But, this one I gotta try!
Mac and Cheese … without the mac and cheese? LOL! Great idea!
I will definitely try that one!
One question, I am never too sure when a recipe calls for nutritional yeast if it’s brewers yeast (powder type) or Engevita (flakes)… what do you use in this recipe?
I use the nutritional yeast that is in a flake form- should be found in the fridge at a health food store.
I’ve made it and man it was DE-LI-CIOUS! The best comfort food ever! I would definitely not trade that one for a mac and cheese with mac and cheese :)
The only thing is that I didn’t find a spaghetti squash so I used a butternut squash instead and scrapping it with a fork resulted more in mash squash than spaghetti :)
Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!
OH MY GOSH. Megan, this recipe looked so delicious that I tried it, making it my first time ever cooking with Spaghetti Squash and my first time tasting/using nutritional yeast. WOW. The only problem is that I ATE the ENTIRE batch by myself over the course of 2 days…it’s seriously SO yummy. Thank you for an awesome recipe. I can’t wait to make it again when I have company over. :)
Made it, loved it and blogged about it. Thanks for another great recipe!
Made this today and it was so easy and so delicious. In the time it took to bake the squash, I had prepared the sauce and washed the dishes. This was so satisfying and was just what I needed. Thanks! : )
Love to hear that!
What can I substitute for the cashews? My sons is very allergic to cashews in particular and all nuts.
Have you tried using coconut milk or even oat, hemp, quinoa, flax milk? She really uses the cashews to make a creamy sauce; you can do the same thing without by thickening any of the milks above with starch and adding the rest of the ingredients.
I hope this helps!
[…] What does it taste like and how do you use it? Nooch has a cheesy flavor and is mostly used as either a cheese substitute or simply sprinkled on top of things to make taste better! Over the past few months, my wife and I have really only used nooch exclusively for two recipes. We have sweet potato fries at least 2 times a week and my wife discovered one day that sprinkling a few tablespoons on the fries before baking them made them so much better. The second recipe is one of my favorite meals from Meghan Telpner’s blog. It’s a healthy mac and cheese. There is no mac and there is no cheese in this recipe but it tastes so much better! This recipe calls for spaghetti squash for the mac and the cheese is nooch (as well as some other ingredients and spices). definitely one of my favorite meals and I would say I make this once or twice a month. You can find the link to Meghan’s recipe here. […]
[…] Healthy “Mac N Cheese” from Meghan Telpner’s blog. (there is no mac or cheese, check out the recipe!) […]