We’re big pasta fans over here at Panaceas pantry HQ. Affordable, versatile, filling, delicious, satisfying, comforting- the list just goes on and on. Our easy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese is all of these things wrapped up in one mouth watering bowl.
Being one of 5 kids, pasta was always a weekly staple in our household, and still is. It was always the same- tomato based, grated veg, cheese. I’m definitely not complaining, I really appreciate now more then ever how much my mum must’ve been over cooking for a big family, day in, day out, and that we ALWAYS got a hot, nutritious meal. We were so lucky.
It can get so mundane and I’ve found I/we tend to cook the same meals weekly because it’s just easy. Easy to not have to think about it too much and just get it done, because, lets be real, as much as I love cooking it can definitely be a chore sometimes.
I’ve really enjoyed mixing it up lately and trying out a few different pasta recipes. We’ve done cauliflower sauces, sweet potato sauces, spinach and feta stuffed shells, pasta bakes, cannelloni & lasagne- we’ve been a little pasta crazy if we’re honest. But seriously, who doesn’t love pasta?
We’ve made this foolproof cheesy pumpkin cashew pasta A LOT, in many different ways. It’s seriously nutritious with powerhouse ingredients like nutritional yeast, cashews and pumpkin making up the sauce. Excited to give it a try? Lets get to it!
Ingredients for Easy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese
- Pumpkin- a good source of potassium, beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals.
- Cashews-high in unsaturated fats, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc.
- Coconut milk- comes from the white flesh of a brown coconut- coconut milk is high in calories and essential fats.
- Garlic granules- simply dried garlic that has been ground down.
- Smoked paprika- contains vitamin A, capsaicin, and carotenoids.
- Nutritional yeast- adds protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and a delicious cheesy flavour. Be sure to always buy a B12 fortified nutritional yeast.
- Apple cider vinegar- contains antioxidants, antimicrobial properties and a is a wonderful digestive.
- Stock-adds lots of flavour to your dish, be careful to read the ingredients of your stock as they can contain some pretty yuck ingredients (MSG!)
- Penne pasta- we’ve used penne pasta for this recipe but you could use any short pasta you’ve got laying around.
Some easy substitutions for this Easy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese
This recipe is so versatile, and in fact delicious with many variations.
- Don’t have pumpkin? We make this with any combination of sweet potato, pumpkin and cauliflower. You can use all 3 vegetables or just one.
- No cashews? Chuck in some cauliflower.
- Cant find garlic granules? Use garlic powder, onion powder, fresh garlic or shallots.
- All out of coconut milk- use any milk you’ve got!
- If you don’t have or like nutritional yeast we love this recipe with miso paste too (see recipe).
- No apple cider vinegar? Lemon will do the trick.
- You’ve only got elbow pasta? No worries! You don’t need to use penne, this pasta will work well with any short pasta you’ve got laying around.
WANT EXTRA FOR TOMORROW?
Lets be honest, who doesn’t want that. I LOVE having lunch in the fridge ready to go, or else I’m a serial snacker. Turn this pasta into a comforting pasta bake by adding 1/2 a cup of grated cheese and 1 cup of veg. We love adding sautéed mushrooms, spinach or peas.
Excited to try our Easy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese? Here are a few other savoury recipes to try next!
- Crispy sage and cashew pumpkin pasta
- 20 minute chickpea cauliflower curry
- Vegan pasta bake. Spinach and feta shells
- Vegan smokey chilli beans
- Vegan panzanella bread and tomato salad
- Healthy easy vegan potato salad
We hope you love this Easy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese recipe as much as we do! We love hearing your feedback, so if you try this recipe please leave a review or a comment at the bottom of the page. Have a great day.
Cheesy vegan pumpkin and cashew pasta. YUM! A deliciously comforting, nutritious, filling, easy dinner to whip up that the whole family will love.
- 500g total of mixed vegetables- cauliflower, sweet potato and pumpkin, skin and seeds removed and diced*
- 1 cup (120g) cashews**
- 1 cup (250g) boxed (NOT tinned) coconut or almond milk***
- 1 tsp garlic granules****
- 1 l.5 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp stock or broth powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast or 2 tsp white miso paste
- 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 500g penne pasta*****
To serve; handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
If making the second day (optional) bake
- 1/2 cup grated vegan cheese
- 1 cup sautéed mushrooms, spinach or lightly cooked peas
1. Bring a 5L pot of water to the boil, then add 1 tsp of salt. Cook pasta as per packet instructions.
2. Meanwhile, bring a smaller pot of water to the boil, and add 1/2 tsp salt. Add pumpkin, sweet potato and cauliflower and cook for 20 minutes. Add cashews, and cook a further 5 minutes, then drain.
3. Add your pumpkin and cashews to a blender with milk, garlic, paprika, salt, stock powder, nutritional yeast (or miso) and vinegar/lemon juice. Blend until very creamy.
4. After the pasta has cooked drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.
5. Place the pasta pot back on the stove, over a medium heat. Add the veggie sauce and reserved water to the pasta pot and gently heat through for 1-2 minutes stirring regularly. Serve between 4-6 people, or if you have a smaller family, reserve what you don’t eat and place in the fridge. We love to serve ours with sautéed greens, mushrooms and fresh tomato.
For the following day:
Add pasta to a baking tray. Add veggies and cheese and bake on 180 C (350F) for 20-30 minutes.
One of the things we love most about this pasta is its so versatile! We’ve made this pasta so many times but in lots of different versions- all delicious.
You can use a mixture of all three veggies (pumpkin, sweet potato and cauliflower) or just one of the vegetables. Just ensure you have 500g in total. We have made this recipe many times using various ratios, 1, 2 or 3 of the vegetables and it always works great.
Coconut milk should be the thin boxed sort. You can sub for almond or soy milk but not canned coconut milk.
We used garlic granules, but you can use fresh garlic or garlic powder.
Penne can be swapped for any short pasta.