Hokkaido Squash "Mac&Cheese" with Swiss Chard

November 3, 2011 8 Comments

I was going to post this recipe before I went to Tuscany to visit my amazing Tuscan food blogger friend, Giulia with two other food lovers: Regula and Karin. I got very busy before the journey so I didn’t have time to write the post. The funny thing is that this morning, Giulia posted a very similar recipe, an autumn pumpkin mac&cheese dishย on her blog.

I made a vegan version of this meal. I didn’t have experience with nutritional yeast before but I loved the taste of this “cheese” sauce. It’s healthy, savory, creamy and makes you want more.

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast. It is produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugarcane and beet molasses for a period of 7 days and then harvesting, washing, drying and packaging it. This yeast is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten and popular with vegans and vegetarians and may be used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment.

I used Hokkaido squash to make it but you can use any kind of squash or pumpkin. Recipe adapted with some changes from Oh She Glows.

The real colour of the dish! ๐Ÿ™‚
Hokkaido Squash “Mac&Cheese” with Swiss Chard
Ingredients (serves 2)

– 1 cup Hokkaido squash puree (peeled, baked and pureed with a blender)
– 1 cup unflavoured almond milk (or oat/rice/soy milk)
– 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast (flake)
– 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch)
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
– 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
– 250 g penne
– 3 big leaves Swiss chard, chopped
– salt, pepper
– olive oil
– coconut oil


Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Cut the Hokkaido squash in half. Scoop the seeds out of the squash with a spoon. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes or until tender. Then allow to cool.

Meanwhile prepare the cheese sauce. In a bowl whisk together almond milk and tapioca starch until clumps are gone. In a pot heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil, add almond milk + starch and whisk. Stir in the remaining ingredients: nutritional yeast, chopped garlic, mustard and season with salt and pepper. Whisk over low heat until thickened. Blend the sauce with 1 cup of roasted squash. Set aside.

Cook your pasta al dente in salted water according to package’s directions. Drain and set aside.

In a big bowl mix together cooked pasta with the squash-cheese sauce and chopped Swiss chard. Add the mixture into a pan and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes at 180C (350F). Serve with salad.

Comments (8)

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  1. Emiko says:

    YUM! Looks beautiful and sounds so healthy… now I just have to wait until April for autumn down here! ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. This is so fascinating to me, Zita! I’ve never even heard of nutritional yeast, let alone cooked with it, but this looks so creamy and delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚ I do love swiss chard too – though my Aussie friends call it silver beet. I just planted some in my garden yesterday and can’t wait until it’s ready to harvest. ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  3. Regula says:

    Oh this looks delicious, I love all things with chard! I never heard of nutritional yeast, I must look into that! xxx

  4. Zita says:


    It is a new to me dish too. It’s interesting how easy to combine different flavors!

    I use nutritional yeast in my cooking but rarely just to season something. This was the first proper “cheese” meal I made. You should try it.

    If you can’t get it, let me know and I will buy a packet and send it for you!

  5. I shouldn’t be reading your blog after midnight. I’m getting very hungry! I still have kilos of pumpkin in the fridge. I think I know what we will have for lunch tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just need to substitute the nutritional yeast as I don’t know where to get it.

  6. Zita says:

    Let me know how you liked the recipe. As I said in the Twitter message, I can send you nutritional yeast!

  7. Dawn says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I LOVE nutritional yeast and use it all the time.

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