“Dairy-free” and “cheese” in the same recipe title might not sound appetizing, I know, but let me tell you, this recipe is unbelievably delicious! When I first made the sauce for this dairy-free hamburger mac and cheese, you would not believe my reaction. In all honesty, I was speechless for a moment because I was so amazed that butternut squash, cashews and a few spices blended together could create such a rich, creamy and cheesy flavor!
Why Use Grass-Fed Beef?
To keep this hamburger mac and cheese the healthiest it can be, you’ll want to ensure you use grass-fed ground beef. When beef is grass-fed, it contains a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Conventional beef is extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids, and when you over-consume these, you promote fat storage—which is definitely not what you are looking for. Grass-fed, on the other hand, is especially high in the omega-3 fatty acid CLA, which is an extremely healthy fat that’s great for promoting fat burning. Plus, meat with the American Grassfed certification label cannot contain any antibiotics or hormones.
Now let’s talk about how versatile this dish is. This recipe is made dairy-free with the use of cashews for creaminess. Cashews can easily be swapped out for macadamia nuts, almonds or sunflower seeds. If you are both nut- and seed-free, you can use plain hummus or full-fat coconut milk instead. In this case, you’ll want to reduce the amount of water used in the recipe. Are you plant-based? You can easily make this by eliminating the ground beef. To keep the recipe high-protein, swap the ground beef for lentils or tempeh.
If you become hooked on this recipee and are looking for a twist, add chili powder into the mix or top off your dish with some hot sauce.
Are you looking to add more vegetables to your meals? One of my favorite things to do with this recipe is roast a big sheet pan full of cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and mix those into the dairy-free cheese sauce. Or, if you are short on time, toss a bag of spinach into your cooking noodles a minute before removing them from heat.
I hope your reaction to this mac and cheese is the same as mine. Enjoy!
Watch this episode of Morgan Makes It to see this Dairy-Free Hamburger Mac and Cheese recipe come to life!
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Dairy-Free Hamburger Mac and Cheese Ingredients:
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 package chickpea pasta
Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce:
1 cup butternut squash cubes
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
½ cup water
¼ cup nutritional yeast*
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. smoked paprika
Juice of ½ lemon
Soak cashews overnight or for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut butternut squash into small cubes and roast for 15 minutes on an oiled baking sheet. While the butternut squash is baking, bring water to a boil in a pot.
Once boiling, add in chickpea pasta and cook according to box directions. On a separate burner, cook ground beef in a skillet until fully cooked. Drain noodles and return to pot. Remove butternut squash from oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes.
Add all the sauce ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and process until completely smooth. Add sauce and ground beef to the pot with the noodles and stir until the noodles are well coated.
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