Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vegan Acorn Squash Alfredo Pasta

I was completely excited by the gorgeous photos of acorn squash alfredo pasta on Healthy Happy Life, and had to try this recipe. It didn't turn out exactly as I'd hoped, so here's how I would edit the original recipe for next time:
  • First, consider this a do-ahead dish. Meaning, make it the day before you want to eat it, and let the flavors settle and mingle overnight in the fridge. Something about the yeast flakes just totally changes with time. When I ate the leftovers the next day, it almost a different dish- much milder and actually fairly tasty.
  • Second, rather than using 1/3 cup of the nutritional yeast flakes, I would down it quite a bit, especially if it is your first time trying them. The yeast flakes have a very strong flavor.
  • Third, I would halve the other spices as well. It was all just a little overwhelming. 
  • Fourth, I had waaaaaay too much sauce, even making a full box of pasta. You could probably get away with halving the sauce ingredients. 
Accounting for notes above, I'm posting an edited ingredient list from the original- amounts here are reduced but not halved, but you can always store extra sauce for later. The original recipe called for 4 cups of squash.

Ingredients: (should still make enough to serve 4-6)
  • 3 cups of roasted acorn squash (the majority of a medium-sized squash)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup parsley or fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain almond or soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1.5 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 bag pasta (try: quinoa or kamut pasta)
  • 1 cup fresh crimini mushrooms
The original recipe made TONS of sauce!

  1. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds, and place face down on baking sheet in an inch of water. Cook at 400 degrees for about an hour.
  2. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, milk, syrup, mustard, yeast flakes, dried Italian herbs and pepper flakes. 
  3. When squash is done cooking, spoon into food processor and add the parsley/basil, garlic, and the whisked sauce mix. (Note: if your food processor is not big enough to hold everything, add half the squash, half the parsley, 1 garlic clove, and half of the whisked mix. You want things to mix evenly). Process well, at least a few minutes, until creamy & completely smooth. 
  4. Cook the pasta. About 2 minutes before it's done, add in the mushrooms to cook them as well. Drain the pasta and mushrooms, and place in a large dish. Add the sauce and coat well. 
  5. To allow flavors to mingle, store in fridge overnight and re-heat the following day.

See my comments in "Adventures in Veganizing" for additional notes on this dish. I'm looking forward to updating it and trying again, since I think it has potential.


  1. I've also had this acorn squash pasta recipe bookmarked since I saw it, so it's nice to have your notes on it!
    I had a similar experience recently with a vegan pumpkin alfredo recipe....I had such high hopes but was a bit disappointed in the results. I thought it was because of the flax in the recipe. But like you, I also liked it better the next day. I didn't know about nutritional yeast changing over time!

  2. Hi- it was all new to me! I have a feeling that cutting back the nutritional yeast flakes as much as I suggest above may mean that the sauce doesn't get as thick as it should, but I think I'm ok with that, as least as I'm getting used to the flavor. I posted a question about this on Kathy's (from Health Happy Life) site, but haven't heard back yet. Will post any new info I find out!

  3. Thanks for the info - your posts are very helpful! My leftover sauce is still in the freezer, I haven't had a chance yet to give it another try. The one I used also had tofu in it, which I would prefer to leave out. I thought this sauce from Oh She Glows sounded good too!

  4. ooo thanks for that link- I think I have been pulled in again and will need to try that one. I just won't tell my husband what it is lol!


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