Butternut squash vegan and paleo gratin with rosemary cashew cream is the perfect meatless entree or side dish for a fall themed dinner party. Gluten Free. Butternut squash vegan and paleo gratin – so creamy and comforting. My new favorite fall recipe.
Are you sick of “fall” themed recipes yet? You better not be, because I’m just getting started over here. I used to be a squash and sweet potato hater (I know… gasp…). It led to many sad fall seasons for me.
Now that I am absolutely on board and cannot get enough of pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, you name it.
But since I need some variety in my diet, it was time to get creative with butternut squash.
I made a similar butternut squash gratin recipe years ago (disregard those poorly lit and plated photos) and felt like it would do even better with a recipe makeover.
In that recipe I was messing around with slicing lots of finicky shallots which also needed to be shallow fried, and who’s got time for that?
This recipe for butternut squash vegan paleo gratin was going to be revamped and simplified.
There’s one tedious bit to work through here – the mandolin slicing of the butternut squash. Can I hire someone to do all my pumpkin and squash dirty work? Any willing volunteers?
Cutting up super tough veggies like butternut squash is one my all time least favorite kitchen tasks (it’s right up there with loading the dishwasher). I am constantly in fear of either chopping off one of my fingers, cramping up my arm muscles or just losing all patience entirely.
Why does delicious and wonderful butternut squash have to be so difficult to peel and cut up?! It’s just not fair! If you have some squash cutting secrets you must share them with me.
After peeling away that tough skin, then the mandolin slicing begins. Now I know I need to invest in a proper high quality mandolin because the one I’m working with is barely hanging on. Thinly slicing butternut squash on a mandolin is the equivalent of a solid arm workout.
Can’t take any breaks either. Just get it all done at once, is what I kept telling myself. And eventually my big bowl was starting to fill up with picture perfect thinly sliced bright orange squash slices.
Now for the rosemary cashew cream. Cashews are seriously the best at turning a regular dairy laden sauce or cheese into an entirely plant based one. I have recently been making a ton of cashew cream recipes, including my vegan ricotta stuffed zucchini ravioli over pumpkin puree and walnuts, and my vegan zucchini rolls with herbed cashew ricotta, mint and avocado.
It’s simply the best – and even die hard cheese lovers will be impressed.
In this cashew cream recipe in the food processor I combined soaked and drain cashews with vegetable broth, fresh rosemary, nutritional yeast and hemp seeds.
We’re talking a super creamy cheesey high protein sauce here. Did you know how high in protein and fibeer nutritional yeast is? This was news to me but there are 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber in only 1.5 tablespoons, plus a medley of tons of other vitamins and nutrients. Are you as impressed as I was?
To assemble this butternut squash vegan gratin you want to layer the sauce, squash slices, and sauce in a baking dish or preferable cast iron pan or tray.
The cast iron pan in the pictures has been passed down to me by my maternal grandmother and is one of my all time favorite kitchen cooking vessels.
It’s magical for everything and I plan to keep this in the family for generations to come.
Bake the compiled dish in the oven for 30-35 minutes and top with additional fresh rosemary and toasted walnuts.
The finished butternut squash vegan and paleo gratin is like biting into a slice of heaven. It is warm and creamy with a lightly sweet hint from the squash, a super cheesey taste from the cashew cream and that ultimate fall finish with the rosemary and warmed toasted walnuts.
A perfect vegan dinner or side dish for a fall dinner party.
Other vegan gratin recipes ideas include Butternut Squash Gratin with Shallots and Cashew Cream and my Butternut and Mushroom Bake Gratin with Gruyere Cheese. You’ll definitely want to make my Vegan Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle on top of all three recipes.
How to make this butternut squash vegan recipe
- 1 large butternut squash with a long neck peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked and drained
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped
- optional: 1/4 cup crushed toasted walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Thinly slice butternut squash on a mandolin.
- Heat pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add thinly sliced garlic and cook until garlic lightly browned and aromatic.
- In a food processor combine cashews, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, salt, pepper, garlic (with oil) and 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary. Process until smooth.
- In a greased baking dish or cast iron pan, add 1/4 cup of the cashew cream sauce. Spread evenly over the bottom.
- In single layer, slightly overlapping, place the butternut squash on the bottom layer of the baking dish.
- Add 1/4 cup of the cashew cream.
- Repeat with more butternut squash and cashew cream, until the last layer and add remaining butternut squash slices with cashew cream layer peeking through.
- Top with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through and top is lightly browned.
- Serve with additional fresh rosemary and toasted walnuts (optional).