Summer Squash Vegan Mac 'N' Cheese w/ Herb Pesto / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

we're coming off of a pretty hectic week.  frank just returned from a trip upstate (do you californians call northern california upstate?), and i've been trying to keep it together working and taking care of amesy.  admittedly, when time gets tight, and there aren't enough hours in the day, my diet suffers.  no matter how many veggies are in my fridge, preparing myself high-vibe meals always falls short at the end of the day.  i like having options, or go-to's, so that isn't the case all the time.  because if i think about it enough, every day feels a bit chaotic in one way or another.  stocking my fridge or pantry with easy-to-put-together ingredients and halfway prepared meals is just where i'm at in life, and i'm kind of just going with it at the moment.  whether that's buying a pre-made protein and adding a salad to it, buying prepared vegetables and cooking up something on the side, or buying a box of mac 'n' cheese to have on hand.

there aren't many store-bought mac 'n' cheese brands that cater to my gluten-dairy-free diet, while also having good, wholesome ingredients. i'm so grateful to companies like Annie's that have options that appreciate different diets, and lifestyles, and that they're so readily available to all families at stores like Target.  i've been eating their mac 'n' cheese since i was young, and it's nice to come back to an old favorite when they came out with their vegan and gluten free variation.  it's a brand that has always been transparent, and i can trust it to feed my family in the right way.

it usually depends on how i'm feeling, or what the weather is like, but most times i prepare a big salad on the side, or add veggies to the the pasta itself.  this time i blended up some herbs i had leftover in my fridge to make a quick pesto, and sliced a couple of summer squash to sauté with garlic.  alone the mac 'n' cheese is tasty and super delicious, the cream sauce is made with pumpkin and sweet potato mixture that's ready to go when added to your plant-based milk of choice.  it all makes for a quick, fresh, meal that basically feels homemade ;)  

big hugs, all! xoxo

Summer Squash Vegan Mac 'N' Cheese w/ Herb Pesto | gf

| serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side |

herb pesto

  • 1 packed cup mixed herbs (i used a combination of parsley, sage, thyme, and oregano)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

summer squash mac 'n' cheese


  1. for the pesto.  combine the herbs, oil, garlic, and lemon juice in food processor or blender.  season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until you are ready to use it, or 1 week.  alternatively, the pesto can be made 1 week before using it. 
  2. for the squash and mac 'n' cheese.  heat a skillet over medium heat.  once it's hot, add the olive oil and garlic, stir and cook for about 45 seconds.  then add the squash and let it cook for about 4 minutes without disturbing it, letting it get a little brown.  turn them over and let the squash cook for another 4 minutes, until lightly browned and tender.  remove the squash from the heat.
  3. make the mac 'n' cheese according to the instructions on the box.
  4. in a large serving bowl toss the mac 'n' cheese together with the summer squash.  dollop the top with pesto blobs, and give it all a stir. serve with more pesto on the side.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Target & Annie's. The opinions and text are all mine.

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