Move over, Panera, I’m bout to change the broccoli cheddar GAME here with my butternut “cheese” sauce.
Anyone else obsessed with the OG killer flavor combo that is broccoli cheddar? You know, the star of everyone and their mothers’ you-pick-two at Panera Bread? Well, I was determined to get that same flavor combo in this butternut “cheese” sauce, but make it Whole30/Paleo friendly! Not only that, but I wanted to incorporate a protein in there to add a little substance.
ANDDD while we’re on the topic of Panera Bread, let me share a story.
Honestly, every time I go to Panera, I’m reminded of the one time back in middle school where I spent a solid 20 minutes in the back of the kitchen with rubber gloves on digging through the trash. Wait, lemme back up.
I had just gotten my braces off and was out to lunch with some friends. I had strategically (or well, at least I thought) placed my clear retainer on a napkin next to my dish to keep it in my sight, determined not to lose it within 24 hours of receiving it. Let’s just say I have a tendency to lose things very easily, and always have my Mom’s voice in the back of my head “don’t forget _____”.
This case was no different, as we just had a convo about how I wasn’t going to misplace this retainer, especially with how pricey those damn things are. Nanc knows how this goes. She reminds me, I shake my head with her words going in one ear and out the other, but there are more “I told you so” moments than I can count. So, still at 26 years old, I have my Mom reminding me of things day in and day out. I love her to death for it.
Fast forward to me leaving Panera, then stopping DEAD in my tracks realizing I forgot my retainer and more likely than not threw it out. Turns out leaving it on the napkin didn’t do me any good in terms of remembering to NOT throw it out. So, like a sad puppy with its tail between its legs, I headed back inside to search for it.
And WHAT LUCK.
They had just changed the trash in that 2 minutes of me walking out and realizing, so my sorry ass had to go into the back of the kitchen and dig. And dig. And dig some more. I also had to have a moment of silence for all the delish baguettes that were thrown out. If you’re not going to eat the whole thing, then just get an apple. It’s that simple 🙂
I finally found my precious retainer and sterilized the CRAP out of it upon returning home. I can happily report that I still have it to this day, even though I misplaced it again 2 weeks ago. And guess where it was? In my planter. Don’t ask.
BACK TO THE SAUCE
Okay, let’s chat about this butternut “cheese” sauce now. It is so versatile. I use it as a pizza sauce. As a pasta sauce. And more importantly, as a sauce to slather over fresh steamed broccoli and my beloved “Just Chicken” all white meat chicken from, you guessed it, Trader Joe’s. I’ll be doing a post eventually with all my TJ’s faves, and this chicken is at the top of that list.
The creaminess that the coconut milk gives this is unmatched, and you’re sure to be obsessed with the magic that is nutritional yeast after trying this out. It gives dishes a cheesy flavor without actually adding cheese. I use it frittatas all the damn time and also in pasta dishes. I will admit though, it needs to have a new name because nutritional yeast just does not sound appetizing…amiright???Print
This sauce is so versatile and can be used on pastas, as a pizza sauce, or combined with broccoli and chicken to make a quick dinner! This is also Whole30 friendly.
- 3/4 cup roasted butternut squash (I roast an entire package of the @traderjoes pre-cut squash pretty much every Sunday for smoothies, so I didn’t have to roast it on the spot when making this recipe. However, you can roast it at 375 for 35-45 min with avo oil, salt and pepper if you do not already have it on hand.)
- 1/2 red onion, chopped (personal preference for how much you want to use)
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 TBSP Trader Joe’s Seasoned Buffalo Ghee (or regular Ghee or butter…whatever you have on hand)
- 1 TBSP minced garlic
- 1 TBSP turmeric (this, along with the
Buffalo ghee, will stain your fingernails if you’re not careful. Consider yourself warned 😏)
- 1 TBSP @chosenfoods Avocado oil
- Red pepper flakes
Sauté the onions, garlic and turmeric in 1/2 of the Ghee in a pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Then, put that mixture into a blender or food processor with the roasted butternut squash, nutritional yeast, coconut milk, and remaining Ghee. Pulse together, then slowly drizzle in the avocado oil until you get your desired consistency. Finish off with the red pepper flakes and S/P.
Since I’m usually cooking for one, I freeze this sauce in cubes to use for later. This recipe makes about 12 “cubes” and I used 3-4 cubes per serving every time I have it. I honestly think I use my ice cube tray for sauces more than I use it for actual ice….no shame.