This side dish has been a favorite in our family for the holidays. The original recipe used velveeta; but this dairy free recipe is made with roasted butternut squash cashew cheese. I also use fresh broccoli rather than frozen. The consistency and texture are better with the fresh broccoli. I used dairy free butter and dairy free Ritz-type crackers. Back to Nature and Late July make these buttery types of crackers that taste like Ritz crackers. The buttery cracker topping is baked over the cheesy broccoli, and it’s super yummy. I know you’ll love this side dish at your holiday table. Kids love it too!
Preheat oven to 425F. Place the butternut squash on a parchment lined cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until they start to soften; but before they are browned. Then set aside to cool, and lower the oven temperature to 350F. In the meantime, place the cashews in a glass bowl and cover with some boiling water. Drain after 15-20 minutes. Add the broccoli to a large pot of boiling water and cook until they are slightly tender (about 4 minutes). Drain and set aside. Add the cashews, butternut squash, milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder to a high speed blender. Blend until smooth, then set aside. Add the broccoli to a large bowl and pour the cheese mixture over the broccoli. Mix together with a large spoon or spatula, making sure all the broccoli gets coated in the cheese. Butter a baking dish with a small amount of butter. Crush the crackers or break into very small pieces. Melt the 1/3 cup of butter, then pour over the crackers in a separate bowl, and mix together. Add the broccoli mixture to the baking dish, then sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the broccoli. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes, or just until the topping gets a little golden. Serve hot or warm.