Recipe: Vegan Mac and Cheese

Going to start this post off with the obligatory “I’m not a vegan” statement. I am however, a fan of healthy foods and eating a whole foods diet. I also occasionally run into some issues with cheese, which sucks because I would drown myself in cheese if I could. That said, I am very picky about imitation cheese, I really hate it to be honest. Mac and cheese is my most favorite comfort food, and after five different tries at this recipe, I’ve finally perfected it. Out of all the vegan mac and cheese recipes out there, I have to say this one comes closest to the original and that’s because I’ve added a lot more spices than any of those recipes out there seem to add. I’m actually eating a big plate of it as I type this!

The best thing about this mac and cheese recipe is that the sauce is completely vegan, gluten-free, and easily adjustable to any other diet restrictions or preferences. Below I will write notes on how to customize it for whatever your diet may be!

The Ingredients

  • 220 g of potato
  • Small quartered white onion
  • 25 g raw unsalted cashews (omit if allergic to nuts)
  • 140 g carrots, approx 2 large
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, to taste
  • 1 cup unsweetened and flavored plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari if gluten-free
  • 4 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • tbsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 16 ox box elbow noodles (gluten free if eating gluten free–duh)
  • optional: panko breadcrumbs

Preparation

  • boil noodles under al dente and drain. set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 370 degrees if baking

Making the Sauce

  1. In a pot boil the onion, carrot, potato, garlic cloves, and cashews until tender
  2. While above ingredients are boiling, blend the following: plant milk, mustard, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce/tamari, white miso paste, salt, smoked paprika, olive oil, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, and pepper.
  3. Taste and adjust spices and condiments to taste. The miso paste and the nutritional yeast both give great umami and depth to the sauce that mimics a sharp cheddar mac and cheese.
  4. Once vegetables are tender, strain them out and add to blender. Reserve some cooking water for thinning if necessary.
  5. Blend it all up and taste again. Perhaps add some garlic powder, onion powder, or nutmeg if that suits your palate. Adjust other seasonings to your liking.

Baked Mac and Cheese:

  1. Layer noodles and cheese into baking dish. Make sure it is soupier than you would normally eat, much of the sauce will evaporate.
  2. Bake at 370 degrees for 10 minutes
  3. Turn on broiler
  4. Remove mac and cheese from oven and sprinkled desired amount of panko on top. Spray the top of the panko with olive oil.
  5. Broil for 3 minutes or until top is golden brown and crispy.
  6. Enjoy!

Creamy and Saucy

  1. Place desired amount of sauce in the pot you cooked your noodles in.
  2. Reduce to desired consistency
  3. Add noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes in sauce, until noodles are tender to your liking
  4. Enjoy!

I really hope you guys love this recipe as much as I do! It makes a great side to dinner, is much healthier for you than regular mac and cheese, and is the total comfort food of my dreams! If you make it please please comment feedback, especially if you tweak it. I’m always looking to improve my recipes to the best they can possibly be!

 

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