Today on Twitter I asked you, what recipe would you like to see today: Mac ‘n cheese or sugar cookies?
About 60-70% said mac ‘n cheese, so here it is!
Sugar cookies are coming on up. :)
I also have a fun blog feature to tell you about. From now until the end of the holiday season, I will be featuring one holiday cookie recipe per week. If you have any favourite Christmas cookies or other cookies that you’d like me to make, leave a comment and let me know!
This week I have had a huge, huge, huge craving for mac ‘n cheese.
All it took was seeing a picture on a website and it was all I could think about.
Each time I was eating something else, my mind would wander to mac ‘n cheese, secretly hoping and wishing that my food would magically transform.
That creamy, delicious, savoury, comforting goodness.
Experience tells me that my craving would not go away until I satisfied it.
This week, I got to work testing out a few vegan mac ‘n cheese recipes. One was a dud, one was pretty good, and this one that I am sharing today is all kinds of awesome.
This is an intensely creamy and decadent baked mac ‘n cheese. It has a lot of flavour and 4 vegetables hiding inside, but no one will ever be the wiser!
When I taste recipes like this I know that I can eat a vegan diet forever and not feel like I am missing out on anything.
That is a great feeling!
Baked Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese (revised)
If you enjoy baked crispy pastas with an Alfredo-like creamy interior, this one is for you! You won’t believe it is completely free of any animal products and sneaks in 4 vegetables to boot! It makes the perfect lunch or dinner on a chilly day.
Please note that I revised this recipe (doubled the sauce) on Dec. 2, 2010.
Inspired by VegNews.
- 1/2 medium potato, peeled and chopped (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
- 1/2 large carrot, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
- 1.5 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 4 garlic cloves
- 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp mustard
- ~300-340 grams dry/uncooked Macaroni or other pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
- 1 slice bread
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance or butter
- Fresh or dried parsley, to garnish (optional)
- Paprika, to garnish
Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Grab a small casserole dish and set aside. In a medium sized pot, add the chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion and fill with water until just covered. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low-medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile, process 1 slice of bread until crumbs form in a food processor. Add in 1 tbsp of Earth Balance (or butter) and process until incorporated. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
Now assemble your cheese sauce ingredients (cashews, almond milk, garlic, lemon, salt, yeast, pepper, mustard) and add just the cashews to food processor. Process until a fine crumb forms similar to corn meal. Now add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients and process until smooth.
Once the veggies are cooked, drain and add to cheese sauce mixture in food processor. Process until smooth.
Add your pasta to a medium sized pot and fill with water until the pasta is covered by about 1 inch or so. Bring to a boil and reduce to low, cooking for about 7 more minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl, mix together your cheese sauce and drained + rinsed pasta. Scoop into your casserole dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Now garnish with paprika and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350F. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley if you’d like.
Serves approx 4-6.
Note: This is a heavy and drier mac ‘n cheese. If you want it less dry, you might want to add some Earth Balance/butter or additional milk.
First up, peel and chop those glorious veggies! Who knew mac ‘n cheese could have veggies hiding in there?
Now boil your veggies and cook until tender.
Take a slice of bread and process with 1 tbsp of Earth Balance (or butter).
Set aside and hide from yourself because bread + butter is goooooood.
Gather up your cheese sauce ingredients:
I tasted it and decided it would be awesome with 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast and another garlic clove. You don’t need the yeast to make this dish, but it made it a bit cheesier tasting! You can pick up some nutritional yeast at bulk food stores.
Once cooked, drain and rinse veggies with cold water.
Add veggies to cheese sauce and process:
The carrots give it a nice cheese-like colour!
Now cook your pasta. I used whole wheat Rotini for a kick of fibre (7 grams of fibre per serving!).
Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 8 minutes.
In a large bowl add your drained pasta and mix with the cheese sauce…it will be insanely thick and creamy!!!
Oh dear me.
A few spoonfuls did not make it into the casserole dish. ;)
Now pour into casserole dish.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Garnish with paprika.
Now bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
The result is a crispy exterior with a creamy and rich interior. The cheesy taste reminds me a lot of an Alfredo sauce.
Cool for 10 minutes before serving. If you succeed at this, let me know how you did it! ;)
Enjoy your completely vegan mac ‘n cheese that is not only delicious, but is filled with healthy fats, veggies, fibre, and pure comfort on a chilly day. :)
I have made a vegan mac ‘n cheese before, but I prefer this one as my last attempt was a bit heavy on the nutritional yeast and I like that this one incorporates veggies.
Now that my glycogen stores are full, I think I am going to go have a kick butt run outside in this beautiful sunshine. You know what they say, ‘eat pasta, run fasta!’
Have you had any cravings this week? What are they for?
My three cravings this week have been: Chocolate, mac ‘n cheese, and salads. I have satisfied all, but the salad part. Oops.
Oh my goodness…this looks simply amazing. The perfect dish for carbo-loading before a long run, right?!? Or for sitting by a warm fire, ha!
This looks delicious! I think I might have to make it but by incorporating some butternut squash instead of carrots, or with carrots, the more the merrier, right?!
Thanks for sharing!
Mac and cheese is my all time favorite comfort dish!
So delicious looking! I like the addition of carrots, onions, and potatoes.. very different sounding! Mac ‘n Cheese is one of my favorite homemade dishes. I can easily have it as an entree instead of a side!
What could I sub for the cashews? My boyfriend is allergic to all nuts except peanuts and almonds. Would either of those work? I realllllly want to make this!
Im really not sure! Cashews are great because they give that great creamy texture when processed.
maybe Advocado? I dont know how well Advocado bakes though……..
You could try Daiya vegan cheese – it melts like dairy cheese and would make the sauce super creamy too!
heyy! how about tofuuuu?!!! :D
Sorry that this reply is very late, but maybe you could sub soaked sunflower seeds, which is what Isa of The PPK used for a friend with a nut allergy: http://www.theppk.com/2012/02/sunflower-mac/. I’m going to try that & I’ll leave another comment here if I have success.
Angela, I love the thought of “heavy” vegan mac & chz! I may be brave enough to make this dish for the first time for a potluck. The sunflower seeds sound good cuz they’re about 1/4 the price of organic cashews here, & they’re less allergenic, I think.
The sunflower seeds seem to me to be a decent substitution for the cashews. In a powerful machine, I was able to make an ultra-smooth paste. I think I might prefer the flavor with them lightly toasted. Soaked raw and processed, they have a slight “grassiness.” I added a tablespoonful of roasted almond butter, and I think that helped.
Tofu. When I made mine i didn’t have enough cashews so I mixed cashews+tofu!
Wow! Looks soooo good! Go, Angela! Can’t wait to try this recipe.
LOVE this. MUST MAKE this soon!
Cravings? Well now it’s mac ‘n cheese! :P But I had a major pumpkin craving earlier this week that I satisfied big time (ahem, pumpkin cookies+gingerbread+oatmeal! :D)
This is my ultimate comfort food. What a great way to “hide” veggies!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to give it a try, it looks delicious!
looooove mac n cheese – I have yet to perfect it, but it looks like you did it for me! :)
oh my goodness, does that look good… and the recipe is totally accessible- thanks angela! i’m going to have to try this!!!! too bad i already bought my thanksgiving dinner ingrediants…. otherwise i’d be changing my contribution! :)
Yes, the VegNews recipe is my favorite mac and cheese! I always reduce the salt to about a teaspoon, but that’s because I’m using regular, not kosher. Hmm, I think I need to make this very soon.
Finally a mac and cheese recipe that looks nice! I’m going to have to have this.. drool.
Yummy! That actually looks better than non-vegan mac n’ cheese. I’m definitely making this soon, its already been bookmarked!!!!!!!!
That vegan cheese sauce looks unreal.
O.m.g. YUM. This would be perfect for Thanksgiving as a healthy alternative to all the other decadent dishes. You can indulge&still feel great afterwards ;)
Thank you!!! I printed the recipe and will be adding it to my Thanksgiving menu for sure! I’ve tried some other vegan mac ‘n cheese recipes only to be disappointed but I know this one will be a winner!
Angela, this is my cry for HELP! I turned vegan this past April, so this will be my first Christmas season without animal products and I’m convinced I can make it better then all the others before! To do so, I am trying to veganize all of my favorite baked goods that my Grandma makes every year. It was going really well, up until this last recipes, which happens to my favorite. I’ve hit a wall of one failed attempt after another! Is there a way to veganize this recipe and still have it be delicious and amazing? If anyone can do it, I know you can!
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
Mix these 3 ingredients just like a pie crust. Press into an 8×8 pan and bake at 350F for 15-20 min.
Using the same bowl, mix:
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbsp flour
rind & juice of 1 lemon
Pour over hot crust and bake at 350F for anotehr 15-20 min.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Why don’t you try taking a look at the recipes for Lemon pie at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen? (http://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/03/05/lemon-pie-filling/) This looks pretty similar to what you are trying to adapt. She also has some healthier and tasty crust recipes there.
Angela: I can’t count. What are the 4 vegetables? Potato, carrot, onion…and??? Looks great though, can’t wait to try it. :)
Thank you so much! The recipe looks amazing!
Cravings?!? Are you kidding me??!?!? I’ve been PMS-ing all week, so yes, cravings have been high. I went to whole foods yesterday and all I bought was chocolate, and then yesterday when I got off of work (I work at Trader Joe’s), I came home with two boxes of cookies. Sheeeeeeeeeeeesh! Oh, and I also have little to no desire to train for my 1/2 marathon. Don’t you love being a woman?
Angela!!!! I made those Power Me Up Pumpkin Sesame cookies on Sunday night – SO good! I mean, really good. They were soft and cakey and yummy!! Captain Awesome (my other half :)) loved them too. I mean – just amazing!! So, I guess this mac and cheese is next on the list!
This looks delicious! I love mac-n-cheese!!
Oooh yum! I’d love to try this – the last time I used nutritional yeast I didn’t get that cheesy taste I’d anticipated, but I’m pretty sure I can trust you Ange! I’ve been craving (and eating) roasted veggies alllll week long!
First time I had the nutritional yeast it wasn’t as cheesy as I anticipated either but that is probably because I still eat cheese. It is savory though!
I can’t wait for the upcoming cookie recipes!: ) I would love to see a simple raw vegan cookie without nuts! Maybe using oat flour and quinoa flour? A lucuma cookie would be great too! Thank you so much, this mac n’ cheese looks delicious!
Sounds good! This week (like every week) I’ve been craving pizza. And turkey since I know I’ll be having it for Thanksgiving Thursday.
Looks good enough to even get my stubborn parents to taste it without realizing what’s all in it! ;)
As far as cookies go, you should make Mexican wedding cookies – little balls of melt in your mouth goodness with tons of amazing pecan flavor, rolled in powdered sugar. To.die.for.
Yum! Every year on my birthday growing up, my grandmother would ask what I wanted for my birthday dinner, and it was always Kraft macaroni & cheese… I know, gross, especially since my grandmother is a wonderful cook! When I was a kid, I guess I just couldn’t appreciate her skills. 10-year-old Taryn says gimme the processed stuff!
This Sunday I turned 24, and I thought it might be time to grow up. I requested and she made her homemade baked macaroni and cheese and I have to admit, I thought it was delicious — for the first time in my entire life! I must be a real grown-up now ;)
Baked mac & cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Cool vegan version! I don’t imagine the “cheese sauce” tastes anything like cheese though, does it?
Mac & cheese that tastes similar to alfredo sauce? Yes, please :).
That’s exactly how I like my mac n’ cheese– crunchy outside, creamy inside! This looks perfect!
Lately, I’ve been craving ice cream! (weird, I know) I enjoyed a 7-course raw dinner last weekend, and we were talking about how good the restaurant’s raw ice cream was… and I’ve been craving it ever since! I’m taking care of that craving for Thanksgiving, by making a vegan pumpkin ice cream! Can’t wait! :D
And as far as Christmas cookies go, I love powdered sugar-covered “wedding cookies,” chocolate crinkles, and fudge! (a peppermint fudge would be fantastic!)
This looks so good! One of the greatest joys of vegan cooking is that you can “sample” whatever you want without fear of getting salmonella or some crazy disease… I made your pumpkin pie banana oatmeal cookies the other night and I think I probably ate more of the batter than the actual cookies!
I’ve been craving my sister’s cream cheese frosting-topped pumpkin bars! Thank goodness Thanksgiving is in 2 days ;)
I’ve been craving my sister’s cream cheese frosting-topped pumpkin bars! Thank goodness Thanksgiving is in 2 days ;)
What could you substitute for the almond milk? We have an almond allergy in our family.
soy milk would work :)
Oh my this looks fantastic. Mac and cheese is one of the hardest recipes to veganize, but this looks absolutely delicious, decadent and cheesy!!
Oh my gosh. You better believe that I’ll be making this…SOON! Mac + Cheese was probably my favorite food ever growing up and it still very well may be…but this looks SO much healthier and better…plus veggies? That ROCKS!
This looks insanely delicious! I stay away from a lot of vegan recipes that call for ‘vegan cheese’ because it’s usually very heavily processed, not to mention not available in supermarkets here. So I love the idea of making a ‘cheese sauce’ from almond milk, cashews, and vegetables! A mac & cheese that is actually on the healthier side. Awesome!
I am very excited about this! Perfect cozy dinner for a chilly night! :) By the way…I miss you…like, a LOT! <3
i miss you too…cant wait to get my life back! lol
Looks delicious! I am taking you up on your offer about holiday cookies. Our peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate consist of only a few ingredients: mostly peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar. Mix with hands, roll into balls, and put in the fridge! And then obviously some chocolate for the dipping. With your wonderful dessert skills, I’d love to see you transform these!
Look’s Awesome!!!! Nothing reminds me of Christmas like Gingerbread cookies so please please please make these:)
I’m so excited how creative people are getting with mac and cheese. I made squash mac and cheese last night and it was delish! A little twist on one of my favorite dishes!
This mac and cheese looks so so good. I love that your cheese sauce is so different from other recipes I’ve used in the past. Way to go with the veggies! I’ll definitely have to try this out soon!
I love me some mac n cheeze. Yours looks yummy. Lolo from Veganyumyum also made an adaptation of this recipe from VegNews. Hers is my absolute favorite (I just change to amount of EB to 2 tablespoons, then thin with soymilk to desired consistency), I love the broccoli in there. Crazy that even more veggies can be added and it still tastes amazing!
The Veganyumyum recipe: http://veganyumyum.com/2009/01/mac-cheeze-take-2/
YUM! Nothing better then a good mac n’ cheese ;)
I made vegan mac n cheese last night! But this looks even more elaborate! :)
Yummy Yummy! You are so dedicated in documenting every step of the way! Thank you so much! Can’t wait to try it out!!
I really am so excited you shared this recipe! What is the key ingredient in the cheese sauce that makes it “cheesy”? Is it the nutritional yeast? I don’t have that in my pantry, but I would totally invest if it was necessary to bring this dish into my life!
the cashews make it very creamy, the nooch gives it a bit of cheesy flavaaaa
If you could make some sort of delicious chocolate peppermint cookie, I’ll sing your praises for the rest of my life!$! :D
See this post: http://ohsheglows.com/2009/12/18/easy-vegan-holiday-party-appetizers-take-3/
HELL YEA. Thanks, Rachel! ;)
This looks so good Angela — I like that it is not a ton of nooch and has some veggies in there too. I will definitely have to make this!
Mmm, that looks very yummy! :)
Oh.my.goodness! This look fantastic and Mac n Cheese was a fave of mine growing up…..slathered with ketchup of course ;)
This looks very hearty, creamy and good :)
Can’t wait to see the sugar cookie recipe! i have been working on mastering this for a while now ;)