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.
Certainly not a Kraft mac n cheese from the box with powdered cheese recipe like I grew up on…haha!
This looks marvelous, Angela! Job well done…cashews, nooch, veggies..pretty much can’t go wrong with that!
Anything Ive had a craving for this week? Yes: More Sleep and more than 24 hrs in a day to get everything done!!! :)
This week I have been craving mashed potatoe. For dinner last night I made a big bowl, it was yummy. One of my favorite Christmas cookie is gingerbread men.
Yum! Actually, I’m so thrilled you posted this. I’ve made vegan mac ‘n cheese in the past, but like you wrote — too heavy on the nutritional yeast (there CAN be too much of a good thing, right?). Looking forward to trying this out!
I’m totally craving pizza this week..lots and lots of it =)
This mac n cheese looks so good! And healthier too ;).
Yum!! Please please make Snickerdoodles!!!
I haven’t had mac n’ cheese in forever! Although I am not a fan of baked. I never understood the crunchy mac lovers. It should just be creamy and smooth! But what do I know? lol
No joke I was eating Mac n cheese while reading this. I love the hidden veggies in there, i’m so giving it a try soon!
Yum! Can’t wait to make this!
One of my favorite kinds of cookies is oatmeal butterscotch chip! My mom made them all the time when I was little so they’re definitely a past time for me! (Although, I have yet to find vegan/hydrogenated oil free butterscotch chips!)
Mine is definitely a bad craving, but one that I haven’t had in a long time (the food that is!) It’s…Chinese food! Spring rolls in particular…there has to be a healthy way to re-create them, though!
oh my! looks amazing! my cravings : mac & cheese and more of your tasty recipes, looks like ive satisfied both :D
Nut kiffels —they are big in the US around Christmas
Just last night my boyfriend and I were discussing how we need a good homemade mac n cheese recipe–this one looks like a winner!! Just because I do not own a scale and know nothing about measurements… about how much dry pasta should you use cup-wise?
Also as a side note, I am making your yummy mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving this week, but do you think they will taste good without the garlic? The aforementioned boyfriend swears he is a vampire and is allergic…
i think it would be fine without garlic…the garlic does give it a nice ‘bite’ and sharpness similar to cheese though.
Wow, that sounds fantastic. I’m not a huge fan of baked mac and cheese, but I love that it has those veggies in it…definitely sounds worth a try!
Mac and Cheese…the most simple things are always the best!
I would love to give this a try – all of my kids love Mac and cheese and Alfredo, but I don’t like the nutritional value of traditional versions. Plus I have one child who will not eat vegetables, so hiding them is key! Unfortunately this same child is allergic to cashews and peanuts. Any suggestions for an alternative to the cashews? Thanks! Btw, I think your blog is fantastic!!
Someone else was wondering the same thing…I’m not sure. The beauty of the cashew is that it has this great creamy texture when processed. You might be able to get away with almonds, but I am not sure how the texture/taste would be. Let me know if you try another nut!
Angela, do you think I could do the food processor parts in a blender? I don’t have a food processor and have no desire to buy one (and really no room for another appliance either!) – BUT, I can’t eat cheese, and mac & cheese is one of the things I miss most in my cheese free existence, so I would love to try this recipe. I got embarrassingly excited about it when I first read it on my lunch break at work…until I got to the food processor part, lol.
hmm I think it depends on your blender’s capabilities. I think it would be worth a shot!
Mac and cheese looks great! I guess this was on everyone’s minds ;) because we just made some vegan-gluten free mac and cheese for our family tonight!!! It is so nice having something warm and comforting like this knowing it is made without dairy for me since I do not handle dairy well!
Looks so yum! Wish I’d had the recipe 2 days ago! I just made homemade mac & cheese with a panko-parmesan topping. Yours looks absolutely divine though!
OMG Thank you! Looks soooo good! That’s what was hard for me when I was trying to follow a vegan diet, the cheeze! But this looks great :)
this looks delicious. do you think the (my) kids will like it?!
I hope to make this soon.
I crave chocolate and cookies all the time and a nice coffee or tea. :)
Can you make chocolate gingerbread cookies?
One cookie recipe a week!? Wowza, I can’t wait for this :)
Love the mac & cheese, sounds comforting and delicious!
Oh, dear, dear, dear me. I think that I would double the breadcrumb mixture and bake it in a shallower pan to get more crispy cheesiness. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…
Must. make. This. Now. :-)
You can’t go wrong with mac n cheese.
Vegan dishes are truly a wonder for me…I’m fascinated that you can replace cheese with the ingredients you listed. And it looks JUST as good as the traditional kind!!
I’m going through a non-craving stage…well, nothing to strong at least. That’s ok, with the holidays coming up my chocolate addiction will be in full swing soon!
I would love to see a molasses crinkle cookie. They remind me of my childhood. We used to go to North Carolina and there was a bakery with a delicious spicy, warm molasses cookie, and I haven’t had one in years since it closed.
LOL your final comment cracked me up
This looks so good! And I love that it incorporates veggies. I am weird in that I love every vegan mac and cheese recipe I’ve ever tried. Love.
I was craving seitan this weekend so I had a fair amount. It was delicious!!
Wow! This is such a great idea! Veggies and nuts in the cheesey sauce- brilliant!!
I wouldn’t have thought that vegan mac and cheese could be possible! Especially a version that looks so delicious! Mad props :)
BIGGEST cravings for this Japanese jelly candy & sushi. Which I took care of yesterday with a trip to the Asian supermarket. Also, you should create a toffee cookie recipe,if you were looking for suggestions!
I am not a big mac ‘n cheese fan (I know, I know!), but I am interested in trying this.
My coworker told me about your blog, and mac and cheese sounded like a great dinner idea. It is amazing, even my fiance (a huge meat eater that doesn’t even like mac and cheese!) really liked it. I did hesitate last minute and added a half cup of cheddar cheese before I put it in the oven. I think it would have turned out just as great if I hadn’t added it. The breadcrumbs are a delicious topping.
Also, your pictures are amazing, I love that I can see what things should look like at each stage!
Hiya – this looks great. What might you suggest if someone is allergic to cashews?
Well now I’m craving this. Do you think roasted cashews could be used instead of raw?
I find that raw cashews cream better when processed than roasted, though the depth of the flavour would be an interesting addition mmmmm
Yum!! I’m looking forward to your festive cookie series too :) my cravings this week were for grilled chicken breast + roasted potatoes and pumpkin. Not satisfied yet as it is too hot to turn the oven on!! (dare i say :))
My cravings this week:chickpeas and white chocolate.
I’ve made parmesan crisped chickpeas and white chocolate cherry shortbread!
I’ve posted the shortbread recipe and will post the chickpea recipe tomorrow.
I love yummy foods that sneak in veggies. And cashews….I never would have thought to put that in mac ‘n’ cheese, but I love it! I’ve been craving EGGS recently…well, I always want to eat eggs.
You answered my unspoken prayers! I love that so many asked for vegan mac n’ cheese! This is probably the first time or MAYBE second time I posted a comment in my 1.5 years of reading your blog, that’s how excited I am about this recipe! Thank you!
I’m really looking forward to your cookie recipes!
One question: what brandof coconut do you use for cooking? Have you heard about Garden of Life?
I buy organic unsweetened in bulk 25 lb bags…i cant remember the brand name off the top of my head. I think it is ONFC.
This recipe looks great! I can’t wait to try it out and see if it’s Husband approved! : )
Oh my, I have had this recipe bookmarked from VegNews for such a long time, and now that it is Angela approved I will definitely have to try it out!!
Wow, that looks and sounds spectacular, Angela! Thanks for sharing. :)
I made this just now! It was amazing… My meat eating boyfriend loved it too. Some tweaks I made were:
– I caramelised the onion and left the pieces whole and mixed them through
– I added more almond milk to make the sauce more saucy
– I added cooked small pieces of cauliflower and mixed it In with the pasta.
Thanks for the awesome recipe!
Thank you…. finally, someone who actually made! this and didn’t just look at it and think about mac&cheese.. So now I’ll try it.
Oh my gosh, that looks amazing! I may have to make that for my boyfriend here soon! :)
I’ve been craving organic eggs for some reason. I’ve had two for breakfast each morning (in addition to a cinnamon raisin english muffin with butter). Organic eggs taste SO MUCH BETTER than the cheapo stuff. I don’t eat eggs often and have two left, so once this batch is gone, I probably won’t eat them for awhile – in turn hopefully balancing my cholesterol a bit! ;)
Yummy :p looks devine! I’ve never heard of cooking pasta that way…I always boil the water first…do you find it makes a difference?