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.
Ahhhh, thank you thank you thank you for posting this- finally, a mac n cheese recipe I KNOW I can trust!
Ok, so when is the Oh She Glows cookbook gonna come out because I am so ready to buy! (note: that’s just a wish for now)
I made this last night! It was wonderful :)
Yummm. I love this dish. I will have to make it soon.
I am making your loaf, potatoes, rolls and spice cake for Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you so much for the recipes!!! I may add mac and cheez to the list… oh my we are going to have lots of leftovers.
My sister and I just made this in the midst of all our Thanksgiving cooking—the two of us ate the whole thing!! It was delicious, and will definitely be made again in the very very near future…like tomorrow! :)
I made this for dinner last night, and it was wonderful! Absolutely the best vegan mac ‘n cheese I’ve had. Thanks for all your fantastic recipes!!
Oh WOW I have got to try this!! I make your other mac and cheese all the time so if this is even better I can’t wait to make it!
Oh.my.gosh! Wow. This looks SO amazing!
omg SUGAR COOKIES!!!!!!! They are so simple yet so delicious!! I have been on the hunt for THE perfect sugar cookie recipe, but have yet to find one!! I like mine to be slightly crunchy on the outside but nice and moist and chewy on the inside with a delicious vanilla flavour. I wish I could find a healthy yet delicious version…… if you feel like you would like to take on this challenge I would love you even more than I already do!!! Lol
I made a gluten free version of this, with Udis bread and quinoa rotini. It was awesome! Thanks for the recipe! I also added more pureed vegetables, since I was making it for my young kids.
I’m making this right now… the sauce is soooooooooooo good!!
Yum! Looks good! I’ll definitely be trying this one.
Ahhh! I have got to try this when I get home. The only thing I’m missing is a potato; I’ll have to see what I can scrounge up. Looks so unearthly good!
Just wanted to come in and let you know I made this dish for dinner. Absolutely AMAZING! I used soy milk instead of almond milk and used almost 3 cups instead of one to make it really really moist. Thanks for the post!
glad to hear this!!
Made this for dinner tonight. It’s so good. Hubby is down watching football so I haven’t gotten his reaction yet, and my son is out with his friends. I hope they (non-vegans) like it as much as I did!! Thanks!!
Seriously?! This tasted even better than I imagined! And that is a very dangerous thing ;). Thanks so much! Your blog is so great.
glad to hear this!
Best mac and cheese recipe I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot!). Even my omnivorous family loved it :)
Oh goodness! Just popped this into the oven…and then used flax crackers and my fingers to clean out the food processor bowl. Yum! I overdid the lemon a bit though, I think, as it tastes more like hummus than mac & cheese. That’s ok though — lemon cashew cream sauce over noodles works too!
Question for you: Would there be any problem with not baking this at all? I found that baking dried out and muted the sauce while I loved the creaminess and punch of the sauce before baking.
This was really delicious — nice and creamy and the bread crumbs provide a nice crunch! I used my Vitamix since I don’t have a food processor and it worked really well (used a chopper for the bread crumbs). Thanks for the great recipe!
Looks great, can’t wait to try it! This week I craved cinnamon rolls and came up with my own pretty good version of Dave’s Sin Dog (if you haven’t tried it, you must! Or make your own.) Roll whole wheat dough as thin as you can into a rectangle. Spread with dried fruit paste (microwave and blend a little water with some dates, raisins and prunes), chopped nuts, seeds, ground flax seed and cinnamon. Roll up tightly, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake on a cookie sheet. I made mine in the shape of a ring for Easter… Oh, and though it’s fun to fulfill our cravings in a healthy way, don’t forget: “Salad is the main dish!”
This is incredible! You are such a talented chef. My newly vegan husband loved it and my 2 year old said it was better than her favorite box Mac n cheese. You’re converting my whole family!!!!
:) That is so great to hear Amie!
I was also wondering if you thought I could make batches of the cheese sauce before hand and freeze?
Im not sure to be honest. I would suggest reading through the end of the comments and see if someone else has tried it out!
Just made this and it is AMAZING!!! I literally cannot stop eating it….I’m waiting for my cheese loving family members to try it and get a non-Vegan response. Would love to incorporate different veggies next time, squash seems like a fan favorite any others to recommend?
what about carrots or potatoes?
Made it this evening for my very anti-vegan parents, who loved it! Thank you so much for the recipe! :D
Hi! Just wondering, do you think this would work with sweet potato?
How long will the sauce keep in the fridge?
Hi Julie, It should keep for 2-3 days?
How many servings is this recipe?
Hi Desiree, it should serve 4-6.
Oh my gosh, this dish is ridiculously amazing!!! I made it for my meat loving boyfriend last week and I’m pretty sure he ate about half of the dish. I know I am late on the commenting for this, but I am new to your site and have so many wonderful things bookmarked that I am so excited to try:)
Made this last night, awesome, the sauce is excellent, unfortunately some did not make it to the casserole; did add more milk to make it lighter and swapped the bread and butter for panko and olive oil. Also added cauliflower florets to the pasta at the end so it got steamed before adding the cheese sauce. Love vegetables so really no need to hide it. Will definitely make this again, my Mom who eats diary loves it and did not realize it was vegan until I said so.
Opps, I mean dairy not diary, lol
This was THE BEST mac and cheese recipe!! It was easy to make and the directions were perfect. I added a bit of extra almond milk as you suggested, and it made enough extra creamy “cheese” sauce that I plan on using it for some other (pms inspired) vegan treat. This site is the best resource I know for really amazing vegan recipes. You’re the bomb!
Do you use flaked or powdered nutritional yeast in your recipes…I’m new to this way of cooking / eating…loving all these recipes!!
Love mac and cheese. Also like red beans and rice. Sometimes I merge the two, swapping brown rice for the pasta and throwing the beans in with the cheese. It’s like giving your mouth a big hug…
I made this the other night, just the way you have the recipe here.. and it was AMAZING. I have been pesco vegan for a little over a year now, and I am more proud of this mac n’ cheese than anything else I have tried to cook. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! It has given me more hope in my vegan cooking journey. <3
I’m so happy to hear that Brittany!
Both my husband and I LOVE this mac & cheese. I made a bit of extra sauce this time, do you have any suggestions for what else I could use it for? Thanks! Amy
Hi Amy. I love this recipe too and always make extra sauce. When the sauce is very thick, I use it in lasagna and when it’s medium to thin, I use it mixed with a tomato sauce over pasta. It works well as an alfredo sauce with fettuccine noodles and can be used to do cheesy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc).
I’m sure you could probably also use it in casseroles calling for cheese such as a hashbrown casserole. It’s a very versatile sauce!
Thanks for this recipe! I have been starting to research how to stop cooking with dairy recently. Not because I’ve chosen the vegan lifestyle, but because my 4 month old was diagnosed with Galactosemia (so bye-bye all dairy and processed foods!) and my 7 year old autistic daughter can’t live without her mac & cheese. I just can’t make different meals for each child, I’ll go crazy! And seriously, who don’t love the hidden veggies! Can’t wait to try this!
That was supposed to say *without dairy
Thank you for this recipe!!!!! It just made it, and I think there was a little too much lemon so I would have probably put 1 tbsp less. Otherwise it was delicious!!! Ate more than my stomach would normally be capable of holding. Thanks again!!
This is honestly one of my favorite dishes to make. Time and again I prepare it for myself when I need a nutritious and tasty meal for dinners. Its not so much cheesy, but it is without a doubt my favorite mac and cheese recipe to use. Its going to be in my recipe rotation for a very long time.
Do you have to soak the cashews first?
OMG, just had this for dinner and it is amazing, and quite seriously one of the best things I have ever eaten. And it’s SO easy to make, too: mine turned out perfectly, and I’m really klutzy when it comes to cooking.
This is most delicious and wonderful and I am forever in your debt– thankyou SO much for sharing your creation, it’s beautiful!
Wow! I am allergic to milk, soy, and eggs, and I just wanted some mac n cheese. This was awesome! I topped it with roasted pumpkin seeds and crispy pancetta (we aren’t vegetarians), even my mom loved it and she can be picky when it comes to my allergy friendly foods.
“You know what we should’ve done? Made more.” – my vegan cheese-hating partner
(We tossed in a jalapeño and some tuna.)
OHSHEGLOWS!!! I just found your website! I have tried and LOVED your broccoli cheese soup (Ill leave a comment on that recipe!) And made this Mac & Cheese last night. It was absolutely delish! My kids even gobbled it up and had seconds! The only comment that isn’t a WHOOHOO is I felt the lemon flavor was overpowering. I will not use 6T next time, maybe 3T.
I love hiding veggies in food -boiling and pureeing is the way to go!
Thank you for wonderful dairy free recipes! and I look forward to making more of your creations!
Sry truth can hurt
I have served this amazing recipe for football Sunday, dinner guests, and, just me! I prefer it much more to butternut squash MnC’s that can tend to be sweet. Yum additions–> chopped kale and cherry tomatoes stirred in before baking. :) thanks Angela!
Holy smokes this mac n cheese is GOOOOOOOOOOOD. I just made this last night and I’m currently eating the left overs for breakfast. I had my mom try this after I made it last night and she was in love. She doesn’t even like regular mac n cheese let alone vegan/’fake mac n cheese. Thank you so much for this recipe! I decided to try it because this was the one recipe that I had all of the ingredients on hand for :) So glad I did! I made mine with small shell pasta and didn’t blend the cashews separately from everything else because I never read directions. Haha it still turned out perfect.
Hi Jessie, I’m so happy to hear you loved the recipe. :) Thanks for trying it!
Angela, I’m such a fan of yours and all your recipes! I think that 3 tsp of salt is a mistake though. I added it all and it ruined my dish. Just wanted to let you know
Fantastic recipe!!! I have recently just cut out animal products from my families diet. My six year old daughter loved this Mac n’ cheese dish and did not even notice there was no cheese! Also it makes a lot and we have left overs for tomorrow! Thank you for posting ?
I’m so glad to hear it was a hit with your family, Katie! :)
I just made this for the first time last night and, I have to say, since my husband became dairy free many years ago I have tried many mac’n’cheese recipes and this is by far the best of them all. Many thanks for sharing this recipe.