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.
Hi Angela! I am excited to try this out today but wondering about calories and the fat content from the cashews? For sure this is way healthier than the usual mac and cheese but wondering about calories and nutrition breakdown. Thanks so much!! Absolutely love your books!
I’ve made this twice already, and twice it turned out really delicious. I used homemade cashew nut milk and added half a cup more. My husband and I are plant-based, and we love that we can still indulge ‘cleanly’ with a good mac n’ cheese. Thank you for the recipe. This dish going to be a staple!
I’m so pleased you enjoyed the recipe, Claire! :) Thanks for taking the time to leave me this lovely message letting me know.
I accidentally used fine sea salt instead of kosher so its too salty. ANyway to fix this? Should I just add more veggies?
Hey Payal, Oh I’m sorry to hear that! I love your suggestion of adding more veggies. They should help balance out the flavours a bit.
I’ve been ctaving avacados like crazy and strawberries dipped in this mix: coconut oil, almond butter no salt not sugar kind, raw honey and sometimes sea salt!!! These two things are all i want to eat!
I forced myself to make something else so fell back on an old favorite and let me tell you I make good choices! I didn’t go the baked route but cheese sauce over gluten free rice noodles.
So good i’m making it again tonight!
Angela you are my hero. I went through lots of experiments and awful meals before my boyfriend picked your book out. He picked it because every meal recipe had pictures!! What a find. All these years later your still in my kitchen and i rave about you to anyone interested!
You changed and saved my life! Thank you!
Hey Veronica, Aww thank you so much for your kind words…your support means the world to me!!
Want to make this for xmas dinner..can I make the day before and leave in fridge over night and bake next afternoon or bake it first then refrigerate it? Or any other suggestions