I’ve always had a love affair with mac and cheese. That gooey, chewy, creamy goodness is like heaven to my tastebuds. So after deciding to vegan-ize my diet, it was only right that I set out to find a dairy-free version of one of my favorite foods.
But who knew that finding a decent recipe would be such a daunting task? I’ve tried out a lot (and I do mean A HECK OF A LOT) of vegan mac and cheese recipes I found online, but I wasn’t particularly sold on any of them as I felt that they were either missing something or were just plain unappetizing. I tried so many (and had so many disappointments) that I was beginning to think that my quest was futile. I was determined to make it work though, so I took some elements of a few recipes that I thought were the best of the bunch, and tinkered around with the ingredients and proportions to come up with this dish.
This vegan mac & cheese is a breeze to whip up and I think it tastes pretty damn awesome. I am now a happy camper.
- 8 ounces macaroni noodles, cooked and drained
- 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup carrots, chopped
- 1/3 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup vegan butter
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch paprika
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bring several cups of water to boil in a small pot. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in the water, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and soft enough to blend. Drain water.
3. In a blender, process the cashews, butter, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, vegetable stock, dijon mustard and seasonings. Add softened vegetables and water to the blender and process until smooth and creamy.
4. In a large bowl, pour cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and toss until completely coated, then spread mixture into a square baking dish.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly around edges.
Yields 6-8 servings.