Welcome!

My mission is to share quick and easy recipes, plus helpful tips, to make healthy living more accessible!



Follow Me on Pinterest

Archives

Disclaimer


Please keep in mind that while I am a certified Health Coach, I am not a registered dietitian or doctor. This blog is not intended as medical or nutritional advice. My posts are based on my own research and personal experience. You should always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine. You are ultimately responsible for your own health!
Follow Me on TasteSpotting

The BEST Vegan Mac n’ Cheese

I’m on a roll, if I do say so myself.

Last night I made a Vegan Mac n’ Cheese that rivals one of my all-time favorite recipes– the Barefoot Contessa’s Mac n’ Cheese! Of course, her version is filled with milk, butter, flour, gruyere and cheddar cheeses. You really can’t go wrong when the ingredients are that rich and decadent.

It also beats-the-pants off of Kraft’s “the cheesiest.” (If you’re into that stuff, which I’m not.) Do you know I actually hated mac n’ cheese as a kid? I thought all mac n’ cheese was neon-orange and out of a box. Totally unappealing, if you ask me.

However, I dare you to try my healthier version and not moan with delight. It’s that good. And there’s not an ounce of cheese, butter or flour in sight.

No neon-orange coloring, either.

Vegan Mac n’ Cheese
inspired by Everyday Raw

Ingredients:

For the cheese sauce:

1 1/2 cups raw cashews
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 clove garlic
pinch of turmeric
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. mustard (dijon or yellow)

For the macaroni n’ cheese casserole:

8 oz. of elbow or shell pasta of choice

freshly ground black pepper
paprika, for garnish

*optional add-ins: roasted broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, spinach (I highly recommend these!!!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. If you are adding roasted broccoli (<– recipe here) to your dish, this would be a good time to start preparing that, so it can roast in the oven while you work on the rest! You should also start boiling some water for your pasta.

I opted for gluten-free, quinoa shells, but any pasta will do. Trader Joe’s often sells brown rice elbow noodles that would be great, too!

While you’re waiting for your pasta to cook, start working on the “cheese” sauce.

If you have a Vita-Mix, or other high-powered blender, making this sauce is a cake-walk. Simply throw the first ten ingredients into the blender, and blend until smooth and creamy! If you do not have a high-powered blender, don’t worry– you can easily use a food processor or blender to process the cashews first, until they are finely ground, or ideally, a nut-butter-like consistency. Once your cashews are thoroughly processed, add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

You should have a thick, smooth sauce.

At this time, you should check your pasta. Once it’s cooked to your liking, drain and rinse it, then return the pasta to the pot to be mixed with the cheese sauce.

If you’re adding any roasted or sauteed veggies, this would be the time to do it. I highly recommend adding roasted broccoli to this dish–> Austin and I both agreed the bites of broccoli were our favorite part!

I also decided to saute a handful of mushrooms, that I had leftover from our Mushroom Risotto from the night before. The mushrooms were a good decision, they added a really nice texture to the dish!

You can serve the hot Mac n’ Cheese immediately at this point, for a creamy and delicious meal, or you can bake it for a firmer, dryer texture. (My husband prefers this meal on the drier side, so I usually bake it for his benefit.)

To Bake:

Once you’ve mixed everything together, pour the mac n’ cheese into an 8 x 8 square dish and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and black pepper.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Let cool for about 5 minutes, then serve!

No one will believe this dish is vegan.

Taking into account that people will probably go back for second-helpings, this dish should serve 4 happy people.

Enjoy!!

4.8 from 70 reviews

Vegan Mac n’ Cheese
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A creamy, vegan “cheese” sauce that’s sure to fool even the pickiest of eaters!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups raw cashews
  • 3 T. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ clove garlic
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. mustard (dijon or yellow)
  • 8 oz. of elbow or shell pasta of choice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • paprika, for garnish
  • *optional add-ins: roasted broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, spinach (I highly recommend these!!!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. (If you are adding roasted broccoli to your dish, this would be a good time to start preparing that, so it can roast in the oven while you work on the rest!) You should also start boiling some water to prepare your pasta.
  2. If you have a Vita-Mix, or other high-powered blender, making this sauce is incredibly easy. Simply throw the first ten ingredients into the blender, and blend until smooth and creamy!
  3. If you do not have a high-powered blender, don’t worry– you can easily use a food processor or blender to process the cashews first, until they are finely ground, or ideally, a nut-butter-like consistency. Once your cashews are thoroughly processed, add the rest of the ingredients and process until thick and smooth.
  4. At this time, you should check your pasta. Once it’s cooked to your liking, drain and rinse it, then return the pasta to the pot to be mixed with the cheese sauce.
  5. If you’re adding any roasted or sauteed veggies, this would be the time to do it. I highly recommend adding roasted broccoli to this dish!
  6. Serve immediately while hot, or move on to the next step for baking.
Baking Instructions: (optional)
  1. Once you’ve mixed everything together, pour the mac n’ cheese into an 8 x 8 square dish and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and black pepper. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
  2. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then serve!

 –

*Note: You could keep this dish properly combined by serving the cheese sauce over cooked spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini noodles. Personally, we were feeling the more traditional shell pasta last night, but I’m sure it would taste great either way!

275 comments to The BEST Vegan Mac n’ Cheese

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: