A fast and creamy dairy-free and gluten-free mac n' cheese made in the Instant Pot! Made with cashews, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast, this sauce is thickened when it cooks directly in the same pot as the pasta.
Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. In a high-speed blender combine the cashews, 2 cups of water, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon juice, vinegar, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth.
Add the pasta to the bowl of your Instant Pot, and pour the sauce over the top. Stir well. Use 2 more cups of water to "rinse out" your blender, swishing the water in the empty blender container to help pick up any of the seasoning that may have been left behind. Pour the water from the blender container into the Instant Pot, then seal the lid and make sure the knob at the top is turned to the "sealing" position. Cook on high pressure for 0 minutes (yes, zero minutes), then let the steam pressure naturally release for 8 minutes.
When the screen reads LO:08, carefully release the steam in the pot by moving the steam release vent to "venting," then remove the lid. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of water into the pot and use a wooden spoon to stir well, making sure to remove any pasta that has stuck to the bottom of the pot. Adjust any seasoning to taste, and serve warm.
Feel free to make this more of an "adult" Mac n' Cheese by adding your favorite vegetables before serving. I love to stir-in roasted broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, or simply fold in fresh baby spinach so that it wilts before serving.
*Note: If you make this in the 8-quart Instant Pot, you may get a "burn" error as it comes to pressure. (This typically doesn't happen with the 6-quart pot.) If you DO get the burn error-- don't panic. In fact, I recommend that you simply wait (LEAVING THE LID SEALED) for 10-15 minutes, so that the pasta and liquid are locked in the heat. This will finish cooking your gluten-free pasta and your meal will still turn out well! When you remove the lid, use a wooden spoon to stir the pasta, scraping anything that might have gotten stuck on the bottom, then adjust the seasoning to taste and serve. To avoid the burn error, you can arrange a vegetable on the bottom of the pot, like chopped cauliflower or butternut squash, to prevent the pasta from touching the bottom. The veggies will become very tender from the cooking and will blend right in when you stir the cooked pasta later!