Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese

Makes 6-8 servings

Things can get political in the macaroni department.

Boxed versus homemade, elbows versus shells, creamy versus baked...there's no end to the degree at which America's favorite comfort food can be debated. But there's one thing I think we can all agree on: A world where mac and cheese is as health-promoting as it is delicious is the only world we want to live in. And my mission, over the last 9+ years of eating plant-based, has been to craft a utopia that is just that.

I've tried organic boxed varieties and found them satisfactory, but not filling. I've experimented with butternut squash or pumpkin-based sauces and found them wholesome, but oddly Thanksgiving-flavored. I've even relied on vegan diners and restaurants to tie over my cravings from time to time, but ultimately found my cheesy fixes to be overpriced and lacking in nutritional balance and quality.

After years of experimentation with homemade recipes I've finally locked down a winning combination - and I'm so (SO) excited to share it with you all today.

Veg-heavy, protein-packed, and budget friendly too, meet my new hunger-crushing Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese.

Prep time: 20 miN

cook time: 20 min

Total time: 40 MIN 

Ingredients:

For the Mac & Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews

  • 1 large or 2 small russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed well

  • 1 large carrot, washed and peeled

  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I love using canned coconut milk here)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (can also use more non-dairy milk)

  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1.5 T tapioca or arrowroot flour

  • 1/2 T lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

For Serving:

  • 12-16 oz. pasta of choice (I like to use chickpea-based elbows or shells from brands like Banza or Chickpea)

Directions:

Soak the cashews in hot water for 20 minutes or so to soften.

 

Cut the potato and peeled carrot into 1 inch pieces and boil in salted water for 10-15 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.

Sauté the chopped onion and garlic in a teaspoon or so of oil on the stovetop over medium-heat for a few minutes until fragrant.

Add the soaked and drained cashews, boiled carrots and potatoes, sautéed onion and garlic and the remaining mac and cheese sauce ingredients/spices into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

 

Boil the pasta noodles of your choosing as directed per the instructions on the packaging.

 

Pour the blended mac and cheese sauce into a saucepan and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick and warm throughout.

 

Pour the warm sauce over the cooked pasta noodles, serve immediately and ENJOY!

I hope you find this recipe as comforting and nostalgic as my family does!

This dish pairs beautifully with a side salad or roasted veggies, and saves well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Just be sure to limit the time for which you re-heat it (either on the stovetop or in the microwave) in order to prevent the sauce from drying out.

For more personalized care or further information on plant-based proteins, dairy, meat or egg alternatives when it comes to classic American dishes, feel free to visit my services page or shoot me an email to chat further. I LOVE sharing what I've learned over the years in the healthy recipe department with you all and spreading the wealth there.

Thanks for dropping in today!

Until next time -

 

XO,

Grace

For more disease-fighting & drool-worthy 

meal ideas, check out my other plant-powered recipes here: