Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese

Ok, it isn’t cheese but it is VERY close. If anything it satisfies the same umami taste, creaminess, and craving for a large bowl of macaroni and cheese. The best part – it is good for you! This isn’t a processed or “fake” cheese, the sauce is literally made up of vegetables, nuts, spices, and water.

I personally don’t experience stomach pain or indigestion from eating cheese, unless it is in crazy amounts, but I am pretty sure that is the case for anyone. I do however, notice how it affects my skin. When I eat cheese I always wake up with oily skin and a new pimple. With this recipe, I can finally eat a big bowl of creamy macaroni without the risk of a pimple the next morning! This even fooled my husband – he had no idea it was vegan until I told him!!

What makes this recipe cheesy? Nutritional Yeast. A super food and great addition to many meals. Learn more about Nutritional Yeast here.

Prep Time: 30 min / Cook Time: 10 min / Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped in small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 oz macaroni pasta
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
    • If you don’t have a strong blender (for example, a Vitamix) you may need to soak the cashews before using them for this recipe. Here is a quick method on how to soak your cashews.
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place broccoli and cauliflower on a baking pan. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.
  • Roast veggies for 15 minutes, until slightly brown.
  • While the vegetables cook, boil a large pot of salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions.
  • Heat a medium to large saucepan, on medium heat. Once hot, add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, potatoes and seasonings (salt, nutmeg, mustard powder, pepper and cayenne pepper). Stir to combine.
  • Add the raw cashews and 1 cup of water and bring everything to a simmer. Stir frequently and watch the heat to make sure it doesn’t boil. Cook everything for 5 more minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Carefully pour the hot vegetable mixture into a blender. Add the nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Blend on high for 1 – 2 minutes, until completely mixed through and creamy.
    • Scrape down sides as needed.
    • If the mixture is too thick add a little more water, about 1/4 cup at a time, until it reaches a creamy sauce that will stick to the back of a spoon.
  • Taste and season with more salt, if needed. I typically add at least another 1/2 teaspoon of salt :).
  • Grease a 9×11 casserole dish. Add the macaroni, roasted vegetables and cheese sauce to the casserole dish and mix to completely combine.
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with the 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.
  • Lower the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 8 minutes.
  • After 8 minutes, turn the oven on broil to let the top of the casserole get brown and crispy. About 1 – 2 minutes. Watch it closely!
  • Serve in a big bowl and enjoy 🙂

Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate.

4 thoughts on “Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese

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