Today I'm teaching you how to make a comfort food classic in its dairy free version, delicious and super creamy vegan mac and cheese!
Although there are plenty of delicious vegan cheeses in the market these days or you can make delicious vegan cheese at home, I thought I'd give you a simple recipe that you can make with ingredients you can find pretty much anywhere.
You'll need nutritional yeast, which is different from brewer's yeast as it gives more of a cheesy flavor, and together with the cashews in the recipe, provide lots of delicious plant based protein.
Want to amp up the protein in this recipe even more?
Try using a legume based pasta like red lentil or chickpea pasta, or top this delicious plant based mac and cheese recipe with some of our smoky tempeh bacon.
The sauce comes together in a blender and you won't believe how creamy and delicious it is. Let's get cooking!
Enjoy the video, recipe and printable below!
THE CREAMIEST VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE
Yield: 2-3 servings | Pre-soaking time: 4 hours or overnight (you can also boil the cashews for 12 minutes and skip the soaking) | Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes
- 3/4 cup cashews (soaked in water overnight or for at least 4 hours, or boiled for 12 minutes)
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- A drizzle of olive oil to coat the pan
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 & 1/2 cups dried pasta (macaroni, elbow or any that has a hollow shape)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon annato or achiote paste or powder (optional)
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 2/3 cup vegetable stock (or water plus a vegetable bouillon cube)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Optional for serving: almond parm (ground almonds with salt), or grated vegan cheese
1. Place the sweet potato cubes in a steamer basket over a pot with some boiling water and steam, covered, for about 12 minutes or until tender.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add ample salt and cook your pasta according to the package directions or to your liking, before draining, reserve some of the pasta cooking water.
3. Heat a pan on high, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt until lightly translucent. Add a bit more olive oil and add the garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently until lightly golden. Remove from the heat.
4. Drain the cashews and add them to a blender along with the cooked sweet potato, the cooked onions and garlic, dijon mustard, tomato paste, achiote paste if using, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, vegetable stock and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until mostly creamy, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
5. Slowly add some of the reserved, hot, pasta cooking water while your blender runs, until a perfectly blended and creamy consistency is achieved.
6. Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce and serve with the almond parm or vegan cheese if desired and some freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!
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