Vegan Mac & Cheese

Who doesn't love mac & cheese?! I personally grew up on that stuff as a kid and in college with it being a huge part of my diet. I’m sure most of us can say the same. However, with all of the food sensitivities we're seeing in our society in this day and age, we can’t eat the same foods we used to anymore without feeling bloated, heavy, and miserable. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case anymore. Give that old story a rest with this delicious recipe that is not only gluten and dairy free, but contains tons of veggies and protein. Who says you can’t eat your old childhood favorites anymore?! Now, you can enjoy this delicious vegan mac & cheese with my recipe below:

For the cheese sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 3 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup water or veggie broth
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Mac & Cheese Casserole

  • 16 ounces of pasta of choice (I like Banza chickpea pasta for a gluten free option)
  • Roasted veggies (feel free to go totally HAM on this… the more the merrier)

Directions:

1)      If you decide to roast veggies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Start preparing all of your veggies. I personally like to do onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach.

2)      Put all of the chopped veggies (minus the spinach) on a baking sheet with tin foil under it and drizzle some olive oil, salt, and pepper on your veggies.

3)      Put them in the oven for 30-35 minutes (I like them well done, so feel free to do it for 40 minutes if you decide to use a lot of veggies) and begin cooking the water for your pasta until it comes to a boil.

  • Feel free to sauté the veggies instead if you are short on time instead of using the oven.

4)      While your veggies are roasting, make your “cheese” sauce by adding all of the ingredients to a high powered blender (Vitamix for example) and blend on high until smooth and creamy. No worries if you don’t have a high powered blender. You can use a food processor or blender to process the cashews first. Once they are processed, add them in with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

5)      Once the water for your pasta is brought to a boil, add the noodles until they are fully cooked according to the directions on the box (~10 minutes or I’ll taste it to make sure they are al dente). When they are done, drain/rinse the pasta and return your pasta to the pot to be mixed with your cheese sauce. Feel free to add the spinach too at this time.

6)      When your veggies are all done roasting, take them out of the oven and mix everything together. Then, pour the mac & cheese into an 8x8 square dish. Feel free to garnish with black pepper and paprika.

7)      ** Optional: Bake for 30 minutes (still at 350F) and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.

8)      Enjoy!

Do you want help making some of your childhood favorites that are healthy and taste good? Comment below to see how we can work together!