Vegan macaroni and cheese is possible. By replacing cheese with nutritional yeast you still get that cheesy flavor we love so much! Who says you can’t have comfort food that is healthy. By substituting ingredients we can delicious familiar foods that are still delicious! Did I mention this recipe is also gluten-free and dairy-free? Oh yeah! You are not going to get that artificial bright yellow color that store box mac n cheese has from unhealthy, artificial additives but it will still taste yummy!
For the cheese sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- pinch of turmeric
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. mustard (dijon or yellow)
For the pasta:
- 8 oz. of gluten free elbow or shell pasta of choice (you can find them at Trader Joe’s, WholeFoods or other health food stores)
- sea salt to taste
- paprika, for garnish
*optional add-ins: roasted broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, spinach
- Soak the cashews the night before or 2-3 hours before starting to cook.
- Fill a large, tall pot with water and place over high heat.
- When the water is really boiling, add pasta to the water and stir frequently the first two minutes, then occasionally until the end of the cooking process. Before draining the pasta, taste it to see if it is cooked to your liking. If the pasta is “al dente,” you should feel a slight resistance when you bite into it or cut it with a fork. There should also be a thin white vein at the center.
- While you’re waiting for your pasta to cook, start working on the “cheese” sauce. Drain cashews and put them in a food processor or high end blender such as the Ninja or Vita-Mix. Add all the ingredients of the sauce and blend well. You should have a thick, smooth sauce.
- Once your pasta is ready (drained and rinsed) return it to the pan and mix it with the cheese sauce. If you’re adding any roasted or sauteed veggies, this would be the time to do it. You cook the veggies separately and then add it here at the end and mix.
Serve and enjoy this Vegan Macaroni and cheese! People may not even believe it is vegan.