I don’t maintain a strictly vegan diet, but copious amounts of dairy upsets my stomach. As you can imagine, that makes it challenging to satisfy my mac & cheese craving. I’ve tried numerous vegan mac & cheese recipes over the years, and this one is the only one I’ll eat. I like it because it doesn’t call for nutritional yeast, which I’ve never been crazy about.
Here’s the deal: While this doesn’t taste exactly like mac & cheese, it 100% fulfills my mac & cheese craving. I’ve served it to plenty of non-vegans and no one has ever been disappointed.
*Asterisk included because I make mine with real butter. It can easily be made entirely vegan if you use margarine or Earth Balance though.
- 4 quarts of water
- 8 ounces macaroni
- 2 slices of bread, toasted and torn into pieces
- 1 tablespoon + 1/3 cup butter (or a vegan alternative)
- 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the toasted bread and 1 tablespoon butter to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
- In a food processor, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup butter, mustard, lemon juice and black pepper. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the food processor and process until smooth.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended “cheese” sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.