The Ultimate Vegan Mac n’ Cheese
When it comes to making vegan variations of dishes, I’m always the first to try and put my hands to it. Last Christmas, I tried my hands at making a homemade, fully plant-based, mac and ‘cheese’ dish, that was not only completely vegan, but very easy to make with simple ingredients. Here’s the list below of what you’ll need:
For the ‘cheese’:
- One carrot, chopped
- One potato, chopped,
- A Quarter Red Bell Pepper
- One or Two Cloves of Garlic
- Half Onion, Chopped
- Quarter to Half Cup of Cashews (soaked overnight or boiled till soft)
- Tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast (or more)
- Unsweetened Original Almond Milk (add as needed)
- One Vegetable Maggi Cube or preferred vegan bouillon (optional)
- Salt and Black Pepper (to taste)
- Turmeric (for color)
- Paprika (to taste)
- Additional spices of choice
For the pasta
- Elbow Pasta (enough to for two to four people)
- Water (for boiling)
- Salt (to taste)
Bring pasta to a boil, as per package instructions. When cooked, drain, and set aside.
In another pot, boil onions, carrots, and potatoes until tender. It needs to be soft enough to be blended.
While vegetable is boiling, roast (or pan-fry) the garlic cloves and red peppers. I usually roast until it’s sizzling with a bit of brown, but ensure that it doesn’t burn.
When all of this is done, you want to drain the water from the vegetables, reserving about a quarter to half cup of the water. Let the vegetables (including the roasted veggies) cool before attempting to blend.
When the vegetables have cooled off, place all of it in a blender, including the cashews, bullion cube, nutritional yeast, and the other spices listed above. Pour enough reserved water and almond milk to make the blending process smooth, but not too much to make it ‘watery’.
If you have a nutri-bullet or magic-bullet like me, you may have to blend in batches, so portion out these things equally, and have a bowl ready to pour out the contents inside. You will mix the final product later. However, if you have a large enough blender, it’s best to do everything at once.
Blend the contents until smooth and creamy, adding enough liquid in order to do so. Add liquid and spices/seasonings gradually so that you can gauge how much you’d like in your ‘cheese’ sauce.
When finished, put the pasta back on the stove, and add sauce until pasta is coated. Some sauce may be reserved. Just transfer this into a seal-able freezable container, and freeze until needed. (You can also use this sauce as a base for ‘vegan broccoli and cheddar soup’.)
While on the stove, you can add additional nutritional yeast, vegan butter, and a bit more almond milk to make the mac and ‘cheese’ creamier. If necessary, a touch of salt and pepper can be added as well.
And there you have it. The ultimate vegan mac n’ cheese.
You can include a side of fried plantains (like above) or vegan potato salad (in the featured image).
For vegan potato salad, I boiled cubed potatoes until fork-tender, but firm, as well as chopped yellow bell peppers. After boiling, I strain the water and then put two spoonfuls of Vegenaise, a tiny bit of Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and a little bit of brown sugar (not too much). I mixed that with some dried basil and garlic powder. You can also add chives if you’d like.