Vegan macaroni & cheese? Don’t knock it until you try it. For many people the biggest challenge of eating more plant-based foods is trying to avoid cheese! I for one absolutely love cheese. It is a weakness of mine. But I do at least try to moderate how much cheese I eat. I know macaroni & cheese is one of the greatest creations. I mean who doesn’t love carby-cheesy-goodness in every bite! When I do have mac and cheese, I often feel heavy, sleepy and sluggish afterwards. Well, say goodbye to that feeling with this vegan macaroni & cheese recipe! Kyle (my partner who is 100% vegan) use to love mac and cheese, so I’ve been playing around with this simple vegan version and even I, an avid cheese lover enjoy this meal.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, cashews are truly amazing! They replicate a creamy texture and taste when blended which is why they are perfect for vegan macaroni and cheese. Cashews remind me of trail mix, which reminds me of road trips with my family (trail mix was a MUST). I always picked out as many cashews as I could to give to my Mom or Dad to eat. I think I also tried to sneak them into my younger sister’s bag of trail mix because she only ate the M&M’s anyway. My mom always encouraged me to eat the nuts in the trail mix, and while my Dad encouraged me as well, he would buy an extra bag of M&M’s to add to the trail mix to make it more fun. Anyway, I never liked cashews when I was younger, but when you transform them into a creamy sauce or dressing, they taste totally different, in the best way possible!
This recipe really can’t get any easier. I played around with it for a bit and tried adding more ingredients or baking in the oven, but none of those attempts are good as this. This is a simple three step recipe. Soak the cashews in just boiled water for 15-30 minutes. During this time, cook the pasta according to package directions. Once the cashews have soaked, add them to the blender along with the rest of the ingredients (except the pasta). Blend until smooth, adding more water if needed to reach your desired consistency. Put the pasta in a large bowl and dump the cashew cheese sauce on top. Finally, stir the sauce into the pasta until it's coated with cheesy cashew sauce. Kyle and I like to eat ours with a bit of hot sauce dabbled on top. YUM.
I know vegan macaroni & cheese might sound weird, but please give this a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. Feel free to add additional toppings such as vegan cheese, toasted bread crumbs or hot sauce! Enjoy!Print
The easiest & creamiest vegan macaroni and cheese!
- 1 ½ cups unsalted cashews
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 16 oz box of elbow macaroni
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Soak the cashews in very hot (recently boiling) water for 15-30 minutes.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- After the cashews are done soaking, drain the excess water.
- Blend together the cashews, water, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and lemon juice. Add more water if needed to reach the desired consistency.
- In a large bowl, gently mix together the pasta and cashew sauce.
- Top with freshly ground black pepper and a few dabs of hot sauce (optional).
- Leftovers: the pasta will absorb most of the moisture so it will become a bit dry. When reheating the macaroni and cheese, add a small amount of plant-based milk or water and stir until creamy.
- Feel free to add your favorite vegan cheese on top!
Keywords: vegan macaroni and cheese