For years, I have been on an unceasing quest to find the perfect vegan macaroni and cheese recipe. My requirements were as follows: it could not contain any vegan “cheeze” products, it must be deliciously gooey and cheesy, and it must be healthy enough that when I inevitably eat an entire pan of it, I won’t have to feel too entirely disgusted with myself. Friends, I’m happy to report my search is over. This recipe from VegNews.com is absolutely perfect and has the best flavor with the healthiest, most straightforward ingredients. If you like your mac and cheese gooey and not baked, skip the baking and breadcrumbs and just pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and serve.
The Absolute Best Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
Container count per serving: 1½ yellow, 3 tsp
- 4 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 8 ounces macaroni
- 4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons + ⅓ cup non-hydrogenated margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy Free buttery spread)
- 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped (I actually used sweet potatoes)
- ¼ cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- ⅓ cup onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- In a large pot, bring the water and salt 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 bread and 2 tablespoons margarine 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 blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, ⅓ cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.
For more delicious recipes, visit VegNews.com