Don’t get me wrong, a traditional macaroni and cheese with just noodles and oodles of creamy, cheesy goodness will always be a plus in my book. But, have you tried taking it to the next level? Well today is the day, my friends for loaded vegan mac and cheese. This mac and cheese is so remarkably cheese-like and absolutely delicious, you don’t have to be vegan to love it.
Nothing beats homemade mac and cheese. This recipe comes together pretty quickly, even thought it may seem like a lot of steps. It’s one of my favorite pasta dishes, made most often in my house.
It’s a creamy, cashew and vegetable based macaroni and cheese so delicious you’ll forget it’s also good for you. Loaded vegan mac and cheese is a heart-healthy version that doesn’t contain any dairy, filled with veggies and packed with flavor, even your kids will go back for seconds.
Tips and tricks
- Spice it up! For a little more kick, add extra sriracha. Try other spices like ground black pepper, paprika or cayenne flakes. You could even add buffalo sauce for a different spin or toss in some diced jalapeño.
- Play with pasta. Elbow macaroni might be the most traditionally used, but many others work great too. Try shells, bowtie, fusilli, or penne.
- Milk. Replace the reserved water with an unsweetened plant-based milk of your choice.
- Try mock meats. This dish is great with plant-based meats like sausage, tempeh bacon, or ground crumbles. You could also mix in some vegan chorizo.
- Extra protein. Toss in some beans, like cannellini, black or red pinto, for an extra dose of protein.
Loaded Vegan Mac & Cheese
- 8 oz macaroni pasta
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup russet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sriacha (optional)
- 1 cup roasted cauliflower florets
- 3/4 cup broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Lightly coat 1 cup of cauliflower with olive oil and roast on 400 F for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking. Set aside when ready. Lower the oven temp to 350 F.
- Following the instructions for the pasta, cook until al dente (keeping it a little firm, it will cook more in the oven). Drain and add to a casserole dish.
- Meanwhile, bring another medium pot of water to boil. Add the onion, potato and carrot and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots soften.
- Drain the vegetables, saving 1 cup of the water it was boiled in.
- Place the boiled vegetables, 1 cup of reserved liquid, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and sriracha into a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth.
- Evenly distribute the roasted cauliflower, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, and chopped red pepper on top of the pasta in the casserole dish. Pour the cheese mixture over top and stir well to combine. Top with panko bread crumbs.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.