Yes you read that title correctly; here is my family’s amazing recipe for mac & cheese veganized. My family makes baked mac & cheese, which is the best, in my personal opinion. My grandma handed down her mac and cheese recipe to my mom, my mom then changed it over the years and now I’ve got my hands on it and made it vegan. It is tried and tested over many generations. This recipe won’t disappoint. This is one of the treats my mom would make for special occasions or just when we wanted some comfort food. I absolutely loved this dish and was sad that I could no longer have it once I went vegan, but I wasn’t going to give up so easily.
The key to any good mac & cheese is a white sauce and good cheese. Making a vegan white sauce is super easy, actually way easier than making a traditional white sauce. If you simply blend raw cashews and water and then heat it, it becomes a white sauce. Yes it is actually that easy. Once I learned how easy it was to make a vegan white sauce I knew that I could make vegan mac & cheese.
The next big factor in vegan mac and cheese is finding the right cheese to use. Now, I have a lot of feelings about what the best vegan cheeses are, if you want to know some of my thoughts, I wrote a post all about it. I think the best option for this recipe is Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Shreds. This cheese melts really well and keeps its cheesy integrity when melted. I’ve tried other cheese brands and sometimes they turn into a gloppy glue-like consistency when melted, and you really don’t want that.
1 cup raw cashews
3 cups water
2 boxes of macaroni (buy gluten free if desired)
Note: I used both macaroni and small shells. It’s also fun to mix it up with your mac and cheese.
½ cup of breadcrumbs (buy gluten free if desired)
8 oz vegan cheese (try Follow Your Heart)
Note: I used a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar, but you can use whatever kind of cheese you wish.
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In a small bowl mix together breadcrumbs and ½ of vegan cheese for the topping.
- Blend cashews with water until smooth and transfer to a saucepan. Heat on medium low heat stirring intermittently until thickened.
- Once cashew sauce evenly coats a spoon, mix in the rest of the cheese and stir until the cheese is completely melted.
- Cook pasta al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Mix the pasta into the cheese sauce and then transfer to a casserole dish. The best way to do this is by layer pasta and sauce. Put one layer of pasta down then put half the sauce on and mix it around and then repeat. Sprinkle on the topping.
- Place in the oven until browned around 20 – 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.