My Favorite Vegan Mac and Cheese

my favorite mac and cheeseI know I have, like, a bagillion mac and cheese recipes or variations of mac and cheese on this site. Actually, I only have 3 others. But in the food blogging world, that sort of seems to me like a bagillion.

At any rate, despite the fact that I don’t need to post yet another mac and cheese recipe here, it would feel disingenuous to go on with life knowing that there’s a go-to mac and cheese that I pretty much make exclusively these days that I haven’t shared here. It’s quickly become one of my favorite meals, and one that I make at least once every few weeks — especially during this cold winter, when I’ve been craving warm comfort food and carbs.

I know the internet, as well, has no shortage of vegan mac and cheese recipes using cashews as a base. That’s fine. What I like about this particular recipe is that there are very few ingredients, it’s very creamy, and the miso and smoked paprika are secret ingredients that sort of make this a perfect blend of delicious, umami, smoky and decadent goodness — without any oil or processed fat. I am willing to go out on a limb and say that, despite its lack of processed ingredients, this recipe will wow even the most ardent omnivore or self-proclaimed “cheese addict” you may be feeding.

Here are my other Mac and Cheese Variations, in case you’re feeling like experimenting:

My Favorite Mac And Cheese: 

Makes 2-4 servings (depending on appetites, and what you’re serving with it)

1. Boil the following according to package directions, then set aside:

8 oz. gluten-free elbow pasta, or pasta of choice

2. Meanwhile, blend in a high-powered blender until very, very smooth:

1 cup raw cashews*

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

5 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon chickpea miso

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)**

* If not using a high-powered blender such as Vitamix, soak cashews in water for 2 hours, then drain and rinse.

**If you don’t salt pasta water, increase salt in sauce to 3/4 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon.

3. Toss everything together in a large pot and heat over low-medium heat until just heated through. Serve. 

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