I don’t know many people who are not fans of Mac and cheese. I mean what’s not to like, gorgeous soft pasta, coated in a silky smooth cheesy sauce with a crunchy cheesy top. I even like the way it is bubbling away under the pasta when removed from the oven. It is no doubt the ultimate comfort food, a hug in a bowl.
It is something I have cooked for my kids as they grew up, although then it was not vegan. I have made a few vegan mac and cheese recipes and I have also tasted some premade packaged versions. All were either ok or just awful. Mine needed to be gluten-free also.
I wanted a stand out recipe of mine, something I would be proud to add to my blog or forthcoming book
I also wanted this to be loved by non-vegans, which it was. I wanted it to be just a great mac and cheese and not just good as a vegan version.
Vegan cheese can be very polarizing, a brand one person declares delicious someone else would say it was unpleasant. Cheese is often a stumbling block with would-be vegans. Now, the variety and flavour of vegan cheese have come a long way. It is also so easy to make some successfully at home.
If you are not keen on the ones I used then choose three varieties of vegan cheese that you or your family like and use regularly
Below are the cheeses I used for this recipe, mozzarella, parmesan and mature cheddar. Use the cheeses that you like the taste of. Normally I would have my mozzarella in the fridge and to use, the Mozza Rizella was good and melted well. I have added the link below for homemade mozzarella. The vegan parmesan shown is the one I use most, that one and the Violife block.
It was my first time using the Ilchester one but it did melt well and had a tangy taste, will purchase it again.
I have chosen to make a roux base rather than a cashew cream sauce to keep it close to the original version. The turmeric adds a depth of colour to the sauce. The cheese and added nutritional flakes gives this sauce a tangy savoury cheesy hit and a thick velvety texture.
When I make the sauce I normally make double the quantity, this is so I can freeze it for another day. You could also use the sauce for
- Cauliflower cheese
- In broccoli and cauliflower pasties
- As a dipping sauce
Sometimes I like just a big bowl of this gooey pasta dish on its own but most times I serve it with some green vegetables or a lovely crisp side salad.
If you want to bulk up the dish to feed more then you could combine in some lightly cooked vegetables.
Deluxe Mac n cheese
If you are not gluten-free then just use vegan pasta, bread and normal plain flour.
Vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, nut-free and dairy-free
- Preparation Time 30 Minutes
- Cooking Time 35-40 Minutes
- Serves 4
- 360 g of gluten-free large dry macaroni
- 85 g of gluten-free plain flour
- 100 g of dairy-free butter
- 2 tsp of onion powder
- 2 tsp of garlic powder
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- 1 litre of warm soya milk
- 1 1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp of nutritional flakes
- 30 g of vegan parmesan
- 50 g of vegan mozzerella
- 75 g of vegan strong cheddar
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp of Turmeric (optional)
- 60 g of gluten-free fresh bread
- Preheat the oven to 180C and bring a large pan of salted water to the boil
- Once the water is bubbling then add the pasta, cook according to the packets instructions, you want the pasta to be al dente.
- Once cooked drain and rinse with coat water and set aside.
- In a medium-sized saucepan melt the butter on a low heat. Once melted add in the flour and quickly stir together to form a thick paste (roux). Leave this to cook for a couple of minutes to cook away the taste of raw flour.
- Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk a little at a time whisking after each addition, making sure it is smooth and without lumps.
- Place back onto the heat and bring to a boil, whisking continuously, turn the heat down to low and continue to simmer for 5-7 stirring and making sure the sauce does not stick on the bottom, then remove from the heat.
- Stir through the nutritional yeast, mustard, salt and pepper, turmeric, onion powder and nutmeg.
- Add the vegan mozzarella, half of the parmesan, and 40g of the mature cheddar. Stir through, it will melt in the warm sauce.
- Place the pasta back into the large pan and pour over 3/4 of the sauce, stir through making sure all the pasta is coated and then transfer to an oiled baking dish.
- Blitz the bread with the garlic powder into crumbs. Mix this with the remaining cheese then sprinkle it over the top then drizzle over the remaining sauce. Place into the oven on the middle shelf and cook until golden brown and bubbling, approximately 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes and then dig in.
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- “Cheese” and Tomato Tartlets
- Coffee & Walnut Cupcakes
If you like this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of my recipes and love hearing your comments