Creamy and gooey mac & cheese. Is there a greater comfort food? I don’t think so! You can enjoy this mac & cheese guilt free because we’re adding roasted veggies. But don’t worry, it doesn’t change the taste, it just means you can feel better about eating seconds.
When you create a food blog, you get to see how much you cook with certain ingredients. Like cauliflower. Oops, I never realized I used it that much! Yep, I’m giving you a recipe for ‘cheese’ sauce, no dairy here, but still gooey and delicious. Trust me, my dad said he enjoyed it (he’s a bit skeptical of all things vegan) and if he said that, you better bet it’s good!
This ‘cheese’ sauce is way easier to make than your typical cheese sauce. So easy in fact, I think it’s impossible to mess up. All you do is throw everything in a blender, puree, and pour over the noodles.
Do you prefer baked mac & cheese or stove top mac & cheese? At least in my house, there’s a big debate on which is better. I used to love stove top mac & cheese – it’s quicker and oh so creamy. Then, I tried baked mac & cheese and I never wanted anything else! I love the extra crunch the breadcrumbs add.
Want to know what would make your mac & cheese better? (if that’s even possible…). Using these character shaped pasta! Yes, since I was 10 years old, my cousin Dana and I would make mac & cheese, either Kraft or Annie’s (the white cheddar, of course) and it HAD to be the character noodles, they’re so much better. Don’t believe me? Now you might…
Vegan Veggie Mac & Cheese
|Yield: Serves 6 people|
Roasted veggies, homemade vegan creamy cheese sauce, mixed together to make the best (and sorta healthy) mac & cheese!
- 3 cups cauliflower, cut in bite size pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, sliced thin
- 3 cups broccoli, cut in bite size pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 pound dried pasta
- Cheese Sauce:
- 3 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup cashews, toasted
- 1 tablespoon lemon
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Topping: crushed red pepper, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional)
- Roast the veggies: Heat oven 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix cauliflower, garlic, red pepper, broccoli, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper. Spread on baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes until roasted and golden brown. Let cool.
- Caramelize onion: Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet. Add onion, saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Make the cheese sauce: Place all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until pureed and smooth.
- Mix roasted veggies, onion, pasta, cheese sauce in a large serving dish.
- If desired, sprinkle with crushed red pepper and top with breadcrumbs, bake in oven at 350 degrees until breadcrumbs are toasted, about 10 minutes.
images and text © North Coast Eats
adapted from Chloe Flavor