This Vegan Cashew Mac and Cheese Recipe Will Knock Your Socks Off

The perfect vegan mac and cheese DOES exist!

The ultimate comfort food, hands down, is mac and cheese. You know, the creamy, gooey deliciousness you loved to indulge in as a kid, after a long day of math class and recess. Now that you’re grown, “mature,” and maybe have children of your own, you may be looking to up your mac and cheese game. With this recipe, you can make the vegan mac and cheese of your DREAMS! And can even sneak in some veggies without your picky eater detecting a thing.

Yield: 8 servings

Prep: 20 minutes


Cook: 20 minutes

Cashew nuts

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cashews- soaked in water at least 2 hours
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp. fine sea salt + 1 Tbsp. (divided)
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ clove garlic
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar (can be substituted with white wine vinegar or cider vinegar)
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 lb. dried pasta- most store-bought dry pasta is vegan (I like De Cecco brand but double-check the ingredients as they can vary with each shape)

Method

  • Add cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic clove, onion powder, vinegar, water, turmeric, and salt to a (preferable) high-speed blender. Blend ‘till smooth. Add water by the tsp. if it is too thick.
  • Cook pasta following instructions on the box. Reserve 1 cup pasta water. Salt your pasta water with 1 Tbsp. fine sea salt.
  • Toss pasta with vegan “cheese” sauce in a pot or pan, adding reserved pasta cooking water to reach desired consistency Serve as is, or top with vegan cheese (Daiya brand is great) and your favorite vegan breadcrumbs for baked mac and cheese.

Variants

Broccoli mac and cheese

  • Add steamed/frozen broccoli, peas, or cauliflower for the kids. If you have picky eaters, hide the vegetables by blending in ½-1 cup steamed carrots with the cashew “cheese” sauce.
  • To make it spicy, add 1 Tbsp. (or more) roasted green chili or chopped Calabrian chili.

Written by Katherine Barner and Jeffrey Whittaker