Who would have thought that a vegan version of mac ‘n’ cheese could taste this good?! That’s right – totally dairy-free, delightfully creamy and undeniably delicious!
This vegan mac ‘n’ cheese is the ultimate comfort food after a long day. The recipe is also gluten-free and uses only wholesome ingredients, such as cashews which give the sauce a rich velvety thickness.
Not only do the sweet potatoes provide the vibrant orange colour, they also have so many health benefits. They are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre, and are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant which is converted into vitamin A – essential for a strong immune system and healthy vision.
Vegan Mac & Cheese Recipe (Dairy-free, Gluten-free)
Makes 3-4 servings
- 3 cups of pasta of choice (I used wholegrain brown rice penne which is gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped (I used American Sweet Potatoes)
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- ⅔ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours then drained
- ½ cup milk of choice (I recommend coconut milk for creaminess)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (or your cheese of choice)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ⅔ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne powder
- ½ tsp dried thyme (optional)
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
- Place the cashews in a bowl, completely cover with water and leave to soak for 2 hours, then drain but keep ⅔ cup of this water.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. 2 minutes before cooked. Drain but keep the pasta in the pot/pan to serve.
- Meanwhile, add the olive oil and onion to a large saucepan and sauté on a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the chopped sweet potato, crushed garlic, salt and spices/herbs. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring consistently.
- Add the cashews, ⅔ cup water conserved from soaking cashews and ½ cup chosen milk. Stirwell and allow to simmer on a low-medium heat for 6 – 8 minutes, until sweet potatoes are fully cooked.
- Add all the contents of the pan to a strong blender, along with the cider vinegar and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth and no lumps remain, scraping down the sides several times if necessary.
- Taste, then if you feel it needs more, add a pinch more salt and another teaspoon of vinegar if you wish. Blend again.
- Pour the sauce into the pot of pasta and stir through evenly. Gently re-heat if necessary. Serve hot with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and black pepper. Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for 3 days. When re-heating, you may wish to add a splash of water first.
If you give this recipe a try, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @brechernutrition – I LOVE seeing all your recreations!
For more dinner ideas, try these recipes:
- Wild Salmon with Sticky Teriyaki Glaze
- Peanut Tofu Stir-Fry
- Edamame Mushroom Burgers
- Carrot Chickpea Patties
- Original Chickpea Patties
- Vegan Nut Roast
- Baba Ganoush (smoky Aubergine Dip)
- Homemade Hummus