I’ve decided to start a new series on my website called the Vegan Comfort Food Challenge – and here is my first recipe! I’ve taken the classic creamy, cheesy and definitely not vegan mac and cheese, and veganized it! This recipe is so easy, so delicious and only requires 8 ingredients! If you have a comfort food that you loved before vegan, or one that’s stopping you from going vegan now, leave it in the comment section below or on my Instagram and I will try to add it to the series!
Since going vegan, I have tried quite a few vegan mac and cheese recipes. Some with cashew based sauces and some with potatoes and carrots, some homemade and some from restaurants, but none have tasted like real mac and cheese. If you’re going to make this recipe, it’s important to note that it is not necessarily the healthiest vegan mac and cheese recipe out there; but it so damn tasty! I wanted to avoid veggie-based sauces because I find they lack flavour and creaminess, and usually take way longer to cook, and I didn’t want to use a cashew-based sauce because some people may have allergies, and cashews are quite expensive!
This recipe is by far my favourite recipe that I have ever created, and my husband, my brother and I are all obsessed with it! It only takes 25 minutes to create, requires 8 ingredients, and reheats deliciously the next day! Just be sure to heat it up over the stove if possible and add a splash of non-dairy milk and a sprinkle of extra cheese so it stays creamy and doesn’t dry out.
As for the vegan cheese – I know some people don’t love vegan cheese because they don’t always taste real; but I have tested this recipe with Follow Your Heart (Earth Island in Canada) cheddar shreds, Daiya cheddar shreds and a combination of both, and this recipe has never disappointed. I mean, come on, how creamy and cheesy does this look?
Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 adults
3 cups (measured dry) macaroni noodles
2 tbsp coconut oil (or sub vegetable oil if necessary)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unsweetened plain cashew milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup vegan shredded cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in 3 cups of macaroni noodles. Cook according to package directions. Be careful to not over-cook!
2. In a small pot, melt 2 tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat. When the oil is fully melted, add in 3 tbsp of whole wheat flour. Stir for 1-2 minutes. It will begin to look like a roux and it might start bubbling – that is completely fine. Add in 3/4 cup of unsweetened plain cashew milk (or your favourite non-dairy milk), 1/2 tsp of onion and garlic powder, 1/4 tsp of salt and stir for 1-2 minutes again. When combined, it will look like a soft dough. Reduce the heat and stir occasionally until the noodles are finished cooking.
3. Drain the noodles (don’t rinse – it will help the sauce stick to the pasta). Pour the noodles back into the pot they were cooked in.
4. Add 1 cup of shredded vegan cheese to the sauce mixture, stir for 1 minute until the cheese begins to melt, and then add it to the pot of pasta. You’ll need to stir the cheese sauce in for 1-2 minutes, but all the cheese will eventually melt and you will be left with a cheesy, flavour-filled mac and cheese!
5. Add your favourite toppings – I usually just add a pinch of pepper, dried parsley, and a sprinkle of extra cheese. Sometimes we have a BBQ’ed veggie dog with it. My husband occasionally (and against my wishes) adds ketchup. Either way, you will love this vegan mac and cheese!
6. You can add breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400°F if you like, but I always just eat it straight out of the pot!
If you decide to try this recipe, post a photo on Instagram and tag me so I can see your creations @thatcanadianvegan. Enjoy!