Heya ! I hope you’re as excited as I am about this; it’s the M the AC and cheese, except this time without all the customary post-consumption guilt that comes with it. That’s right, this is the Broke Foodies’ Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe! Not only is it easy and inexpensive to make, it is also healthy, and you do NOT need nuts to make the sauce!
Vegan Mac and Cheese without Cashews or Nuts or pre-packaged vegan cheese
Mac and Cheese is Lea’s favorite food. Seriously, you can bribe her with Mac and Cheese. Not that I’ve done it or anything…
We make it for special occasions, date night, or when we watch the NFL or MMA. This is our favorite recipe for when we want mac n cheese but without all the calories that come from layering the milk and cheese and butter and whatever else your average mouth-watering mac n cheese has.
This cheese sauce can be used for anything really, including nachos! Taste it and figure out for yourself where else you’d like to see it ! And obviously, please let us know. Food blogging is worth it the moment someone makes your recipe and loves it, too.
With all the vegan mac and cheese recipes out there, I wanted to come up with something that close to the authentic thing, without breaking the bank of course.
And that, folks, is why we are called Broke Foodies.
No cashews? No problem.
In order for to cut costs, I chose not to use cashews in my sauce. I know there are a gazillion recipes out there that call for cashews, but we like to do things differently here.
I got mad love for cashews but I don’t always have them handy, hence the use of sweet potato in this recipe, since I’m basically making sweet potato fries every other weekend.
Another reason I chose to use sweet potato is for its color. I’m a potato racist hehe. The sweet potato got the job solely based on its flesh color.
Sweet potato makes this sauce look like we have added some good ol’ cheddar cheese in the sauce, not to mention it’s loaded with vitamin A and also a little thing I think really care about in my food called flavour.
Okay, maybe the sweet potato didn’t get the job only because of its color.
How to get a cheese taste and texture in a vegan mac and cheese
It’s kind of tricky to get that signature taste that a cheese like cheddar brings to the table. I found that using ‘earthy’ ingredients is the best way. By earthy, I mean things that generally have an earthy taste, like turmeric, mushrooms and so on. In this sauce, we used a combination of nutritional yeast, turmeric, and mushrooms– it worked perfectly.
The mushrooms add a nice bite to your sauce and the sauce brings the whole dish together, check it out.
Do you like this? Pin it!
Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, it takes 30 seconds and you will never miss a recipe, and if you have any questions, please leave us a comment.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
- 1 Pack of 500g of any short pasta of your choice.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tbsp flour we used organic whole wheat
- 1 pint mushrooms approx. 1 cup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp vegan butter Earth Balance
- 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk NOT vanilla!! - can substitute with coconut milk
- pinch cayenne
- 1 tsp dijon mustard to taste - very important
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional drop of liquid smoke super yummy
- optional tsp rosemary
- Optional Bread crumbs + vegan parmesan
- Put a medium pot of water to boil
- Peel and chop the sweet potato into medium-large chunks so that it will cook faster. Add to boiling water and simmer until the sweet potato can easily be poked with a fork and seems cooked through. Meanwhile, follow next step...
- While the sweet potato cooks, warm an oven-safe pan or pot (we used a Le Creuset) and finely chop the garlic while the oven-safe pan warms the olive oil at low-medium heat.
- Add garlic to pan, slice mushrooms - check those sweet potato chunks! Stir your garlic to make sure it doesn't burn and if it starts to cook too much before you've chopped your mushrooms, simply take your pot off the heat and add a splash of water to the garlic to stop the cooking process.
- Add mushrooms and put the heat up to medium (the mushrooms will release water, preventing the mushrooms from burning)
- Once the sweet potato is cooked, remove the pieces with a slated spoon and transfer to a blender, reserving the water to cook the pasta
- Preheat the oven to 350 or broil *see last step for note about this*
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions — we used tortiglioni, which is like a longer and curlier macaroni
- As your pasta is cooking, add the rest of the ingredients (butter, flour, nutritional yeast, almond milk, cayenne, dijon, Salt and pepper) to the blender (with the sweet potato) and blend — start with half the quantity of milk to ensure your mixture is without chunks, then add the other cup and blend again
- Pour your sauce into the oven-safe pan with the mushrooms and garlic once your mushrooms are cooked through. Taste and add nutritional yeast, S+P if necessary.
- Once your pasta is cooked AL DENTE, reserve a quarter cup of pasta water drain & add it to the sauce — it doesn’t need to be completely dry, as the yeast in the pasta water will help thicken the sauce.
- Add about 2 tbsp of pasta water, or as needed, to the pasta sauce. Refer to the earlier picture of our pasta sauce to see what it should look like.
- Mix your pasta and sauce, and add breadcrumbs to the top of the pasta
- If you have breadcrumbs and-or vegan parmesan, you can finish the pasta off in the oven to create a crunchy top. Simply sprinkle these two delicious ingredients on top of the pasta, with black pepper and sea salt. Cook in the oven, uncovered, until the top begins to brown. If you’ve accidentally cooked your pasta through (no longer al dente) then put your oven to broil instead, and cook until the top is browned. Note* This step is optional - the pasta is just as amazing without the crispy top. If you want to forgo the oven step, then thicken your sauce by cooking it on medium on the stove top.
Cost per portion: 1.25 $CA based on a 6 portion division.