It’s been a long time coming and a lot of recipe testing over here. I’ve taste tested just about every vegan mac-n-cheese recipe I could find and I’ve discovered what works best for me is a version that combines ideas from across the board of recipes I’ve tried. For a velvety finish, cashews are added to this one along with a little nutritional yeast and lots of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Make a little extra sauce to keep around, it reheats nicely the next day.
Best Ever Vegan Mac-n-Cheese
1 box Andean Dream Quinoa Organic Elbow Pasta
1 tsp. sea salt
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 small white onion
1 medium organic Yukon Gold potato, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed with knive but left intact
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup reserved water (see directions)
1 T. nutritional yeast
1 1/2 T. Miyoko’s Vegan Butter
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions, generously season the pasta water with sea salt.
Bring water to a boil in a medium stockpot, add a spoonful of sea salt and the chopped carrots, onions, garlic and potato. Reduce heat to a low rolling boil until vegetables are al dente. At this point, add the raw cashews to the pot and finish cooking until vegetables are fork tender, another 4-5 minutes or so. Before draining, reserve about 1/3 cup of the water to thin out sauce later if needed (you may not need, depending on how thick you prefer sauce).
Drain and transfer the boiled vegetables and cashews to blender. Add nutritional yeast, vegan butter, mustard, and generous amounts of freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Blend until smooth, adding the reserved water to thin out sauce if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning, fold sauce into cooked macaroni and serve hot.