Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with The Best Ever Vegan Mac 'N' Cheese, a hearty and healthy dinner option that is dairy-free and packed with protein and fiber.
- Add the cashews to a medium bowl and cover with warm water by 1 inch (2 ½ cm). Soak for 3–4 hours, until the cashews are softened and plump, then drain.
- While the cashews are soaking, prepare the roasted garlic: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Cut off the top ½ inch (1 ¼ cm) of the head of garlic and drizzle the exposed cloves with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Replace the top of the head of garlic and wrap tightly in foil. Roast for 35–40 minutes, until the cloves are easily pierced with a fork. Unwrap the garlic and let cool completely. Once cooled, squeeze all of the cloves from their skins.
- In a high-powered blender, combine the soaked cashews, roasted garlic cloves, and cold water. Blend on high speed for 30–60 seconds until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch (30 cm) cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the panko, paprika, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir with a spatula to coat the bread crumbs in the oil. Toast, stirring frequently, for 3–5 minutes, until the bread crumbs are lightly golden brown. Transfer the bread crumbs to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.
- In the same skillet, melt together the vegan butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the minced garlic for 2–3 minutes until fragrant but not browned. Whisk in the flour, ensuring there are no clumps. Cook the roux for 3–4 minutes, whisking continuously until the flour is golden in color and fragrant.
- Add the blended cashew mixture to the skillet and whisk well to combine with the roux. Add the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, pepper, and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce for 2–3 minutes until slightly thickened. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and pool when drizzled, but not so thick that it is gloppy. If the cheese sauce is too thick, gradually add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Add the elbow noodles to the sauce and toss until well coated.
- Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs on top of the pasta in an even layer.
- Bake for 15–20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edges of the skillet and the bread crumbs are deep golden brown.
- Garnish with fresh minced parsley and serve.
Indulge in the Best Ever Vegan Mac 'N' Cheese, a comforting, dairy-free recipe that is perfect for dinner or lunch.
This healthy, high-protein dish is simple to make in under 1 hour, using a one-pot or pan on the stove top or in the oven.
Ideal for meal prep or serving a big batch at special occasions like BBQs or date nights.
Enjoy the delicious flavors with the convenience of minimal equipment needed – just grab your chef's knife, cutting board, and measuring utensils.
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