Mac & Cheese used to be one of my favourite pasta dishes growing up. It’s so creamy & comforting and just the perfect thing to tuck into on these cold, wintry evenings. Im definitely having one of those days today. I feel like I could just curl up on the sofa and tuck into a huge mountain of Mac & cheese and drink mugs of hot chocolate under a blanket all evening. I’ve been feeling super drowsy and tired all day and not full of energy in the slightest! I really hate it when I have days like this because I’ve been so motivated recently and constantly buzzing around on the go.
So, anyway.. vegan Mac & cheese. I’m not strictly dairy free, but it’s not something that I eat a large quantity of and I actually prefer most non-dairy alternatives. I LOVE vegan pizza and there’s now luckily some really great vegan cheeses on the market. I remember when the choice was fairly limited and I really wasn’t a fan; but now there’s such a huge range and you can even get vegan soft cheeses and mozzarella. For this recipe I’ve actually just used one of my old faithful ingredients: nutritional yeast to create that delicious cheesy flavour. I’ve been buying this for the longest time now and always make sure to have s good supply in my kitchen cupboard. It looks a little strange in appearance (a bit like fish food actually) but trust me on this one, it has a delicious cheesy flavour and works really well when making vegan sauces, dips and even in pesto. To be honest I could sprinkle it over just about any savoury dish really. It’s great on salads and pizza!
The sauce is made kinda how you would make a traditional white sauce, apart from I’ve subbed most of the ingredients for slightly different alternatives. But it’s still super quick and simple to do and can be used in such a variety of different recipes. You can also really customise the flavours- so it’s a good staple recipe to book mark. For the pasta, I’ve used a gluten free rice macaroni pasta, which has actually held it’s shape really well here. I’ve said this before, but I do find that gluten free pastas can be so hit and miss. I’ve tried SO many over the years and lots of them become a bit soggy and just fall apart when you stir through the sauce.. not ideal.
I think this would be a great recipe to make for someone who isn’t vegan, as it’s a recreation of a typical non-vegan comfort food. I feel like these kinda’ things are a great way to introduce people to more plant based meal options, rather than handing them a giant plate full of salad leaves.
Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese
Heaped Tsp coconut oil
Tbsp spelt flour (can use gluten free)
1 cup coconut milk (I used Rebel Kitchen)
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Pink salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch ground nutmeg
100g rice macaroni pasta
250g chestnut mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
Olive Oil for cooking
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.
To make the sauce, start by heating the coconut oil over a low heat, then stir In the flour to create a roux.
Remove this from the heat and pour in a little of the milk and whisk continuously to dissolve the flour mix.
Return the sauce to a low heat and whisk in the rest of the milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce a simmer and continue to stir as the sauce thickens.
Stir through the seasonings and nutritional yeast.
Meanwhile, wash and slice the mushrooms and sauté these in a frying pan over medium to high heat and crush in the garlic clove. Cook these until golden and crisp on the edges.
Once the pasta has cooked, drain the excess water and stir through the cheese sauce.
Serve topped with the garlic mushrooms and dig in!
- Serving Size: 2-4 people