Mac & Cheese has to be the ultimate comfort food dish. It was somewhat of an obsession for me when I was younger and I loved experimenting with different flavour combinations and extravagant Mac & cheese recipes! I’m not sure if I’d have believed you if you told me that years later I would be sat here writing about a completely cheese free, vegan version on the internet! I know the concept of a cheesy pasta dish, without any actual cheese sounds a little bit strange, but I promise you, it tastes great! The pesto is also an excellent addition to macaroni cheese and something I’m going to be adding every time, without fail from now on!
I love having a big batch of this ready and waiting for me in the fridge for when I need something quick and warming for lunch or dinner in a rush. It’s also a great thing to serve as a side dish at dinner parties or buffets.. because who doesn’t love Mac & cheese to be honest?!
I found that using the pea milk in this recipe works really well because it has a slightly savoury flavour and also quite a thick, luxurious texture to create that deliciously creamy sauce! Some non-dairy milks can be a little watery and that’s not really what you want from an indulgent, cheesy sauce.
Ingredients- Serves 3
- 1 1/2 cup Sproud pea milk (you can either use the barista or original version)
- 3 Heaped Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Heaped Tbsp vegan butter
- Heaped Tbsp GF flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp vegan pesto
- Handful baby spinach
- 150g macaroni pasta- use GF if needed
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
Meanwhile, combine the vegan butter and flour in a saucepan over a low heat and mix together to make a roux.
Remove this from the heat and whisk in 12 cup of the pea milk until all of the flour mixture is fully incorporated.
Return the pan to the heat and whisk in the remaining mixture.
Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir through the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and continue to cook whilst stirring to allow the sauce to thicken.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain away any excess water, reserving a little behind for later.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir through the spinach and pesto. Heat over a low heat to allow the spinach to wilt. You can add some of the leftover pasta water here to stop everything sticking if needed. Serve topped with some fresh basil and chilli flakes.