- Egg free pasta: choose whole grain pasta or legume-based
- Broccoli: (can substitute for another vegetable or leave out)
- Cashews: soak them for a few hours if you don’t have a high-speed blender
- White beans (soaked and steamed, instead of the cashews)
- Potatoes & Carrots: to add more volume and nutrition to the sauce without the extra fat
- Nutritional Yeast: (for cheesy flavour)
- Cook the egg free pasta according to the package instructions.
- In the meantime, you can prepare your plant-based cheese sauce by gathering the ingredients, steaming the vegetables, and blending them for a few seconds until smooth.
- leave the steamed broccoli to mix with the pasta just before serving and pour over the cheese sauce on top.
- Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce
- White beans – soaked and steamed
- Soy milk – to mix all ingredients, adding more creaminess and essential amino acids
- Nutritional yeast – that’s what plant-based cheese sauces depend on for their cheesy flavour – plus it offers a decent amount of B vitamins
- Lemon juice – to give it some kick
- Salt & pepper – can be adjusted to taste
Additional Extras: Optional
- Herbs: thyme, Italian herb mixes etc
- Ground paprika or smoked paprika
- Chili flakes or hot sauce
- Cooked or raw onion & garlic
- White wine or apple cider vinegar
- Soy sauce or liquid aminos
Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce
- Steam the potatoes and carrots
- Add onion and garlic
- Once your veggies have softened, remove them from the stove and add them to the blender along with soaked and drained cashews or the white beans that is soaked and steamed.
- You can add any of the additional extras
- Make sure you add plenty of nutritional yeast as well as salt and lemon juice to your liking, then blend for a couple of seconds to obtain a smooth sauce.
- If you want to make the cheese sauce more umami and tangy, add a little bit of mustard and miso paste
- You can also make it a bit more golden by adding a pinch of turmeric. This will boost the colour and nutrition without interfering with the flavour.
- To make it an authentic vegan mac and cheese, use some stretchy vegan cheese shreds or add vegan butter to your cheese sauce. In this case, you can also skip the veggies, go for plain white pasta
Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese Version:
- For a baked vegan macaroni and cheese, preheat the oven to 350° F while preparing the pasta and sauce.
- Pour the dairy-free cheese sauce over the cooked pasta, stir, then place the mixture into a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes.
- If you want to add a crunchy topping, sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top before baking
- Add vegan cheese strips and vegan butter when baking (optional)
To Thicken Cheese Sauce:
- In a small separate bowl, you need to mix your starch of choice with a few tablespoons of cold liquid (such as water or plant-based milk) until the mixture is smooth.
- You then add it to the rest of your vegan cheese sauce and let it heat up to thicken.
- Common choices to thicken a vegan cheese sauce are wheat flour, chickpea flour, potato starch, corn starch and arrowroot powder.
- However, if you use a starchy base for your vegan cheese sauce, there’s no need to add any other thickeners as the starch that’s in the potatoes or beans will already create the desired texture.
Nut Free Cheese Sauce:
- Make this recipe nut-free by replacing the cashews with tahini or hemp seeds; you can also just increase the amount of potatoes
- Instead of white potatoes, you can also use butternut squash for the sauce
- You can also make the dairy-free cheese sauce fat-free by omitting the cashews
- Increase the amount of protein by using white beans for the cheese sauce or using chickpea pasta.
- For a gluten-free version, go for chickpea pasta or rice pasta.
- Store any leftover vegan cheese sauce separately in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. It also freezes well and can be thawed to add to meals.