Guilt-free mac and cheese? Yeah, baby! This vegan mac and cheese recipe is so easy and versatile, it will become a weekly tradition. Why grab a box when you can make this recipe in under 30 minutes? Family and friends won’t even miss the cheese, heck they probably won’t even know it’s vegan.
Cooking with Karen video:
Who doesn’t remember having mac and cheese as a kid? I know I did. But there were no boxed versions, therefore, my mother cook noodles and pour melted Velveeta Cheese on top! Not that great. Consequently, it is time for a change especially now that we adopted a vegan, plant-based, gluten-free household.
Guess what, the sauce is NUT-FREE as well as free from the top 8 food allergens! The secrets to a smooth, creamy vegan mac and cheese are plant-based milk, creamy cooked potatoes, steamed carrots, and nutritional yeast all blended together.
What is this yellow stuff?
According to Wikipedia: nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is sold commercially as a food product. It is sold in the form of yellow flakes, granules, or powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It is popular with vegans and vegetarians and may be used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment. That was a lot!
- Deactivated yeast
- B-Complex vitamins, other vitamins, and minerals
- Has a nutty cheesy flavor
Vegan cheese ingredients cont…
I like to use both red and golden small potatoes, but you can use any creamy potatoes you have on hand. Leaving the skin on makes this already guilt-free mac and cheese even more nutritious.
This may be obvious, but I must say the carrots add an amazing amount of vegan “cheddar cheese” color. In addition to the color, they add a bit of sweetness and extra nutrients like vitamin A and biotin.
Let’s not forget the turmeric. Turmeric packs a powerful punch of color. A little bit of turmeric goes a long way. PLUS, turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
This creamy vegan sauce is so tasty I almost always make a double batch. You can keep it up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. I like to use it as a base for my nacho cheese by adding a bit of “hot” spice to the mac and cheese sauce. You can dice up some jalapenos, use chili lime salt, or drizzle a bit of hot sauce on top. This cheesy sauce is also great on tacos, baked potatoes, as a dip, etc.
Tips & tricks to keep it even easier:
- Use baby carrots that come in a steamable package either fresh or frozen ready to microwave
- You can buy small potatoes in a steamable package that are prewashed and ready to microwave
- Throw all the cheesy sauce ingredients in a blender, pour over noodles, and bake!
I have done through the daunting and expensive process of trying almost every gluten-free pasta brand in the US. I’m a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel.
These are my favorite gluten-free pasta brands because:
- The texture is most consistent with “regular” pasta
- Not mushy or sticky
- Best gluten-free pasta for leftovers/reheating
I know this allergy-friendly vegan mac and cheese recipe sounds too good to be true, but trust me you’ll never go back to the traditional mac and cheese you grew up on. It’s time to start a new tradition, get plant-strong! In other words, no more powdered boxed mac and cheese here.
To sum it up, this is an allergy-friendly, no dairy, no gluten, no soy, no nuts, no fuss, delicious creamy easy vegan mac and cheese recipe is one you won’t want to miss.
In short, have fun in the kitchen, don’t take yourself too seriously. Subscribe, share, and let me know how “YOU” made it your own. Share your positive comments and suggestions. ❤️ from VGFL.
- 1 12-ounce package gluten-free elbow noodles
Vegan Cheesy Sauce:
- 2 cups baby white or red potatoes steamed or boiled
- 1 cup carrots steamed or boiled
- 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 3/4-1 cup plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1/2 cup Gluten-free breadcrumbs (optional)
- 1-2 tablespoons parsley dried or fresh
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook noodles until they are al Dante, about 5 to 6 minutes, careful not to overcook or they will become mushy after baking. Drain and place in a 9×12 casserole dish.
- Steam potatoes and carrots separately.
- Using a blender, add sauce ingredients including half of the plant-based milk. Continue to add plant-based milk until the sauce is smooth and about the consistency of thin-ish gravy.
- Pour cheesy sauce over the noodles in your casserole dish and stir to coat noodles. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs and cover with foil.
- Cook for 15 minutes, remove foil and broil for 2-3 minutes until breadcrumbs are slightly browned if desired.
- You may find your cheesy sauce is too thick, this can vary depending on your blender
- Add extra plant-based milk to reach desired consistency
- I like to make a double batch fo cheesy sauce and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge (for up to a week) and use it later for nacho cheese sauce or top tacos with it!