Vegan Mac and Cheese

Without Broccoli


Existing Mac and Cheese recipes call for pureeing ingredients ranging from squash or potatoes to sunflower seeds and even cannellini beans for the sauce. They end up being vegetal-tasting and sticky.

The winning formula is a mixture of cashews, cauliflower, and almond milk simmered together and blended until smooth. The rich fat from the cashews and the light, silken texture of the cauliflower makes for a decadent, pasta-coating sauce.

Funky nutritional yeast, when combined with mustard powder for bite, tomato paste for sweetness, and vinegar for tang, gave the dish a remarkable cheesy flavor.


⅓ cup coconut oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 T dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T salt
pepper to taste

1¼ cups raw or toasted Cashews, chopped (I used a spice grinder, 4-5 pulses. It’s all going in the blender, so it doesn’t have to be precise).

1 carton (32 oz or 1 qt) about (4 cups) unsweetened Almond Milk

1 small to medium head Cauliflower, cut into florets (3-4 cups)

1 lb elbow or spiral pasta (2 cups)
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

With Broccoli

The sauce will be loose as you add the macaroni, but it will thicken as it finishes cooking and is served. Serve with Vegan Nut Topping.


Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Turn down to low. Stir in nutritional yeast, mustard powder, tomato paste, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in almond milk, scraping up any browned bits, and bring to simmer over medium heat.

Stir in cauliflower and cashews, reduce heat to low. Cook partially covered, until cauliflower is very soft and falls apart easily when poked with fork, about 20 minutes.

Working in 2 batches, process cauliflower mixture in blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Pour both batches back into Dutch oven.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add macaroni and 2 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until nearly tender. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain macaroni and set aside.

Add drained macaroni and vinegar and warm, melding flavors. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Adjust consistency with reserved pasta water as needed, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.


Serves 10

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