The best mac ‘n “cheese” recipe

by Katie on October 2, 2011

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Everyone needs a good mac ‘n cheese recipe in their arsenal – even if you eat a plant-based diet! There are so many plant-based versions out there, and I’ve tried quite a few of them. Unfortunately, the recipe that I first started making and enjoying out of the Veganomicon cookbook is not universally liked in my household due to its base of nutritional yeast and tofu.

A few months ago I was browsing the VegNews website one day and found this recipe, with the claim of being “the best mac ‘n cheese on the planet, end of story.” I was intrigued because the sauce had no nutritional yeast or tofu at all – rather, it was a base of cashews and pureed cooked vegetables, along with some vegan margarine.

I finally tried it the other night. Since I’ve been on a gluten-free kick lately I skipped the bread crumbs on top and made it with wheat-free macaroni (pictured). Creamy and satisfying, it was definitely a winner in my household! I had to serve it with steamed broccoli for nostalgia’s sake.

The next time you get a hankering for mac ‘n cheese, give this recipe a try. While you’re on the VegNews site, you may wish to peruse some of the other recipes there for meal inspirations.

Do you have a favorite way to make mac ‘n “cheese”? I’d love to hear.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah (appifanie) October 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

That is genius and I totally love the idea but I’m afraid the picky kid and husband wouldn’t go for it. That means that then I’ll eat it all :D

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JL goes Vegan October 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Wow, I like the ingredients in the recipe! Yours looks fabulous.

My favorite? I make a pasta and grain mix in the rice cooker, with Earth Balance, and I add nutritional yeast in the last five minutes. Does it taste like traditional Mac ‘n Cheese? Nope. Is it easy, nutritionally sound and delicious? Yep!

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Katie October 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Sarah – I know, I find mac and cheese totally addictive! My husband found this version to be most like real mac and cheese – but of course everyone’s tastes are different.

JL – That is a great idea. It is good to have an “easy” version, because this one involves a few steps and might be too much for a busy weeknight.

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Fanny October 3, 2011 at 6:11 am

Yeah, I made mac n’ cheese pancakes a while ago, and that was AWESOME!

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Jojo October 3, 2011 at 6:19 am

I’ve been wanting to make that recipe for ages. I love mac & cheese and whilst my husband & I are both huge tofu / nooch fans (the Mac Daddy is our go to recipe!) it’s always great to try something new.

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DessertForTwo October 3, 2011 at 10:21 am

I’ve been phasing out dairy in my life lately (save for a few bites of dessert every now and then), and have been looking for a good creamy mac ‘n cheese! Thanks so much for this!
have you tried the Daiya brand cheese shreds? I hear such good things from other vegan bloggers.
Also, have you seen the Peas and Thank You cookbook?
And do you read Hannah Kaminsky? Bittersweet Blog?

Happy Monday :)

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Katie October 3, 2011 at 10:56 am

I do use Daiya from time to time – for example, to make lasagna. Most of the time though I will go for whole foods option because that is my preference.

I have heard of the Peas and Thank You cookbook and hope to check it out. So many cookbooks, so little time! I’m currently obsessed with Peter Berley’s The Modern Vegetarian and am eyeing Nava Atlas’ soon-to-be-released Vegan Holiday Kitchen.

I check out Hannah’s blog from time to time and do admire it. Generally speaking, when it comes to vegan sweet things, my go-to source is a collection of recipes I have by Mark Reinfeld. But I rarely make them, largely because I have approximately zero willpower when it comes to baked goods and other desserts. I think I will get into it more eventually, but for now I’m focused on savory meals and snacks and am content to admire sites like yours (and Hannah’s) when it comes to sweet possibilities.

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Angela @ Vegangela.com October 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Thanks for sharing this, I’ll have to check it out. I blogged about my face mac&cheese here (http://www.vegangela.com/2011/04/27/best-vegan-mac-and-cheese/). I think it’s the truffle oil that really does it for me. I like how the VegNews one doesn’t rely on nooch – might be a good option for my nooch-hating fiance :)

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lauren October 29, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Katie – this looks deeeelish. i just made (definitely dairy) mac n cheese for my mom and me and yours above looks yummier! i may have to try it. would it be too weird to use sweet potatoes instead of potatoes?

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Katie October 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

That would be interesting to use sweet potatoes. I guess it would make the sauce a bit more orange in color and sweeter. Let me know! I have actually used a turnip instead of a potato and it came out fine.

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