You’d never guess that two vegetables form the base of this fabulous nut-free vegan mac and “cheese!” Cauliflower and sweet potato are blended with rice or soy milk, vegetable broth, and flavour makers like tamari, nutritional yeast, and Dijon mustard to make an incredibly creamy nut-free vegan cheese sauce. This cheese sauce is poured over macaroni or pasta of choice, and topped with kimchi, pickled jalapenos, tempeh bacon, or other toppings of your choosing!
I originally created this nut-free vegan mac and cheese recipe last fall, but my photos from that time didn’t do the recipe justice! So I decided to update the photos and share the recipe now.
I’ve always been a big fan of vegan mac and cheese–more so than any dairy-based versions from my youth (although I will admit to being a bit of a sucker for the Kraft variety for many years). However, most vegan versions contain a copious amount of cashews. Now I love cashews as much as the next person, and I admire their ability to blend up into dairy-free creamy perfection. What I don’t love about cashews is their hefty price tag and their high environmental impact compared to nuts and seeds that can be grown on my own continent. Add to that the fact that folks with nut allergies are unable to enjoy cashew-based cheese sauces, and I realized that something had to be done.
I remember making a nut-free cauliflower alfredo sauce a few years ago, and I used that concept as the inspiration for this recipe. Steamed cauliflower and sweet potato form the base of this veggie-centric pasta dish. Rice or soy milk, vegetable broth, tahini, tamari, Dijon mustard, garlic, and nutritional yeast are blended with the vegetables into cheesy oblivion, then poured over top of cooked pasta. Green peas are added, and from there you have two options: you can either serve it as a stovetop mac and cheese with optional toppings like sunflower Parmesan, tempeh bacon, kimchi, green onion, and pickled jalapenos, or you can transfer the mac and cheese into an oven-safe skillet and bake it until heated through. I opted for the baked version, mainly because I am obsessed with anything baked in a cast iron skillet, but if you are starving or pressed for time, the stovetop version is equally as delicious.
I hope you love this vegan nut-free mac and cheese. It’s:
-A sneaky way to get your kids to eat their vegetables
-Safe for those with nut allergies
Nut-Free Vegan Mac and “Cheese”
You’d never guess that two vegetables form the base of this fabulous nut-free vegan mac and “cheese!” Cauliflower and sweet potato are blended with rice or soy milk, vegetable broth, and flavour makers like tamari, nutritional yeast, and Dijon mustard to make an incredibly creamy nut-free vegan cheese sauce.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6–8 servings 1x
- Category: Pasta, Dinner
- Cuisine: Vegan, American
- 2 heaping cups diced sweet potato
- 2 heaping cups cauliflower florets
- 1 cup unsweetened soy or rice milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen
- 6 cups dry pasta of choice (macaroni, fusilli, penne, or orichiette work best)
- Make the cheesy sauce: Steam or boil the diced sweet potato until fork-tender, about twenty minutes. Towards the end of cooking time, add the cauliflower and steam or boil until both are tender but not falling apart. Drain the vegetables and set aside to cool. Once cool, place them in an upright blender.
- Add the soy or rice milk, vegetable broth, tahini, tamari or coconut aminos, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper to the blender and blend until a smooth and creamy sauce forms. Add more milk if the mixture is very thick.
- Cook the pasta according to directions on the package. Drain and pour 5 cups of sauce over the pasta. Add the peas (thawed if using frozen) and stir until all of the noodles are coated with sauce.
- You have two options now. You can either warm the mac and cheese on the stove until heated through and serve as is with desired toppings, or you can transfer it into an oven-safe skillet, top it with sunflower Parmesan, and bake at 350 degrees F it until browned around the edges, about 15 minutes. The oven method is my favourite!
- Serve the mac and cheese with prepared tempeh bacon and any other desired toppings.
Keywords: vegan nut-free mac and cheese, dairy-free mac and cheese, cauliflower pasta, cauliflower cheese sauce
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