Mac and Cheese is one of those comfort foods one might assume you'll never really enjoy again once you go vegan (and gluten-free). This recipe, which was inspired by Rhea Parson's Baked Macaroni and Pumpkin Cashew Cheese version, definitely proves that notion wrong. It's super creamy and the sauce really does taste like cheese. This could be one of the healthiest Mac and Cheese recipes I've ever tasted!
36 ounces gluten-free pasta (I use 3 packages of Tinkyada Organic Brown Rice Elbow Pasta)
1 sugar pumpkin or butternut squash roasted
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for a minimum of 4 hours)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk or other milk of your choice
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons vegan butter or other butter of your choice (Earth Balance is my favorite!)
2 to 3 garlic cloves peeled
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch of nutmeg (optional)
sea salt to taste
cracked black pepper to taste
In a large pot of boiling water cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and return to the pot and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a Vitamix type blender add in the ingredients listed above and blend until smooth. Sample the sauce and add in salt and pepper to your liking. If the sauce is too thick, add in a little more milk and blend again until the sauce is a creamy consistency.
Transfer the cooked noodles to a dutch oven or rectangular baking dish. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and stir to combine. Cover and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.
~Jolene Blalock quotes