Who says mac and “cheese” truly wants cheese?
As a complete and full cheese lover, I’d have as soon as instructed you with absolute certainty that I couldn’t reside with out cheese. It’s melty, ooey-gooey, and oh-so comforting, particularly when mixed with macaroni. Mac and cheese is mainly consolation meals outlined, and it made an everyday look on the dinner menu throughout most of our childhoods. Which brings us to vegan mac and cheese: It may well’t be attainable, proper? How are you going to make a recipe that doesn’t use one of many two components in its namesake?
Because it seems, cashews are superb. They’re one of many dearer nuts, certain, however they’ve develop into the go-to ingredient for a lot of vegan recipes. We’ve used it to make Plant-Primarily based Cashew Flatbread and Dairy-Free Parmesan. On this recipe, pureeing cashews with sizzling water and a handful of well-chosen spices turns it right into a cashew queso that’s excellent for plant-based recipes. It’s definitely made me a convert; I’m fairly certain I might reside with out cheese as long as I’ve cashews within the pantry!
How Do You Use Cashew Cheese?
This unbelievable cashew queso not solely makes the most effective vegan mac and cheese, nevertheless it will also be used for a wide range of different recipes. The recipe we use beneath is skinny sufficient to make use of as a sauce for pasta, or as a cheese sauce drizzle for dishes like enchiladas or nachos. You may as well use it to smother greens, a useful method to get choosy eaters to eat their greens (it tastes notably good on roasted broccoli).
Should you scale back the water by half, solely utilizing 1/2 cup, this vegan cashew queso turns into a lot thicker. Serve it as a dip with chips or a vegetable platter, or slather it in your morning bagel. We additionally love utilizing it as an alternative of mayonnaise on sandwiches and wraps.
You may make this cashew cheese recipe your personal by altering the spice profile as effectively. We use dietary yeast, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, and floor cumin to present the “cheese” a smoky, spicy, tacky taste. You may simply make it spicier by including cayenne powder or Sriracha, or skip all of the seasonings and use your personal. Inexperienced spices like Italian seasoning work effectively, as do recent herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. We advocate persevering with to make use of the dietary yeast (the spice that offers the cheese its “tacky” taste), however apart from that, the probabilities are countless!
How lengthy is cashew cheese good for? It lasts about three to 4 days within the fridge. Should you occurred to make an excessive amount of, toss it to the freezer, the place it’s good for as much as six months. Defrost it within the fridge in a single day and run it by means of the blender earlier than utilizing it to take away any lumps.
Selecting the Proper Pasta for Vegan Mac and Cheese
The basic pasta form for this dish is macaroni (therefore, the title “mac” and cheese). That stated, you positively don’t have to make use of elbow macaroni in case you don’t wish to. All kinds of shapes works effectively on this dish: conchiglie (or shells), orecchiette, fusilli, farfalle (or bow ties), gemelli, or cavatappi, simply to call just a few. Any pasta form that has a gap by means of it or incorporates ridges will seize onto the sauce, making it ideally suited for saucy dishes like mac and cheese.
Then, you’ll want to think about the components used within the pasta. Some store-bought pasta is made with eggs, that are off-limits for vegan and plant-based diets. Take a look at the components checklist to ensure the pasta is made with flour (or semolina) and water solely.
Lastly, search for whole-grain pasta each time attainable. Complete grains comprise complicated carbohydrates, that are digested extra slowly by our our bodies. Which means you’ll get an enduring supply of vitality that may preserve you feeling fuller for longer. Complete-grain pasta is normally increased in fiber, too, making it a win-win for this dish.
The Greatest Vegan Mac and Cheese
Due to our creamy cashew queso, you may dive right into a scrumptious bowl of our indulgent mac and "cheese" even on a plant-based weight loss plan!
US Customary – Metric
- 1 cup water sizzling
- 1 cup cashews uncooked
- 3 tablespoons dietary yeast
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon floor cumin
Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces whole-grain macaroni elbows or different shell form, packaged, egg-free
- 1 head of broccoli reduce into bite-sized florets
- kosher salt and black pepper to style
- To make the cashew queso, mix the components in a blender. Mix till easy, including further water as wanted to create sauce skinny sufficient to coat the pasta. Should you by chance add an excessive amount of water and the sauce turns into too skinny, add further cashews.
Mac and Cheese
- To make the mac and cheese, deliver a big pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare dinner the macaroni in response to the package deal instructions. Add the broccoli over the past two minutes of prepare dinner time.
- When the macaroni is tender, drain and discard the cooking water. Return the pasta and broccoli florets to the pot and stir within the cashew queso.
- Season with salt and pepper, to style, and serve instantly.
Serving: 0.5cup | Energy: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 21g | Fats: 17g | Saturated Fats: 3g | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 815mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1218IU | Vitamin C: 136mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 4mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 13