I’ve been curious about making vegan mac and cheese for a long time now. I didn’t want to use any of the cheese substitutes made out of soy that are out there. I wanted to see how vegans manipulated their flavors to make something that tasted similar to macaroni and cheese. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this. Is it exactly like mac and cheese? No, not really. But it IS tasty and cheesy tasting without containing any animal products whatsoever. And that is amazing enough, don’t you think?There are thousands of vegan mac and cheese recipes out there so choosing one was difficult. I hadn’t been to the store in a while, so I was looking for one that sounded true to the idea of mac and cheese which also contained ingredients I had at the ready in my home. I found one I felt I could trust here at the blog “Vegan Spoonful.” In the end, what convinced me of this recipe was that it a) used ingredients I had at home already, b) is written by a gal committed to being vegan and raising her family vegan and c) it was kid tested and approved which is highly desirable in a mac and cheese recipe. Now, there are still a TON of mac and cheese recipes out there that are different from this one and I definitely want to try a bunch more of them. But this was a great start. Now remember to check out the link above for the original recipe. I Erin-ed up this one with a few of my favorite additives: chili powder, paprika and cilantro, as you’ll see below. I was so hungry when I made this that I didn’t bother baking it, I just ate it plain. That’s what happens when you wait till the last minute to make dinner. Next time I’ll definitely try this recipe baked. Also remember you can be liberal with your turmeric. The more you add in the yellower and “cheesier” your mac and cheese will look. I suggest starting with the measurement below and adding more in till you’re satisfied, which is what I did.
Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
2 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups plain non-dairy milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro OR 2 teaspoons dried cilantro
1. Prepare macaroni noodles. Drain and rinse with cool water, and set aside.
2. While noodles are cooking, melt Earth Balance in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
3. Add flour and turmeric and stir quickly until combined.
4. Add non-dairy milk, all at once, and stir with a wire whisk until no lumps remain. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 1 minute more and then remove from heat.
5. Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika and cilantro and whisk until smooth and creamy.
6. Add cooked macaroni noodles to the sauce and mix well.