Baked Mac & Cheese (vegan, gluten-free)

I just recently learned that for many Americans, Thanksgiving is not complete without mac & cheese. Was everyone aware of this except for me?

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It was never just something we had at our dinners! This year I thought it would be fun to try out a new recipe because let’s face it, mac & cheese is delicious at any time of year.

For added texture I baked this pasta with some “breadcrumbs.” This step is technically optional, but I recommend trying it at least once. The sauce is pretty thick and the topping lends a pleasant nuttiness to the overall dish.

Unlike many vegan sauce recipes, this variety does not use cashews which I found convenient. As much as I enjoy using them, they’re not the most ethical and are pretty expensive.

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When testing this meal on my family, I found that it was enjoyed by both the avid carnivore/dairy eaters and the vegans alike! It’s rare to find a dish that satisfy all palates, so this will certainly be on rotation again.

There is something very satisfying about al dente noodles wrapped in a velvety cheese sauce, baked into one cohesive slice. True comfort food you can feel good about!

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How perfect is this towel for the holiday?

I know I will be making this long after Thanksgiving and I hope you try as well. The recipe is inspired by From My Bowl and yields 8 servings.  Please let me know your thoughts by tagging @garlic_head on Instagram!

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Baked Mac & Cheese (vegan, gluten-free)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
No cashews required for this dairy-free mac & cheese! It's baked to crispy perfection in the oven, with a gluten-free option.
Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz box pasta of choice (I used ziti)
  • 2 medium sized yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, washed and diced
  • 8 TBS nutritional yeast, divided
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 TBS tahini
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, divided
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup almonds, roasted
Method
  1. Boil two separate saucepans of water on stovetop. Once both are ready, add potatoes and carrots to pot #1 and boil for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add pasta to pot #2 and cook according to package directions. Drain both in separate colanders.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a food processor, take your almonds and combine with 2 TBS nutritional yeast, 1 tsp garlic powder, and a little salt. Pulse until a breadcrumb-like texture forms. Remove from processor and set aside for later.
  3. Add potatoes and carrots to your food processor along with 6 TBS nutritional yeast, almond milk, tahini, 1 tsp garlic powder, paprika if using, salt, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until a smooth sauce forms with minimal carrot/potato chunks.
  4. Combine cooked pasta and sauce in a large bowl to evenly coat. Oil a 9 x 13 baking dish lightly and spread pasta inside.  Top with reserved almond "breadcrumbs."
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and broil for 2 -5 additional minutes, until topping is browned but not burnt. Serve immediately and enjoy! If you're not going to be eating right away, I recommend splashing a little almond milk on top of each slice before reheating, as it can dry out quickly.

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