This vegan mac and cheese dish is my go-to potluck or event recipe. It’s super easy to make, feels decadent but is actually healthy, and is a crowd-pleaser for plant people and carnivores alike. People are often shocked to find out that this dish is actually plant-based.
This weekend is the Super Bowl, but we all know the most important part of the day is the grub. Take this dish to your event and you’ll surely be the crowd favorite.
I typically use broccoli for this dish, but that can be swapped for a variety of veggies. Cauliflower works very well and is great for sneaking in some hidden veggies. If you like it on the spicy side, try including some sliced jalapeños. The options are endless!
Pro Tip: If you aren’t eating this immediately, just make the base to take with you. Throw the breadcrumbs on top and pop it in the oven when you get to your final destination for best results. Now, on to the recipe!Print
Crowd-Pleasing Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Total Time: 30-40
- Yield: 6 1x
- Cuisine: Comfort
- 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked
- 400 g of pasta (I like using lentil pasta to add some extra protein, and spiral-shaped holds the sauce the best)
- 2 heads of broccoli florets, chopped
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup of diced onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbs of tahini
- Juice of one medium lemon
- 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp of garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Optional: 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- Start by soaking your cashews in hot water. These can either sit out for an hour soaking in the water or can just be boiled on the stovetop for 15 minutes if you don’t have time to kill. Start with a lot of water if you are boiling the nuts, at least 4 cups.
- Saute onion and garlic in a splash of water for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. If it starts sticking, add more water.
- Place chopped broccoli in a pan with some water, about 1/4 cup, and cover. Steam on medium heat until broccoli is vibrant green and still has a bit of a “crunch” to it, about 5 minutes. You can also use a steamer basket, but it works fine without it.
- While the broccoli is steaming, prepare your pasta according to the directions.
- The sauce is simple from here: put the soaked cashews, onion, garlic, almond milk, tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and spices into a blender. Blend, blend, baby! This typically takes about 3-5 minutes on medium speed for a high-power blender to get smooth, but can absolutely be done in a regular blender or even a Nutribullet. Make sure to be scraping down the sides along the way. The sauce will be a bit gritty at first, but just keep blending until it is smooth. Depending on the blender, you may need to add some more almond milk to get it to blend towards the end. You want the sauce to be thick and creamy, so keep it light with extra milk.
- Mix the pasta, broccoli, and sauce together for your final product.
- Feel free to stop here, but if you want to level up the dish, put the contents in a baking dish and add the breadcrumbs on top with a little extra garlic salt and nutritional yeast. Broil on high with the door cracked. The browning happens quickly, so keep a close eye on it. If you’re not eating the mac and cheese immediately, bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes before broiling.
- Calories: 390
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 225mg
- Fat: 14g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 49g
- Fiber: 9g
- Protein: 23g
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: plantbased, vegan, healthy, protein
Yummm this looks amazing! Love the broccoli ini there!
For any skeptics, this recipe is SOO good.
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