Mac & Cheese (the hardest vegan dish EVER)
Vegan macaroni and "cheese". Have you ever had any that was really good? I've been making it for years but never had the courage to share a recipe. My family has liked every version, but I know how people are about their mac & cheese!
I would call this "creamy macaroni pasta" but it does look like regular mac and resemble it in taste. Sharing the recipe (finally), but please try at your own risk! (p.s. If you just ate dairy mac & cheese...don't try this at home. Your palate may not enjoy as much.)
Also, I prefer Follow Your Heart brand vegan cheese over the more popular Daiya. If there's another vegan cheese you prefer feel free to sub that in.
32 ounces elbow macaroni (or other small pasta shape), cooked al dente ( a minute less than package instructions) 3 1/2 cups plant-based milk (I enjoy a combo of the Ripple unsweetened pea milk & homemade hemp milk) 2 1/2 bags Follow Your Heart shredded cheddar cheese (FYH is the ONLY brand I recommend for this recipe) 4 TB vegan sour cream (optional) 3 TB vegan butter 3 TB flour Seasonings: Salt, onion powder, all purpose seasoning blend like Spike, Trader Joe's 21 seasoning, Mrs. Dash
1. Add butter to medium sized pot over medium heat. Let it melt then add flour. Stir to combine. It will be like a paste. Cook that while stirring for about 2 mins, then slowly pour in all of your milk while stirring to incorporate.
2. Let this mixture simmer on low for about 7-10 mins. It will thicken slightly. As it thickens, add one bag of FYH cheddar plus begin seasoning. Start with small amounts and taste as you go. If your sauce thickens too much, don't panic, just add more milk. Remove from heat and taste your sauce again. Once you like it, you're ready for the next step.
3. Put your cooked pasta in a bowl and add vegan sour cream, also season your pasta with salt and seasoning blend of your choice. Taste as you go. (If you don't season the pasta separately your dish may lack in flavor. Always season in layers!)
4. Combine sauce with pasta. Add 1 more bag of FYH cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings. Spray 9X13 pan with cooking spray.
5. Pour mixture into pan. Sprinkle more cheese on top (not a ton just an even layer). Optional: Also sprinkle breadcrumbs, smoked paprika and dot with small pieces of vegan butter.
Bake for about 30 mins. You can then crank your oven up to broil for about 2 mins for a good melt on top. I enjoyed mine with a full plate of "soul food"....added some creamed collards, homemade vegan fried chick'n, roasted sweet potatoes & brussel sprouts plus a slice of spelt toast! A rustic plate but also a delicious one!
Let me know if you try it!