What do you use for vegan mac & cheese? ? I rarely use store-bought vegan cheese. Instead, I use nuts, seeds, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes… the combos are endless. Here’s a nut-based mac & cheese that I made last night using ingredients already in my pantry. Enjoy!
MAC & CHEESE
Half pound of pasta
1/3 cup nuts
1 cup aquafaba (chickpea water)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp flour
2 tsp agar agar flakes
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 cup chopped veggies
Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.
Place nuts and aquafaba in a high speed blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add reserved cooking water and the remaining ingredients (except the veggies). Blend well.
Heat in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring frequently. As the starch activates, the sauce will begin to thicken and look glossy. Add the chopped veggies and continue stirring. Once the sauce resembles a smooth, melted cheese, remove from heat.
Stir in the pasta and serve immediately. To reheat, add a little water and heat over medium-low heat.
If you don’t own a high speed blender, I recommend soaking the nuts overnight. I used raw cashews here, but you can use other nuts too. When using hazelnuts and almonds, blanch them before blending.
Tapioca flour is my preferred flour for making cheese sauces as it thickens quickly and smoothly. I’ve been happy with the results from wheat and garbanzo flours too.
Agar agar is a sea vegetable based gelatin. When I was growing up, my mom made jello desserts from agar agar. I prefer using flakes instead of powder. In Portland, I’ve found agar at Asian grocery stores and New Seasons.