Nowadays in the vegan world you can actually buy microwavable and stovetop pre-made mac and cheese. It’s an amazing convenience that has just recently come to the market. But if you’ve been vegan for years you remember darker times when we had to make cheese ourselves. This is not always an easy task and sometimes involves soaking cashews overnight and making your entire house smell like some unidentifiable chemical.
Even though the days of vegan convenience are upon us, sometimes it’s fun to go back and do things from scratch. Here we have for you a homemade vegan mac and cheeze recipe that is foolproof, no nut soaking required. The directions may seem a bit complex, but you’ll feel like a real chef when you have three pots going on the stove at once, and trust us, the end result is worth it.
A note to any openminded omnivores who may try to make this pasta: Don’t go into this thinking you’re making cow milk–based mac and cheese. Think of this as pasta in a fun new sauce you’ve never had. The texture is spot on to mac and cheese but the flavor is unique.
Vegan Mac & Cheeze
16 ounce box of macaroni pasta
3 cups of water
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 and 1/2 cups of nutritional yeast flakes (you can get these at any health food store)
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
So, first, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start boiling two pots of water, one large pot for your pasta and another that contains exactly 3 cups of water. While that’s warming up, in a medium pot, melt 1/2 cup of margarine (we used soy free vegan EarthBalance) at a low to medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the 1/2 cup of flour. Make sure you keep the heat low as to not burn it. After you have created a paste, add in the garlic, salt, numeric, and soy sauce. Mix all of that together thoroughly then add in the nutritional yeast flakes.
By now your water should be boiling. Go ahead and cook your pasta in the normal fashion. Add the 3 cups of boiling water to the paste you created in the medium sized pot. Mix all of this together well until it forms a sauce. Once your pasta is fully cooked, drain the pasta, and return it to your big pot. Using a rubber scrapper, get all of the sauce out and onto the noodles.
After you have stirred the sauce into the noodles well, place them in a casserole dish. Cook the noodles in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 15 minutes, press broil. Keep an eye on the mac and cheeze, you want it to have a nice brown layer on top but you don’t want to burn it. Once you see that delicious crisp brown layer, remove the pasta from the oven. We recommend not broiling the pasta for more than five minutes. Be sure to let the pasta cool a bit before devouring it.
Post and Photo by Kylie Torres. Recipe adapted from waste.org.