I love mac and cheese just as much as the next gal. It’s an ooey-gooey comfort food that just hits the spot sometimes. But, one thing I really don’t love is dairy. When I first adopted a plant-based diet I thought dairy was something I might still continue to eat occasionally but now dairy gives me the heebie-jeebies and I have zero desire to eat it. But lucky for me there are a million dairy-free versions of mac and cheese that are just as delicious, if not better, while also being way healthier for us. And after playing around with tons of recipes and variations I have finally perfected this recipe which is my current favorite version of homemade vegan mac and cheese. The cheese sauce is just so dang good without having any dairy in it whatsoever. The cheese sauce is made from a combination of coconut oil, non-dairy milk, flour, tomato paste, nutritional yeast and seasoning. Easy as that.
And while the ingredient list might look a little long, I promise you it is so easy to make. Especially if you measure everything out ahead of time. Then you just throw each ingredient into the pot when it is its time and voila…dinner! And this recipe can be modified for so many different dietary needs and preferences….you can make it gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free or enjoy it just as it is. I’ll add the instructions for modifying it in the “Notes” section of the recipe. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 10 oz carton of grape tomatoes, halved
- 5 oz fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon agave
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Once it is done drain pasta and return to pot.
- Next, in a medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes and pan roast until they are tender.
- While tomatoes are roasting, in a different medium saucepan whisk together coconut oil and flour over medium heat. It will form a thick paste. Then add non-dairy milk, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder to saucepan with paste and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat and let “cheese” sauce simmer. Once sauce begins to thicken add lemon juice and agave. Taste test and add more seasoning if necessary.
- Once everything is almost done, add spinach to tomatoes and sauté for 2 more minutes until spinach begins to wilt.
- Pour “cheese” sauce over drained pasta and add the roasted tomatoes and sautéed spinach. Stir well and serve hot!
Recipe adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli.