This gluten-free vegan mac and cheese dish is a favorite dairy-free comfort food! The ‘cheese’ sauce can also be used in nacho cheese dip, and as a topping for baked potatoes and steamed broccoli!
When I first switched over to a healthy plant-based lifestyle back in 2013, one thing that I really missed was CHEESE.
Cheese for pizza, tacos, baked potatoes, lasagna, and so much more. That’s why I came up with this amazing Creamy Vegan ‘Cheese’ Sauce!
Incredibly some of the ingredients used to make this amazing cheese sauce are…
- cashews (and or white beans)
- nutritional yeast flakes
- lemon juice
Now days, I mostly make with a combination of the two–1/4 cup cashews + 1/4 cup white beans. It has the warm creamy texture with less fat.
Another great cheese sauce to use in this recipe is my Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce. Basically, it’s just replacing the white potatoes with sweet potatoes, and it’s amazing!
Another way that we love to eat either of these ‘cheese’ sauces is to mix them with some Easy Salsa and serve with baked corn chips. Talk about amazing!
Other than the ‘cheese’ sauce, the only other ingredient needed to make this mac and cheese recipe is pasta. Normally, I like to use brown rice elbow pasta with this dish.
Though I am not gluten-intolerant, I like the taste and texture of brown rice pasta, which just happens to be gluten-free.
These are some of my other favorite types of whole grain pastas that are not necessarily gluten-free.
Nutritional benefits of whole grain pastas
Whole grain or whole wheat pasta, such as spaghetti, is made from flour that contains the entire grain kernel, the germ, endosperm and bran.
Whole grain pasta is rich in many nutrients essential for human health and is high in dietary fiber, which promotes regularity and may help lower cholesterol and aid in cancer prevention.
The Harvard School of Public Health reports that whole grains, such as whole grain pasta, contain compounds called phytoestrogens or plant estrogens.
These substances may help to reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers — particularly in conjunction with the minerals found in whole grains — such as copper, selenium, magnesium and manganese. — LiveStrong
Terrific side options would be a baked sweet potato, corn on the cob, crusty bread, or even grilled asparagus.
To adjust the serving sizes of any of my recipes, simply go to the ‘Servings’ listed in the recipe card right above the ingredients list. Hover over the number of servings, and a sliding bar will appear. Slide to the number of servings you would like, and the ingredients will automatically adjust the amounts.
Other Plant-Based Pasta Dishes:
- 1 cup potatoes peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup carrots diced
- 1/4 cup onion diced
- 1 cup broth from veggies
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, unsoaked (or 1/2 c. white beans)
- 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 pinch paprika
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper optional
- 8 ounces pasta brown rice, if gluten-free
- 3 cups water
In large pot, bring water to boil. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions. Don't overcook!
Once pasta is tender, but not overcooked, pour into drainer and rinse with cool water. Set to the side.
In medium pot, bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in pot and allow to cook until veggies are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how small the veggies are diced.
When veggies are tender, drain and place them in blender. NOTE: reserve 1 cup of the broth, and add to blender. Add all the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. NO need to soak cashews.
Add your cooked pasta and serve. Or, if you like it in casserole form, after adding cheese sauce to pasta, place in baking dish, top with bread crumbs, and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.