This creamy macaroni and cheese dish is gluten-free, vegan and it’s DELICIOUS!! Even those who are not vegan will enjoy this rich and cheesy-tasting pasta.
*Note: Nutritional yeast can be found at most health food stores. It is worth searching out, as this is what gives the sauce its “cheesy” flavor.
**Note: If using coconut oil, first melt it so it is pourable. You may or may not want to use an aroma-free coconut oil. Depending on how much you like the taste of coconut oil, as it will slightly alter the taste of the dish.
Gather the ingredients and set aside.
*Note: If you are looking to make a gluten-free dish, then use something like brown rice noodles.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. As the water comes to a boil, start to make the sauce.
Once the water comes to a boil, add the salt, followed by the pasta. Stir and then let cook according to instructions on the package.
If the pasta is done before you are finished making the sauce, drain and set it aside while you finish.
To make the sauce, first puree the cashews in a food processor. With the machine slowly running, drizzle in the oil and water.
Lastly, add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and nutmeg (if using) and continue to blend until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency. You can also add your own touch to the sauce. A bit of fresh lemon juice will go quite nicely.
To finish the sauce, mince the onion. Heat a pot over medium heat and then add the oil, followed by the onions. Sauté the onions until soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes.
To finish the sauce, add the cashew mix and bring to a simmer.
As the sauce heats up it will thicken. If it seems too thick, you may want to add a touch more water until you reach the desired consistency. Lastly, taste for seasoning.
Fold the cooked pasta into the sauce and serve immediately. If you like, you can top with toasted panko (see next step).
To make the panko topping, heat a fry pan over medium heat, add the oil, panko and paprika. Stir constantly until golden brown.
Sprinkle over the pasta and serve.