When I say that this is the best vegan mac and cheese recipe there is, you can really take my word for it. Over the last 8 years I’ve made every variation of vegan mac and cheese under the sun, with the base ranging from butternut squash to cauliflower, sweet potatoes to gluttonous rice flour, from just cashews to just tofu and back again. This one is *very special* but I’m sure you’ve gathered that already. The road ends here, dudes.
It may seem intensive (and, sure, compared to emptying packages of shredded cheese from the grocery store, it is) but it’s incomparable to standard mac and cheese considering here you’re actually making the cheese from scratch. Plus this is actually three recipes in one: the mac and cheese as well as an oil free mayonnaise and a vegan mozzarella that are completely functional outside of this recipe and are incredible things to have on your side, in your fridge or on your plate. The tofu mayonnaise is a fox and you can use it anywhere you’d use traditional mayo (like Chickpea Salad Sandwiches) and is only 30 calories for two tbsp vs 180 for regular mayonnaise.I have a hard time even referring to the vegan cheese featured here as mozzarella, because the mozzarella we’re all familiar with is absolutely flavorless and has a texture only someone completely indoctrinated to it since birth would put up with or show any fondness for. Mother cows cry out for their babies after being raped by farmers just so we don’t have to be challenged, just so we can demand the comfort that only comes from familiarity regardless if it’s even good or not…Just so we can eat highly subsidized part skim/part wood pulp mozzarella and say we’d go vegan but cheese is just too good. Compared to this, you’ll wonder how and why you ever fucked with dairy mozzarella.
There it is melted on pizza and in it’s refrigerated, firmed form. So many vegan cheeses try to emulate traditional shredded cheese and it’s just like…why? So much extra unnecessary starch and kappa carrageenan (which is bad for you despite what any vegan cheese company funded studies say) go into making it shreddable. The end goal is for it to melt and this cheese does that beautifully. I use it for so many other applications other than this mac and cheese sauce but just one word of advice before we get to the recipe: try it on quesadillas…seriously life changing stuff.
Compared to a traditional mac and cheese made with a similar method, this is 30% less overall calories, less than half the fat and, of course, 0 mg cholesterol.
The Creamiest Vegan Mac and Cheese
16 oz cooked pasta of choice (I used shells)
1 tbsp vegan butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
1 cup vegan mozzarella (recipe below)
1/4 cup tofu mayo (recipe below), if you don’t feel like making it just substitute with more milk though it’s better with it
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp turmeric (for color, optional I suppose but seriously eat turmeric everywhere you can get it)
1 tsp kosher salt (reduce if using fine grain)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
black pepper to taste
In a large saucepan or pot (I use the one I just boiled the pasta in), over low heat make a roux from the flour and butter. Let it brown slightly before pouring in the milk. Whisk well, then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer and continue whisking before adding the pasta. It’s best served immediately since the pasta will continue to soak up the sauce, so when reheating add a few tbsp (up to a quarter cup even) of water to a skillet over medium heat before stirring in the leftover mac and cheese, then add a lid until thoroughly reheated.
(makes 16 oz)
1 tbsp ground psyllium husk
2 tbsp water
35 g raw cashews
375 g water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp white miso
2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2.5 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp agar agar
84 g high quality vegan butter ideally (aka a cultured cashew butter, NOT garbage like smart balance) or refined coconut oil (must be refined)
Combine the psyllium husk and 2 tbsp water in a high speed blender (I use my blender cup) first, then once it gels add the rest of the ingredients. Blend well on high speed, then pour into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking every 30 seconds or so until it firms up and becomes the thickness of a melted cheese sauce. You can use immediately for this mac and cheese but I recommend firming it up in the fridge for a while before using it for other applications.
8 oz tofu (if using firm, which I prefer, also add 1/4 cup of water. Silken needs no added h2o)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients in a blender cup and blend until well incorporated. Stores for about a month.