Vegan Mac and Cheese. Mac and cheese is one of those family comfort foods that we had to give up when we went on a gluten free diet. In the past eight years, many more companies are accommodating gluten free consumers, so the deprivation that we used to feel on a gluten free diet is gone. Making mac and cheese vegan and dairy free however, means we have to be creative. Inspired by Wolfgang Puck’s famous mac and cheese, we started with a basic white sauce, and incorporated three different vegan cheeses for a yummy flavor combination. The result–it is gooey, cheesy, creamy, so full of flavor. The lentil pasta has an added bonus of fiber and 13 grams of protein in each serving! I rarely use anything other than lentil or black bean pasta anymore because I like my dishes not only to be delicious, but to have as much nutritional value as possible. Because, food is medicine.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
- 12 ounces gluten free pasta I used Red Lentil from Trader Joe's
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 tbsp gluten free flour
- 2 cups soy or almond milk
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella Iused Daiya
- 1 cup vegan cheddar I used Follow Your Heart
- 1/3 cup vegan parmesan I used Follow Your Heart
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs optional
Cook pasta according to package directions, or cook in Instant Pot for 3 minutes with 4 cups of water. Let pressure release naturally NR for 10 minutes, and then release pressure. (I cover the vent lightly with a towel to prevent pasta water from spraying) When pasta is cooked, drain in strainer and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking.
Melt butter in pot; gradually add flour and stir until all lumps are gone. Add salt and nutmeg. Use medium heat.
Heat milk in microwave for 3 minutes
Gradually add milk, 1/2 cup at a time, to butter/flour mixture, stirring constantly.
After 5 minutes, mixture should be thickening. Slowly add cheese, making sure that it is melting into sauce. Add smoked paprika.
Vegan cheese is slow to melt, so be patient.
After all cheese is added, and sauce is as smooth as possible, remove from heat, and use small hand blender to handle any lumps that may still exist if you want a completely smooth cheese sauce.
Add cheese sauce to pasta and place in 9x13 baking dish. If desired, top with bread crumbs, and broil for 5 minutes to toast the top and bread crumbs.
My cook time was calculated as 20 minutes because I used the Instant Pot and it cooked while I made the sauce. Your cooking time may be adjusted if you cook the pasta on the stove top