The other day on instagram, I shared a photo of my costco shopping trip haul and included in that haul was this vegan and gluten free pasta.
Costco was giving away samples to try and I was instantly pleased with it, debated buying it for 2 minutes and then took one of the packages at the sample table. It’s delicious pasta and although I am a sucker for pasta and red sauce (how they were passing out samples), I decided to experiment with vegan mac and cheese thanks to a friend saying the pasta texture really reminded her of boxed mac and cheese.
One way to make vegan mac and cheese? Use the store brought vegan cheeses. But I know from MANY attempts that stuff ain’t my jam. And I had heard crazy talk of creating homemade vegan cheese out of potatoes and carrots. Yes. You heard that right- vegan cheese out of potatoes and carrots. So I figured why not give it a go.
I played around with flavors and served my attempts to my family. Y’all when I say it was a hit, I mean it was a HIT.
I don’t make traditional mac and cheese often because it is so freaking decadent. I honestly make it 2 or 3 x a year max. My daughters loved this dish and had 2 full plates of it. I loved giving them something so wholesome. My husband? he didn’t even know it was cheese. Like no questions- he just said it was really good. I actually still haven’t told him it wasn’t real cheese. Here’s a test to know if he reads the blog haha!
If you are serving this to picky, young, cheese lovers, or stubborn eaters, I highly recommend not making a big deal out of it. Don’t mention it’s not real cheese. Get their natural opinion without tainting it with “this is super healthy for you and it’s not even real cheese. It’s potatoes and carrots!” Guaranteed they’ll be turned off instantly. I’m sure you were when you read the two main ingredients. No hard feelings haha! Just get a natural reaction to start and I wouldn’t tell them until you’ve made it a few times and they’ve already fallen in love with it.
This recipe is awesome because it makes enough for not only mac and cheese but for broccoli smothered in cheese which is what I paired it with after the pasta.
It can also be used for vegan nacho cheese. You can have a lot of fun with this cheesy sauce.
- 2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup homemade cashew milk, plus more for consistency if needed
- smoked black sea salt to taste
- crushed black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (omit if you do not like spicy but I find that a little kick added so much flavor)
- 3 cups uncooked pasta
Boil water and salt in large pot and add potatoes and carrots. Remove after 8-10 minutes, or once the potatoes and carrots are fork tender. In the same pot of water the potatoes and carrots were cooking, add dried pasta and cook until al dente (follow instructions on pasta bag). While the pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce by adding the cooked potatoes and carrots, nutritional yeast, cashew milk, seasonings and hot-sauce to a high speed blender and blend until creamy.
You may want to add more cashew milk if it is too think or more nutritional yeast to up the cheesy nutty flavor or more spices (I tend to go a little spice crazy).
Really- you want to make your own and add flavors you enjoy. Once the sauce is the texture and taste you like, add it to the cooked and drained pasta. Serve warm and be generous with the sauce.
Happy vegan eats friends!