I’ve been eating a lot of macaroni and cheese lately. Between huge, heaping spoonfuls of real cheese, I’ve been pining for a less milk-heavy version that would appeal to my vegan friends. (and my former vegan self – yes, I was vegan many years ago!) But, vegan cheese leaves a lot to be desired. Career vegans, I know a lot of you are with me on that.
There are a few reasons I’m not a fan of vegan cheese. First, it’s highly processed, and second, it’s f***ing gross. Just like anything else in my kitchen I’m not happy with, I try to make it better. Vegan mac and cheese has already been perfected for the most part, so I was left to build upon an established recipe that I really enjoy.
Now, I have to give credit where it’s due: this dish was adapted by what is arguable one of the best vegan macaroni recipes out there, by the New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook. Published many decades ago, New Farm’s recipe has been bent and stretched countless times. And I’m doing it again.
The original recipe had a lot of oil, and I wanted to make it lighter. I also found it a little blander than I’d like, so I added some spices and used a few new liquids instead of plain water. The original recipe had a lovely texture, so I’ve left that just the way the authors intended.
I think you’ll like it, vegan sensibilities or otherwise.
If you like this recipe, you might be interested in the following resources:
- Lovely tofu ricotta you can make at home.
- Learn how to make almond cheese. (yes, for real!)
- Musings on the definition of comfort food.
Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
Summary: This vegan macaroni and cheese recipe, based on the recipe by The New Farm Cookbook, is so close to spot-on dairy creaminess that I’ve served it to omnivores and they’ve been none the wiser. Smooth and creamy with a cheesy tartness, this mac is sure to please without the dairy-gut-bomb effect.
- 3 1/2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup margarine (make sure you’re using a vegan variety!)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoon Bragg’s Amino Acids
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or more for thinning)
- 1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Sriracha sauce to season
1. Preheat broiler. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta through a colander and set aside.
2. Place the margarine in a medium saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, or just until the roux begins to take a beige color. Stir in soy milk and broth, beating well to dissolve the roux. Add salt, Bragg’s, soy sauce, garlic, turmeric, and smoked paprika, then increase the heat to medium, and stir until the sauce thickens. Stir in oil and nutritional yeast, cooking for another 2 minutes. If you’d like to thin out the sauce, add another tablespoon or two of broth.
3. Spoon macaroni into 4 heat-proof ceramic bowls and top with a thick layer of breadcrumbs. Slide under the broiler for 3 or 4 minutes to crisp. Do not over bake, or the macaroni sauce will separate.