The Best Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
Don't mourn for Kraft-y macaroni goodness, Babycakes. I've got something tastier (and healthier!). This homemade cheesy uncheese sauce is creamy and delicious.
For the casserole:
10 to 12 oz. dry penne or macaroni pasta, partially pre-cooked* - see below
For the sauce:
4 tablespoons light olive oil
4 tablespoons sweet rice flour
2 1/2 cups plain hemp, rice or nut milk
1 rounded tablespoon sesame tahini or almond butter
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1-2 teaspoons golden balsamic or rice vinegar, or lemon juice, to taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
A dash or two of Simply Organic Garlic Powder
A dash or two of Simply Organic Minced Onion
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons white wine- Frey Organic wine is vegan and egg-free
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon turmeric for yellow, or paprika for orange color
For the topping:
1 cup Crunchy Gluten-Free "Bread" Crumbs (these crumbs have herbs and olive oil)
10-12 grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
A sprinkle of dried basil and parsley
*To pre-cook the pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and pre-cook the penne just until it is slightly tender but firm to the bite. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it quickly under cold water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and stir in the sweet rice flour (I like to use a whisk to do this). Cook and stir the flour for about 10 seconds, then slowly add in the hemp milk, whisking to blend the flour paste (called a roux) and hemp milk.
Bring the mixture to a bubble (it will thicken as it heats) then reduce the heat to low.
Add the toasted sesame tahini, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, golden balsamic vinegar, sea salt, a dash or two of Simply Organic Garlic Powder and Simply Organic Minced Onion, nutmeg and white wine. Add turmeric or paprika for color, if desired. Mix well with a whisk.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pour the cooked penne into a 6-cup baking dish. Pour the cheesy uncheese sauce over the penne and gently combine. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the gluten-free bread crumbs and halved grape tomatoes. Sprinkle with dried basil. (For the sensory sensitive, omit the tomatoes, crumbs and basil.)
For individual gratin dishes, combine the pasta with the cheese sauce first; then spoon it into the gratin dishes. Top with crumbs and tomatoes and sprinkle with dried basil.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes, until heated through and bubbling.
Recipe by Gluten free goddess, photos by Laura Spear