If you need something kid-friendly that’s going to have everyone in your family asking for seconds and thirds – I have the perfect smoky mac and cheese recipe. It’s totally vegan, oil-free, and unbelievably creamy.
The trick? Cashews. In fact, Cashews make for the perfect vegan cheese base with its smokiness, nuttiness, and rich flavors. With a good solid cashew foundation, you can whip up just about any kind of cheese-base dish with a little bit of this-and-that. For this recipe, I utilized what was in my pantry.
You really need to try out this recipe yourself. With that said, let’s get to this smoky mac & cheese vegan recipe:
Smoky Mac and Cheese Recipe [Vegan]
- Use raw and unsalted cashew.
- Save the water you used from boiling the cashews. Trust me, it’ll make your mac & cheese delicious.
- I just used ziti because that’s what I had in my pantry. In case the case you don’t have ziti, use whatever type of macaroni noodles you have.
- This recipe makes about 4 servings.
- Lastly, if you don’t set aside enough water from the cashew, just add regular water.
- If you want it extra creamy and less healthy, add vegan butter. I didn’t for this recipe, though.
- 1 cup cashews (raw + unsalted)
- 2 cups macaroni pasta (dry)
- 1 ½ cups cashew water*
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups water for boiling
*I’ll explain the cashew water in the recipe down below.
- First, cook the pasta according to the package’s instructions. I cooked and boiled mine for about 10 minutes in salted water. Drain and set aside.
- Next, add water to a pot and set over high heat. Once it starts boiling, add your cashews.
- Boil the cashews for 10 minutes to soften.
- Once the cashews are done boiling, remove cashews from water and keep the cashew water.
- In a blender, add cashews, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, tomato paste, garlic powder, fresh lemon juice, and 1.5 cups of the leftover cashew water.
- Then, blend until smooth.
- Finally, add the cashew vegan cheese to the pasta and mix evenly.
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