This vegan Mac and Cheese is feel-good comfort food, minus the dairy or nuts! It is sure to satisfy you comfort food cravings.
Mac & Cheese is a very popular dish in the U.S.A & U.K. but appears to have originated elsewhere long ago. A recipe appears in the "Liber de Coquina" or "Book of Cooking," a 13th-century Italian cookbook.
This Recipe is a simple version of this classic dish. I've added texture and colour with the vivid green pea crust topping.
To achieve a creamy texture, many vegan sauce recipes use cashew nuts. I try to use ingredients free of allergens with each recipe, so there are no cashews here.
I have only used dairy-free butter and milk in this vegan mac and cheese recipe. You will be surprised at the creaminess and taste of the sauce. So how did I get that creamy texture, then? It"s the vegan cheddar from violife and their Prosociano, which I call the vegan parmesan.
Give it a try. Honestly, you will not miss the dairy version!
The warming Nutmeg complements the wholegrain mustard.
In the recipe card instructions, you will find some terms that may be unfamiliar to you. Please see the FAQs for a little kitchen education!
- Vegan cheese (grated)
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Vegan block butter
- Oat milk
- Plain flour
- Wholegrain mustard
- Garden peas
Melt the vegan block butter in a pan and add the plain four. Using a wooden spoon, mix together vigorously to form a smooth paste called a blond roux. Aim for a light beige colour.
Take off the heat. Add the oat milk slowly while constantly whisking so that no lumps form. Whisk to a smooth, creamy sauce.
Once all the milk has been incorporated, bring the pan back to medium-low heat and cook for about five minutes or until the sauce has reached coating/nappe consistency (see notes below). Whisk from time to time to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Add the mustard, nutmeg, salt & pepper and half of the vegan cheese. Set aside
Parboil (see notes below) the Macaroni until it turns soft. Drain immediately and cool with cold water. ( omit this process of cooling if you are mixing in the cheese sauce and are going to bake straight away )Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC
Mix the Macaroni into the cheese sauce.
Transfer to a baking dish, and add a layer of grated cheese.
Pulse the peas in a blender so that they are a bit mushy. Don't puree them; break them down just a little. Add this to the top of the Mac & cheese. Grate some vegan Parmesan over the pea crust.
Heat the oven to 180ºC and bake the Mac & Cheese for 15 - 20 mins, until golden brown.
A Roux (pronounced Roo) combines plain flour and butter and thickens sauces and soups. There are four types of Roux: White, blonde, brown and dark, depending on how long the flour and butter are cooked. This recipe requires a blond Roux, so cook the flour and butter past the first white Roux stage until it turns blonde.
This refers to the thickness or texture of a mixture, like a sauce, used to coat foods. A sauce has achieved coating consistency when dipping a spoon into it; the sauce clings to the spoon instead of running off it. Not too thick, and not too thin.
To Parboil is to boil partly, or as the Italians say, pasta al dente, which basically means that you don't cook the pasta fully. Reduce the cooking time stated on the packet. When the pasta is cut in half, you will see the centre is not cooked and is white. Immediately drain the water and cool the parboiled Macaroni with cold water. We don't fully cook the pasta for this recipe because it will be cooked again during baking in the oven.
Take a look at these pasta dishes.
Pairing Ideas For Vegan Mac and Cheese
Here are some recipes that I think will pair well with this vegan mac and cheese.
Vegan Mac and Cheese With A Pea Crust
- Weighing scales
- Food processor or blender
- 200 g Macaroni
- 50 g Vegan Butter (block not spreadable)
- 50 g Plain Flour
- 500 ml Oat Milk at room temperature
- 150 g Frozen Peas, defrosted
- 80 g Vegan Cheese Brand used: Violife
- 1 g Nutmeg
- 10 g Vegan Parmesan Brand used: Violife
- 1 teaspoon Wholegrain Mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Melt the vegan Butter in a pan, over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir quite vigorously to make a smooth glossy paste or a blond roux, as we call it (see notes below). You will know it's done when the mixture is a light beige colour.
- Take off the heat and add the Oat milk a little at a time. Whisk constantly making sure no lumps form. By adding a little milk at a time and whisking, using a baloon whisk, you will achieve a smooth, glossy, creamy sauce.
- Once all the milk has been incorporated, bring the pan back to a medium-low heat and cook further for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has reached coating/nappe consistency (see notes below). Whisk from time to time, to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the mustard, nutmeg, salt & pepper and half of the vegan cheese. Set aside.
- Parboil (see notes below) the Macaroni until it begins to turn soft. Drain immediately and cool with cold water (omit this process of cooling if you are mixing in the cheese sauce and are going to bake straight away )Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC
- Mix the Macaroni into the cheese sauce, transfer to a baking dish, and add a layer of grated vegan cheese.
- Pulse the peas in a blender so that they are a bit mushy. You don't want a puree, just the peas broken down a little. Add this to the top of the Mac & cheese. Grate some vegan Parmesan over the pea crust.
- Heat the oven to 180ºC and bake the Mac & Cheese for about 20 minutes, until golden brown on top.
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are top priorities, and from the beginning of my training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, practising good food hygiene and safety at home is also essential. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food.
- Wipe down countertops and high-contact points regularly.
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours).
- Store food correctly.
For more details regarding food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.
Leave a Reply