Vegan bake mac and cheese is for me a healthy comfort food alternative that requires minimal work and results in a lot of flavors.
- ▢12 ounces elbow noodles
- ▢1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- ▢2 cups of water
- ▢3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ▢1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- ▢1 clove garlic
- ▢1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- ▢1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- ▢1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- ▢4 tablespoons melted vegan butter
- ▢1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a large casserole dish (I used a 9 x 13-inch dish).
- Soak cashews: Soften your cashews by covering them in boiling water for 5 minutes. I do this by heating up water in my tea kettle, and then pouring the boiling water over the cashews in a large glass measuring cup.
- Make the cheese sauce: Drain the cashews and add them to a high-powered blender along with 2 cups of freshwater, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic clove, onion powder and salt. Blend until very smooth, and set aside. It will appear a bit watery, but that is right as it thickens while it bakes.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, but one minute less. The noodles will continue to cook in the oven, so do not overcook it. Drain and set aside.
- Make the breadcrumb topping: In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, melted vegan butter, and paprika.
- Add the drained pasta to the casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce on top of the noodles and stir to combine. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top and bake, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes until warm and golden brown.