Cashew Nut Based Mac & Cheese Recipe
Instead of using a plant based cheese, I’ve opted for a cashew base instead. They’re rich, creamy and perfect for making a thick sauce such as a cheesy one (made cheesy using nutritional yeast). It takes 30 minutes from start to finish and is perfect for a cosy night in. Let’s get to the recipe!
Breakdown of Ingredients
Macaroni – To make a classic mac & cheese you need to start with macaroni pasta. This can easily be swapped for gluten free, just be sure to check the cooking times.
Cashews- Rich and creamy, they make a perfect base for a thick vegan sauce. You can use them for a bechamel sauce.
Nutritional Yeast- This is a common ingredient found within vegan cooking/ vegetarian cooking as it has a nutty, slightly cheesy flavour to it. It’s often added to pestos, sauces and salads to give them a bit of depth.
Seasoning- With any sauce it’s important to season, make sure to taste test adding a little more salt, pepper and paprika if needed. I like using smoked paprika as it gives a lovely warmth to the dish.
Cashew Based Mac & Cheese
- 100 g cashew nuts 3/4 cup
- 125 ml plant based milk (I used a thick one such as a full fat oat milk)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Pinch chilli flakes
- Pinch salt & pepper
- 1/2 small butternut squash
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary & thyme
- 160 g servings of Macaroni (around 2 portions)
- Dive the butternut into 3cm cubes, drizzle in olive oil, fresh rosemary and thyme and roast at 180º for 30 minutes
- Add the macaroni pasta to a pot of water and bring to a boil for 15 minutes (might be less depending on cooking instructions)
- In a blender / powerful food processor, add the cashews, milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, and spices and blend till creamy smooth
- Drain the water from the pasta and add the sauce to heat through, adding in the roasted butternut
- Taste test, adding a generous pinch of salt & pepper or maybe more chilli and enjoy