This plant-based homemade mac and cheese is something that I make very regularly. It’s one of those simple comfort foods that even our pickiest eaters love.
The last time Kennedy asked “When’s the next time you’re making homemade mac and cheese?” I realized that I’ve been meaning to share this staple recipe of ours for awhile. It’s one of those things that I make every few weeks on a Sunday night and everyone is just really happy when it comes up in the dinner rotation. I should mention right off the bat, that this isn’t one of those plant-based mac and cheese recipes with some kind of super healthy twist like butternut squash as the base of the sauce. I love those too, but for a regular quick-fix comfort food kind of thing, this is our go-to. It’s also great because it tastes like regular macaroni and cheese, so if you have a situation where you’re feeding a lot of people with different dietary needs, this can kind of work for everyone.
Ingredients Needed for the Plant-Based Mac and Cheese
- Your choice of small pasta – We used to always use small shells, but lately Jack’s big into rotini.
- Plant-based butter
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Nutritional yeast
- Plant-based shredded mozzarella
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper hot sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)
If you have gluten-free friends and family to serve this to as well, you can easily make this gluten-free by subbing in gluten-free pasta and a gluten-free flour blend. Double check that the plant-based shredded cheese you’re using is gluten-free also. They usually are, but sometimes these types of items can have hidden gluten in them and we might not realize it.
Method for Making the Plant-Based Mac and Cheese
I almost always follow a traditional method when I’m making my plant-based versions of comfort food. I find that’s the best, easiest way to get a result that tastes like the original in flavour and texture. There are so many great plant-based versions of everything now, so you can make a plant-based version of almost anything if you really want to. When it comes to comfort food, we consider them a treat, so I just say “live a little” and don’t worry about the extra calories that come with traditional methods, most of the time. 🙂
I based this recipe off of Panera’s mac and cheese because that was always my kids’ favorite when they were younger. I’ve been making it for so many years and I’ve made a few changes, but the basics, including my secret ingredient, are the same.
Here’s the full printable recipe!
This plant-based homemade mac and cheese is something that I make very regularly. It's one of those simple comfort foods that even our pickiest eaters love.
- 1 package Pasta Noodles of Choice
- 3 tbsp Plant-based butter
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 2 1/2 cups Unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup Shredded plant-based mozzarella
- 3 tbsp Nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp Onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 7 shakes Cayenne pepper sauce such as Frank's Red Hot
- 1/2 cup Shredded cheese optional, to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 375°. Boil water to cook the pasta and cook the pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, make the sauce in a medium sauce pan. Melt the butter, then add in the flour, whisking them together to form a roux. Allow it to cook for a few seconds.
Begin adding the almond milk to the roux, about a half cup at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition to remove any and all lumps. Once you have a smooth consistency, add more milk.
Once all the milk has been added, mix in the cheese, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and hot sauce. Bring the mixture to a low boil, whisking frequently to melt everything together and keep the sauce from sticking. Turn the heat way down and keep the sauce warm.
When the pasta is done cooking, drain it, then dump it into a big casserole (9x13 or similar) and top with the cheese sauce. Mix to distribute the sauce evenly. Top with the additional amount of shredded cheese, if desired, then bake for about 20-30 minutes.
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