Best Vegan Mac & Cheese

Intense comfort food, and much healthier than anything else by this name. For me, it doesn’t entirely solve cravings for cheap boxed (vegan) mac, but it definitely deserves its own separate pedestal.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups butternut squash (buy frozen, pre-cut version! Not worth the pain of being ambitious with a whole, fresh squash).
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1+ cups veggie broth
  • ½ cup tamari (or sub coconut aminos for soy-free option)
  • 3+ tbsp paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast*
  • Macaroni-shaped rice pasta (my favorite is Tinkyada brand)
  • Almond Parm

To prepare: Wash and chop sweet potatoes; add to a pot of water and cook until you can push a fork through. Add butternut squash and cook for a few more minutes. Drain and set aside. Start heating a pot of water in which to cook the rice pasta.

Find a trusted assistant to chop the onion (or do it yourself, if you’re so tough…). Caramelize in olive oil. Add garlic, then salt, pepper, and paprika. Turn off heat and stir in veggie broth. Pour into a blender and add coconut milk and tamari (or use a big bowl and a hand mixer, if possible). Blend this mixture, then add nutritional yeast, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. Puree until very creamy. Add additional amounts of any of these spice ingredients to taste.

Cook the rice pasta and drain. Add back to the pot, add sauce, and stir well to combine.

To plate: make a heaping bowl and add almond parm to taste! Note that this makes great leftovers – if possible, microwave the leftovers in a bowl which makes the sauce really cling to the pasta (add the almond parm after). I think microwaves are evil and I still do this because it’s so good.

*This may seem like a large quantity of nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast contains a lot of vitamins, and according to my research occasionally eating a lot of it won’t do any harm. At the risk of TMI, a normal person will notice their pee to be intensely yellow after any strong dose of vitamins, including those found in nutritional yeast. However, it also contains a lot of purines, which produce uric acid, and should be avoided by people with gout.

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