If you haven’t tasted VegNews’ famous Mac ‘n’ Cheese, don’t wait another moment. This beloved cheesy facsimile is life-changing—and our top-rated recipe ever. In honor of Vegan Cheese Week, we thought there was no better recipe to serve as ambassador for all things cheese, so think of this as our gift to you. You’ll be amazed at how rich, smooth, and downright delicious this is, and we guarantee both non-vegetarians and vegetarians alike will beg you for more. Created by our award-winning food columnist, Allison Rivers Samson, we give you the VegNews Macaroni & Cheese. Once you’ve had this mac, you’ll never want to go back.
What You Need:
4 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
1 16-ounce package macaroni
4 slices bread, torn into large pieces
2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, divided
2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon paprika
What You Do:
1. In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
4. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, remaining 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.
5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.