February 8, 2014

macaroni and cheese

Even though I am too afraid to share it with an omnivore, I have long had a fascination with vegan mac and cheese recipes. I've tried quite a few, and am always interested in new strategies. I've been playing with this recipe for a while. I like that it has cashews and miso in it, which at least allows me to pretend it's healthy. (It is healthy in comparison with my favorite mac and cheese recipe, the one from the New Farm cookbook, which has an embarrassingly high amount of fat.)

macaroni and cheese

First, cook
12 ounces whole wheat macaroni
according to the package's directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. (OK, it doesn't have to be whole wheat, but they have made great strides in whole grain pasta lately, and I prefer it. It also helps with the conceit that this is healthier mac and cheese!)

While the macaroni is cooking, prepare the "cheese" sauce. In a food processor or high-powered blender, liquefy
1 cup cashews (raw or roasted -- I've done it both ways)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. turmeric
3/4 tsp. agar powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 1/4 cups soy milk
1/4 cup okara
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup miso paste (yellow or white)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Pour the liquefied mixture into a medium pot and whisk or stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens.

macaroni and cheese

Once it has reached maximum thickness, pour the sauce over the macaroni and stir until it's all incorporated and ready to eat. Stir in steamed broccoli too, if desired.


  1. I made this macaroni and cheese recipe. Very nice, but when I made it the second time I left out the agar powder. halved the nuts and used a bit more okara. result was a smoother "cheese" sauce. I have also used the sauce in cooking a mushroom sauce, with delicious results.

    1. Thanks for sharing your modifications! I experimented a lot with thickeners and found that the agar powder worked best for my tastes -- but I'm glad you figured out an agar-free version, as that ingredient is sometimes difficult for people to find. There is only one store in my town that carries it.

  2. Wow, really great recipes here! I've made many vegan mac n cheese sauces but have never come across one that uses the combination you used (usually just flour or cashews with seasonings or pachaged vegan cheese). My son loves vegan mac n cheese. I've gotta make this one! A friend have just given me a soymilk machine and tonight I made the first batch! So thankful to have found your blog and so happy that you're vegan!

  3. I've made your mac and cheese recipe a few times (yes, it's a repeater!) and I just wanted to share one of my adaptations: Korean "cheese" fondue! I leave out the agar and corn starch and instead add yams. I cook these in the unsweetened soy milk, add all your ingredients and also add 1.5 tablespoons of gochujang (Korean hot sauce). I eat it with potatoes, carrots, baby corn, pak choi, Irish soda bread, etc. Mmmm!! Thank you for the original recipe, it was a great inspiration!

  4. Lisa, that sounds amazing! I LOVE Korean food and just bought a huge new container of gochujang just waiting to be used up.

    I make my own kimchi, so I might also have to try making this recipe as-is, then adding chopped kimchi to it. Cheese and kimchi is such a delicious combo!