Creamy vegan mac and cheese made with real food ingredients (no processed cheeses) and topped with Simple Mills cracker crumble.
In a large pot bring at least 8 cups of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente or according to the package instructions. You want the pasta to be slightly undercooked by about 1-2 minutes if you are baking the mac and cheese. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.
In the meantime, place the vegetable stock, potatoes and carrots into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer until tender and can be pierced with a fork. About 10-12 minutes.
Add the remaining sauce ingredients (everything but the crackers and garlic powder) to a blender. Add the warm potatoes, carrots and broth. With a slightly vented lid and holding the top with a dish towel, blend all the ingredients together. Start slowly then blend on high for about 2 minutes.
Add the pasta to a casserole or baking dish (roughly 7×11). Pour the sauce on to the pasta and gently combine.
For the cracker crumble, add the crackers and garlic powder to a food processor or dry ingredients container for a blender, and process into fine crumb (if not using spray oil, add 2 teaspoons of oil). Top pasta with the cracker crumble and spray with oil of choice.
Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. After 20 minutes, turn the oven to broil for about 3-4 minutes to make sure the top is golden.
Serve warm or store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4 days or in the freezer for 1 month. To reheat, place back in the oven on low until warmed through or in the microwave.
This recipe may seem a little lengthy but it is 100% worth it. The nice thing is you can multitask most of the steps – you can have the pasta and potatoes/carrots boiling while making the almond cracker crumble. You can also cut back on the time significantly by not baking the mac and cheese and serving it straight from the stovetop. Just sprinkle with some of the cracker crumble and you’ll still have that nice crunchy texture contrast.
You can substitute sweet potatoes, pumpkin or other squash for the white potatoes/starch component of the sauce but from a flavor perspective, the sauce will take on a sweeter taste and lose some of the savory “cheese” flavor.
In place of the soaked cashews, you can substitute two tablespoons of raw cashew butter, tahini or oil of choice.
This recipe makes a lot. You can easily halve the recipe or only use 8 oz box of pasta and save 1/2 the sauce for other purposes like nachos, veggie dip, or drizzle for grains or other bowl meals.