I’ve made a few versions of vegan and gluten-free mac & cheese before. Most were tolerable and enjoyable enough. I couldn’t honestly say it was a close match to authentic baked mac & cheese but it would curb the craving.
But then I found a recipe online that used Daiya Cheese Shreds and I knew I had to try it. We’ve become quite enamored with Daiya Cheese in our house. Levi likes to make fried potatoes for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast with melted Daiya Cheddar on top. I’m not as much of a fan of a breakfast like that, but to each his own.
The recipe is from Daiya’s website and it turned out beautifully. I hope they don’t mind that I share it here. There are a ton of great recipes on their site that I suggest you go and check out.
The original recipe calls for 8 ounces of pasta, but I used a whole 1 lb package of brown rice elbow noodles and the sauce coated it perfectly. I suspect that had I used only 8 ounces the noodle-to-sauce ratio wouldn’t have been as good.
- 1 lb brown rice elbow pasta, cooked just shy of al dente
- 3 tablespoons vegan margarine
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used plain, unsweetened almond milk)
- 3 cups Daiya shreds (I used 1 cup cheddar and 2 cups mozzarella, as that’s what I had on hand)
- ½ cup gluten-free and vegan bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt vegan margarine.
- Add nutritional yeast and black pepper.
- Pour in non-dairy milk and add Daiya shreds.
- Whisk to mix and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Continue to whisk occasionally while shreds melt and sauce becomes smooth. Do not let the sauce scorch.
- Once the sauce is smooth and heated through, pour over cooked elbow noodles.
- Pour into a casserole dish.
- Mix bread crumbs and paprika then sprinkle on top.
- Bake about 15 minutes in preheated oven, until sauce begins to bubble and topping browns slightly.
A few notes:
This turned out great. I tried some before baking it and it was great just like that. This is a rich, creamy sauce. Because I used mozzarella- and cheddar-style shreds the color was light. It could probably pass as a gourmet white-cheddar style mac & cheese.
I often think adding ketchup to the tasty food I make is akin to a slap in the face, however ever since I was a kid, one of the only things I would eat with ketchup was macaroni & cheese. This recipe is so rich that having some ketchup with it is actually a nice addition. The acidity of the ketchup cuts through the intense creaminess and richness. But shh, don’t tell anyone I suggested that.