This vegan (and optional gluten-free) baked mac and cheez is the perfect family dish! It's healthier than it sounds, too. First of all, the cheese sauce is made using veggies (!), and you can add veggies such as spinach, peas, or any other veggies you love into the mix.
I've been making this a lot lately. It was one of the recipes in my recent cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School (I have another in September!). It's also Memorial Day Weekend, aka the unofficial kickoff to summer, so I ate this alongside my BBQ jackfruit recipe and slaw, as well as with vegan kimchi and a vegan hot dog for the ultimate comfort food/summer vibe. Soooooo good - which combo would you prefer?
This baked mac is my new go-to recipe and it is super kid friendly. I think the whole family will love it! Let me know if you make it by tagging me on Instagram @morganaveryco. It makes my day when I see you enjoying my recipes!
Baked Mac + Cheez
16 oz. bag macaroni or pasta of choice (I use brown rice macaroni)
2 handfuls spinach or chopped greens (kale, collard greens, chard, etc.)
2 cups russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 TBSP coconut or avocado oil
1/2 large white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
2 cups non-dairy milk, plus more as needed
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (gluten-free sub: almond meal or almond flour)
Optional: 1 cup of green peas (my favorite!)
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Place the spinach in a colander, so that it wilts as the pasta drains.
In another saucepan, boil or steam the potatoes and carrot until fork tender. Drain, then add to a high speed blender with the milk, garlic, mustard, nutritional yeast, paprika, salt, and pepper and blend until smooth. The cheese sauce should be a pourable, thin gravy-like consistency, as it will thicken in the oven.
Grease a casserole dish (mine is 12.5" x 8.5") with oil, and add the diced onions. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes to soften.
In the casserole dish with the onions, add the cooked pasta, spinach, and cheese sauce. Mix it all together and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the top is turning golden brown.
Let cool for at least 5 minutes, then serve. I like to top mine with a bit of sriracha sauce. Yum!