Everyone needs a great mac ‘n’ cheese recipe, and I swear mine’s better than Meet’s.

Yeah, I said it! Hubs treated me to MeeT on Main for birthday dinner this year, and I’d heard their Mac ‘n cheese was good so I gave it a spin, despite the cashew-based sauce I’m sensitive to. I found it less flavourful and tasting more oniony from the garnish, and there were breadcrumbs on top which others might like for more crunch, but I prefer a creamy texture in my pastas. For me, breadcrumbs on a mac ‘n’ cheese is pretty much just extra calories.

I wish I could give major props to whoever crafted this recipe ’cause it’s been a great staple for many years, and I’ve been able to adapt it to my sensitivities and add garnishes that I’m used to seeing on gourmet versions.

Ingredients:

5 c macaroni or other short pasta (I prefer brown rice fusilli)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp starch (I use tapioca)
1/2 c nutritional yeast
2 c rice milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp olive oil
2 c grated vegan cheez (I use Daiya Foods Cheddar Style Shreds)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: Chopped fresh parsley and green onions

Cook the pasta. In a small bowl, mix the garlic powder, starch, and nutritional yeast. In a medium bowl, mix the milk, lemon juice, and tamari. Place the oils in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the milk mixture, then the dry mixture, and whisk until thick (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat, add the cheez, and mix until the cheez melts and integrates into the sauce (about 1 minute). Stir in the pasta. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish as desired. Serves 4 full servings or six appetizer servings.

Notes:

  • The original recipe called for potato starch and almond milk, both of which I’m sensitive to. I find the tapioca starch doesn’t require as much time to thicken, and using this and rice milk made no difference in taste or texture.
  • I took the photo above fresh, so the sauce was thinner than it will be if you store this and re-heat. The pasta naturally absorbs more of the sauce.
  • I think what gives this sauce that extra kick is the lemon juice. Who knew!

Tips:

  • You can use macaroni, penne, or any other short pasta for this, but I prefer brown rice spirals as there’s more surface area for the sauce to touch, it’s gluten-free, and it looks more gourmet, IMO!
  • I find 3-4 shakes of Herbamare salt and a pinch of pepper does the trick for seasoning.
  • I like to use both parsley and green onions if I can, for colour and extra nutrition, but the cheez sauce is so flavourful that you really won’t taste it — a great way to hide the veggies if you’ve got kids! I had leftover kale when I made this, which is what’s in the photo.

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