Yep, you read that title correct! If you are like me, you loooooooved mac n’ cheese as a kid. I couldn’t get enough of that stuff. I also looooooved eating that bright yellow goodness with a hot dog. YEP. I haven’t been plant-based my whole life folks.
So when we stumbled on a vegan mac n’ cheeze recipe for kids about a year ago, we modified it (a lot) to make it more substantial, and adult-like. We added onion, green peas, broccoli and yes, even vegan sausage. This recipe isn’t as quick as throwing a box of noodles in boiling water and then plopping in butter, milk and a neon cheese packet — but it is SO much better for you and it’s still a filling comfort food. Who doesn’t need a little of that from time to time, right?
1 c. cooked butternut squash
1/2 c. raw macadamia nuts*
2 TBSP. nutritional yeast
1 c. water
squeeze of lemon juice
few dashes of Real salt, maybe some ground black pepper too
6 c. dry macaroni noodles (or other similar noodle on hand)
10 oz. package of frozen, organic broccoli
1 c. frozen, organic peas
1 small to medium brown onion, chopped
1 Field Roast vegan Italian sausage, chopped
9″x12″ baking dish
Preheat oven to 375°F
- Peel, cut in half, scrape out the seeds and chop the butternut squash; or if you are lucky you can find it this way in the grocery store. Place the chopped pieces on a baking sheet, with a little water and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
- In a blender, add the mac nuts, nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice and salt. Set aside while you wait for the butternut squash to cook.
- In a large stock pot, add water and 6 c. of noodles. (Follow package instructions for exact preparation.) We use gluten-free noodles typically; this time around I used garbanzo bean fusilli!
- In a steamer basket, place broccoli, peas and chopped onion. Place steamer basket over your pot of water and place lid on and steam until the onions start to become transparent and the greens are BRIGHT green.
- Cut up the vegan sausage link and set aside.
- By now the butternut squash is probably done, so you can add it to the blender, which contains the other cheeze sauce ingredients. Blend on low for about 10 seconds, then crank it up to high and process until you get a thick and creamy, cheezy sauce. Be sure to taste test it at this point and see if you want to add any more salt or other seasonings. Make it yours!
- Once the noodles are done, drain and place in the 9″x12″ baking dish.
- Add the steamed veggies, cheeze sauce and noodles as well.
- Stir well in the baking dish to combine.
- Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. Serve immediately.
This dish will serve 6-8 as a side dish, or you can just do what we do and save it for leftovers for a couple days.
Below is a slideshow with more preparation instructions.
(*Nutsinbulk.com is a GREAT place to get mac nuts FRESH and avoid the rancid grocery store variety. Fresh mac nuts are life changing. You can also use cashews if you like those too.)