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Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese With Dried Porcini

  • 1/8
    Vegan Mac And Cheese With Dried Porcini
  • 2/8
    Elbow Macaroni Pasta
  • 3/8
    Lemon, cashews, salt, garlic powder, mustard, black pepper, cayenne and nutmeg
  • 4/8
    Place the onion, carrots, celeriac, parsnip and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium-size pot, add 1½ cups of water, cover, and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.
  • 5/8
    In a blender, combine the cooked vegetables with their liquid, cashews, 1 teaspoon salt, vegan butter, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, nutmeg and black pepper, and blend until smooth.
  • 6/8
    In a large bowl, mix together the cooked pasta, porcini and the sauce.
  • 7/8
    Spray a casserole dish (9x12-inch or similar size/shape) with vegetable oil, or smear with vegan margarine. Dust the bottom and sides with 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
  • 8/8
    Add the pasta mixture to the casserole dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, and bake in the oven until the sauce is bubbly and the breadcrumbs toasted, about 30 minutes.

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Aug 21, 2015

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Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese With Dried Porcini

This is a dairy-free version of the classic dish, but I think it comes very close in taste and texture to the original. I found the recipe a long time ago in VegNews, and over the years, I played with the ingredients until I settled on this version. It’s my go-to, always appreciated, can’t-believe-it’s-vegan side dish for potlucks.

The cheese is replaced by a flavorful, easy-to-make, gravy-like sauce made from root vegetables, raw cashews and spices. You don’t have to add the porcini, but they bring a nice touch of earthiness.

I recommend slightly undercooking the pasta—about a minute less than what it says on the package—because it will keep cooking in the oven, and there is a fine line between al dente and mushy. 

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  1. Serves 4
  2. 2 cups macaroni
  3. 1 cup dried porcini (optional)
  4. 1/3 cup raw cashews
  5. ½ cup yellow onion, peeled, diced
  6. ¾ cup carrots, peeled, diced
  7. ½ cup celeriac root, peeled, diced
  8. 1/3 cup parsnip, peeled, diced
  9. 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  10. 3 tablespoons vegan butter alternative
  11. 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  12. 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  13. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  14. 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  15. ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  16. 5 tablespoons breadcrumbs, divided

1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt, and cook the macaroni, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente. Drain and set aside.

2

Place the porcini in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes to rehydrate. Drain and set aside.

3

Place the cashews in small bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

4

Place the onion, carrots, celeriac, parsnip and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium-size pot. Add 1½ cups of water, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.

5

In a blender, combine the cooked vegetables with their liquid, cashews, 1 teaspoon salt, vegan butter, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, nutmeg and black pepper, and blend until smooth.

6

In a large bowl, mix together the cooked pasta, porcini and the sauce.

7

Spray a casserole dish (9x12-inch or similar size/shape) with vegetable oil, or smear with vegan margarine. Dust the bottom and sides with 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.

8

Add the pasta mixture to the casserole dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs, and bake in the oven until the sauce is bubbly and the breadcrumbs toasted, about 30 minutes.

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