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June 17, 2021

Plant-Based Garlic Mac & Cheese

Plant-Based Garlic Mac and Cheese is dairy-free and gluten-free. Made with whole-food ingredients like cashews, it's a healthy summer dish.

Plant-Based Garlic Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese! What a delicious dish. I loved mac & cheese as a kid. But I only liked it homemade. I absolutely hated any mac and cheese that came from a box mix. The thought of powdered cheese still grosses me out.

But now I've got this incredibly tasty Plant-Based Garlic Mac and Cheese! Of course, it's dairy-free and gluten-free, like all my recipes. And it's more elevated than just regular mac & cheese, with the addition of roasted garlic.

If you've never roasted garlic, you're definitely going to want to all the time after making this recipe. Roasted garlic is SO easy to make and it adds a garlic flavor that is less harsh than raw garlic. Imagine taking a giant bite of mac & cheese and getting a forkful of creamy cheese, pasta, and also getting a soft, sweet, umami piece of garlic. Delicious.

Let's dive into the recipe!

Plant-Based Garlic Mac & Cheese

Recipe Features

  • Dietary needs — this Plant-Based Garlic Mac and Cheese is dairy-free, plant-based, oil-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free. It’s also very high in fiber.
  • Quick and easy — this dish comes together in just 40 minutes, perfect for weeknight dinner
  • Healthy comfort food – this dish is much healthier than the traditional mac & cheese recipe, but it still has that distinct comfort food feel!

Plant-Based Garlic Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

To make a deliciously cheesy sauce for our pasta, we'll need several ingredients to provide all the elements of a 'regular' cheese, like texture and flavor.

  • Raw Cashews: Cashews are a classic ingredient in plant-based sauces. When soaked, they become super soft and when blended create a super creamy texture. Plus, they already have a slightly cheesy taste, so they're perfect for a cheese sauce.
  • Cauliflower: Cauliflower also helps create a soft sauce. And it's great to add some extra veg!
  • White Miso: Miso adds a tanginess and saltiness that creates a depth of flavor for this cheese sauce.
  • Roasted Garlic: I love garlic! In this mac and cheese, we're adding roasted garlic to the sauce and to the pasta!
  • Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor that is perfect for cheesy recipes.
  • Lemon Juice: For a bit of freshness and tang.
  • Sea Salt: To enhance the flavors of the cheese ingredients.
  • Elbow Pasta: You can use whatever pasta you'd like, but elbow pasta is traditional for mac & cheese. I used a bean-based pasta for extra protein.
  • Parsley: For garnish.

Plant-Based Garlic Mac & Cheese

How to Roast Garlic

Roasting garlic is easy! Start with a bulb of garlic. Chop the top 1/4 of the head off, to expose the tops of the cloves inside. Then, wrap loosely in aluminum foil. Roast in the oven at 400, until the garlic is soft and fragrant.

How to Make Plant-Based Garlic Mac and Cheese

Step 1. Soak the cashews in boiling water for at least 30 minutes, preferably several hours. Or, heat the cashews in water and continuously boil for 30 minutes.

Step 2. Meanwhile, cook the cauliflower according to the package directions, until soft.

Step 3. Drain the cashews and add to a blender or food processor, along with the cauliflower, miso, 2 heads of the roasted garlic (peeled), nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend, slowly pouring in the boiling water, until the mixture smooth and creamy.

Step 4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Step 5. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and pour in the cheese sauce and remaining garlic. Stir to combine. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Plant-Based Garlic Mac & Cheese

Recipe Prayer

Thank you God for delicious comfort food that fuels our bodies with the nutrients we need. Amen.

Related Recipes

Love pasta? Try these tasty pasta recipes next:

Plant-Based Garlic Mac & Cheese Pinterest Graphic

Plant-Based Garlic Mac & Cheese

Plant-Based Garlic Mac and Cheese is dairy-free and gluten-free. Made with whole-food ingredients like cashews, it's a healthy summer dish.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

4

Prep:

30

min

cook:

10

min

total:

40

min

Ingredients

  • 2/3 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Cauliflower
  • 1/4 Cup White Miso
  • 3 Heads Roasted Garlic, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water
  • Elbow Pasta
  • Parsley, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews in boiling water for at least 30 minutes, preferably several hours. Or, heat the cashews in water and continuously boil for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the cauliflower according to the package directions, until soft.
  3. Drain the cashews and add to a blender or food processor, along with the cauliflower, miso, 2 heads of the roasted garlic (peeled), nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend, slowly pouring in the boiling water, until the mixture smooth and creamy.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  5. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and pour in the cheese sauce and remaining garlic. Stir to combine. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

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August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography