When it comes to comfort food, I think it’s safe to say macaroni and cheese is at or near the top of just about everyone’s list. I’ve had some non-dairy versions of this home-cooked classic that left me unimpressed, so I decided to tweak this until I was satisfied it was better. This baked macaroni and cheese is brimming with a rich, cheesy flavor, and the addition of sun-dried tomatoes adds a layer of subtle sophistication. This recipe is also quick and easy to prepare, so you’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the ones you love!
Try this baked macaroni and cheese for yourself and let us know if it’s your new favorite comfort food!
1 lb whole wheat macaroni
1 TBL olive oil
1/2 onion diced
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes diced
4 TBL Earth Balance (or any vegan margarine), divided
2 TBL flour
2 cups plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk (soy or almond milk)
2 cups Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tsp salt divided
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°
In a large pot, boil water, add 1 tsp salt, and cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain pasta and set aside.
Add cashews to blender or food processor and blend to a very fine powder, just don’t blend the cashews so much they start to become pasty.
Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté onion for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes longer. Add sun-dried tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes more to bring out their rich color and flavor.
Melt 2 TBL margarine in a large sauce pan (I reuse the pot I cooked the pasta in) over medium-high heat, add flour and stir constantly for 4-5 minutes to make a light brown roux. Add non-dairy milk and bring to a boil. Add Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds, nutritional yeast, and cashews, and stir constantly. Add onions, garlic, and sun-dried tomato mixture to the cheese sauce and stir well to combine.
Add cooked macaroni to cheese sauce and stir well to coat all the pasta with rich, delicious cheesyness. Pour macaroni and cheese mixture into an oiled 9×13 baking pan.
In a small bowl combine breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp salt and fresh ground pepper. Melt 2 TBL Earth Balance and add to breadcrumbs; mix until the breadcrumbs have absorbed all the margarine. Top macaroni and cheese with breadcrumb mixture.
Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and the top of your casserole is a beautiful golden brown. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.