Macaroni and cheese in a blue mug, on a tea towel, with a wooden spoon. Marble cutting board in background. This recipe is dairy free and vegan, with a gluten free option.

Secretly healthy Vegan Mac N’ Cheese

 

Secretly Healthy Stovetop Mac N Cheese

Cheesy, creamy, vegan macaroni and cheese on the stove top! Comes together easily and you can even add protein for a one pot meal.

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 stalk leek, sliced and well rinsed (toss sliced leek in water and 'swish' around to let grit settle to the bottom.)
  • 1 cup canned white beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup broth of choice or reconstited boillon
  • 1 cup fully cooked pasta reserve 1/8 cup of pasta water
  • 1 cup cheddar style cheeze shreds
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced dried onion
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/3 tsp hot sauce
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook leeks and beans in broth with spices until leaks have softened.

  2. Blend mixture with food processor, immersion blender, or counter top blender

  3. Combine pasta, cheese, pasta water, and pureed mixture in a saucepan. On medium high heat, simmer until sauce is desired consistency and cheese has fully melted. Enjoy!

This Macaroni and Cheese recipe wasn’t supposed to happen.

This was thrown together for a quick dinner from a base of soup I had on hand. As Crawling2handed and I ate, we both just could not stop eating. It was creamy. It was cheesy. It reminded me of Velveeta shells and cheese I ate as a child without the bitterness. After recovering from the soul-satisfying bliss of pasta, I knew it must be shared! Macaroni and cheese has always been a significant part of my life and even though I can’t order out anymore, it still reigns supreme in my house. When I was a child I imagined heaven had pools full of macaroni and cheese to dive into. From my Bible studies, no verses have countered this idea…yet. Kidding!

 Macaroni and cheese in a blue mug, on a tea towel, with a wooden spoon. Marble cutting board in background. This recipe is dairy free and vegan, with a gluten free option.

A good vegan macaroni and cheese recipe is hard to find.

Sure, you can find plenty. Most use tofu which I cannot eat anymore. There are also others that use blended soaked cashews (I don’t normally plan ahead for that.) Other versions creatively use pumpkin as a base. The color is nice, but the flavor is very, very, strong and takes over any ‘cheese’ flavors you might encounter. Many’s the soul that has abandoned ship on a vegan lifestyle because of a pumpkin based macaroni and cheese recipe. Sorry, friends. I’m just telling it like it is.

White beans give my recipe a very neutral base. The broth and leeks add savory and hearty flavors that support, not drown, the cheese of choice. I know using a small amount of Dijon mustard and hot sauce may sound strange, but it brings the sharpness from the cheddar flavor. I promise you won’t taste them, they’re only backup to the main event of cheesy pasta goodness.

 Macaroni and cheese in a blue mug, on a tea towel, with a wooden spoon. Marble cutting board in background. This recipe is dairy free and vegan, with a gluten free option.

Never used leeks?

Unfortunately they remain largely undiscovered by the American populace. They provide a mellow onion flavor without the tears. The lively green shade brings beauty to any dish. They are the friend who doesn’t ever get the credit they’re due.

A few things to know about leeks: Always rinse them very well. As they grow they pick up layers of dirt, grit, and sand between their leaves. This is easily remedied by slicing them and letting them float in a layer of water. Rinse the leaves and separate them well and your grit will float to the bottom of the sink. The other thing to know about leeks? They make for amazing visual puns. Put a whole one in the sink and yell to your family there’s a leak in the kitchen sink!… Crawling2handed has no chance of a normal childhood.

Macaroni and cheese in a blue mug, on a tea towel, with a wooden spoon. Marble cutting board in background. This recipe is dairy free and vegan, with a gluten free option.

Have you ever cooked with leeks or had a bad recipe that ruined you on a dish?

 Pinterest pin: no pumpkin, gluten free version, Macaroni and cheese in a blue mug, on a tea towel, with a wooden spoon. Marble cutting board in background. This recipe is dairy free and vegan, with a gluten free option.

4 thoughts on “Secretly healthy Vegan Mac N’ Cheese”

  1. Excellent comfort food. I have had a hard time getting some brands of vegan shredded cheddar cheese to melt. Do you recall what brand you used? Also, thanks for putting a smile on my face with “there’s a leek in the kitchen sink.”

    1. See if you can pull this joke on your wife! I really like Daiya’s new ‘cutting board reserve’ cheddar brand cheese. I agree with you that most are definitely hard to melt, but in this application- putting it in a warm sauce, it seems to melt down nicely. I’ve yet to get fully melted cheese in nachos, for example.

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