This dairy-free mac & cheese is a great addition to a holiday meal and is one of my go-to comfort foods during the “colder” winter months here in Florida. I have made it for nearly every potluck or family get-together and it has been a big favorite among others. The use of cashews provides monounsaturated fats and the chickpea pasta gives it a complex carbs and protein boost that is great for athletes. It can stand as a balanced meal itself, possibly with a side of veggies, that you can even make ahead of time and include within your busy schedule.
Cashews are actually seeds, rather than nuts, grow from sweet edible, but fragile, “cashew apple” fruits on trees and the crop originated from South American before being introduced in Africa and Asia. Cashews are an excellent source of magnesium, manganese and copper and a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus and vitamin K. They are lower in total and saturated fat compared to most other nuts and dairy cheeses and are mostly made up of monounsaturated fats in the oleic acid form with a smaller amount of polyunsaturated fats.
Homemade Dairy-Free Mac & Cheese
This dairy-free mac & cheese is creamy and delicious, high in protein and redefines mac & cheese as a main dish rather than a side.
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 people 1x
- Category: Lunch/Dinner
- 1 package (8oz/227g) Banza chickpea elbow pasta (or sub any macaroni elbow pasta)
- 1 cup raw cashews (soak in boiling hot water for 5 minutes to soften)
- 3/4 cup plain unsweetened cashew or coconut milk beverage
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric OR paprika (optional, for yellow or orange color)
- Cook the macaroni elbow pasta according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, place the cashews into a blender or food processor and blend into until smooth like cashew butter. Add and blend in the nutritional yeast, vinegar, salt and optional turmeric or paprika. Then add and blend in little by the little the cashew or coconut milk until everything is evenly smooth and mixed together.
- When the pasta is done cooking, pour or strain out the water, return the pasta into the pot and pour the sauce on top. Mix the pasta around to evenly coat it in the sauce.
- Done! Enjoy and store any leftovers in the fridge for about one week.
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