Inspired by a classic combo, this healthy, delicious, and oil-free Vegan Caprese Mac and Cheese is the perfect comfort food the whole family will love!
- 1 – [ 14.4 oz. bag ] frozen cauliflower florets *
- 3 cups Russet potatoes, peeled, small dice (1/2-inch cubes)
- 1/8 cup (raw) cashews
- ¼ cup unsweetened plain plant milk
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
- ½ cup water
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ume plum vinegar *
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard *
- 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari *
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (+/-)
Sauce Herb/Spice Ingredients:
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ¾ to 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- Large pinch cayenne pepper *
Pulse Herb Ingredients:
- 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
- ½ teaspoon Italian Seasonings
- 12 to 14 oz. GF elbow macaroni (or pasta of choice)
- 1 – [ 14.5 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
- Fresh basil *
- 1/3 to ½ cup panko crumbs (or bread crumbs) *
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place the Topping Ingredients into a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- Place the Sauce Spice/Herb Ingredients into a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, set aside.
- Place the frozen cauliflower florets, diced potatoes, and cashews into a medium stockpot, bring to a boil, gently boil until the potatoes and cauliflower are fork tender (about 10 to 15 minutes). Drain off the water, shake well to remove any lingering water, then place in a high-speed blender.
- Add all the Sauce Ingredients and Spice/Herb Ingredients into the high-speed blender with the cooked cauliflower, potatoes, and cashews. Blend on high until smooth and emulsified.
- Add the Pulse Herb Ingredients to the blender and pulse just to incorporate. Do not blend.
- Place the cooked pasta back into the stockpot, add the drained and rinsed tomatoes, then pour the sauce over top, mix well to combine. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, then sprinkle the Topping over the top.
- Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 20 minutes, switch to high-broil just to toast the top to a golden brown, then remove from the oven and allow to set for 5 minutes. Serve with a generous sprinkle of fresh basil.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.