Vegan Spinach Mac and Cheese! Little ones will love the fun neon green color, and Moms will love that their little one is eating spinach and cauliflower without even knowing it. Now, that’s a win, win!
Healthy, flavorful, and vibrant, this oil-free Vegan Spinach Mac and Cheese is oh-so-creamy and brimming with delicious flavors. This healthy spin on this tasty dish will surely be your new favorite mac and cheese. It’s hard to beat the warm comfort food that macaroni and cheese brings, all in less than 20 minutes. The whole family will love it!
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Yasmeen absolutely LOVED this mac and cheese; she totally devoured it. We tested this dish out on friends who are not Whole Food Plant Based, and everyone freaked at how yummy it is.
The kids gobbled it down, and we totally had to whip up another batch. The good news is that it comes together fast.
You just need to boil the macaroni and at the same time boil the cauliflower and cashews. Buzz the sauce in a high-speed blender, mix, and it’s done! Ready in less than 25 minutes. Now how cool is that!
Plus, add a cute name like “Hulk Mac and Cheese” for Avenger lovers, “Grinch Mac and Cheese,” for holiday fun, or “Lucky Green Mac and Cheese” for St. Patty’s day, etc. for a fun kid twist. You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: You only get a hint of spinach flavor with this mac and cheese. It’s awesome to feed to picky eaters. We called it “Lean Mean Green Mac and Cheese” when we served it. All the kids (big ones too) wanted to try it. It was an instant hit! Moms were happy because their child was eating spinach and cauliflower without even knowing it.
- Frozen Cauliflower versus Fresh Cauliflower: We used a 14.4 oz package of Birds Eye Frozen Cauliflower Florets. You can use fresh cauliflower as long as you cook it to a tender stage.
- Fresh Baby Spinach versus Frozen Spinach: Do not use frozen spinach. Mature frozen spinach will give this dish a very earthy and overpowering spinach flavor.
- Amount of Pasta: While it is always tempting to use more pasta than the amount indicated in the recipe; however, resist the temptation as the amount of pasta indicated is the perfection sauce to pasta ratio. Use 14 oz. for a saucy experience, 16 oz. if you enjoy a nice coating.
- Cooking the Pasta: Do not overcook the pasta, cook it to al dente, then drain thoroughly.
- Drain the Pasta: Make sure you take a few extra moments to thoroughly drain the pasta to avoid a watered-down sauce.
- Elbow Macaroni: We loved using elbow macaroni, but you can use pretty much any macaroni you wish.
- Gluten Free Macaroni/Pasta: Gluten free pasta is typically very starchy. Because of this, we suggest that you quickly rinse with cool tap water in a colander just to stop the cooking process and to get rid of excess starches, then switch to hot tap water to heat it up again. Shake off the excess water before placing in a bowl to mix with the sauce.
- Sauce: The sauce is hot (temperature as it was boiled) so it can easily go from the blender to the cooked pasta, mix and serve.
- Ume Plum Vinegar: We used Eden Ume Plum Vinegar. We get a lot of questions on ume plum vinegar. It is fairly inexpensive and adds amazing flavor. You can find it in most health food grocery stores. You can leave it out if you can’t find it, adjust your flavors accordingly. Amazon carries it as well. Definitely worth buying. We use it in a lot of our sauces as it really pops flavor, so you don’t have to worry about buying it just for this dish. We have quite a few other recipes where we use ume plum vinegar. If you type ‘ume plum vinegar’ in the search bar on our site, you will find the other recipes where we use it.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop, or in the microwave. The flavor tends to mellow over time, you may need to add a splash of distilled white vinegar to pop the flavors again after being refrigerated.
This dish can be frozen; however, it is best if served immediately after making or after refrigerating leftovers. Pasta does tend to get a little mushy after freezing.
Pantry Products Used:
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Ume Plum Vinegar: We used Eden Ume Plum Vinegar. Feel free to use your favorite ume plum vinegar.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Stock pot to cook the pasta
- Stock pot to boil the potatoes and cauliflower
- High-Speed Blender
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.
If you try this fun mac and cheese, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
Healthy, flavorful, and vibrant, this oil-free Vegan Spinach Mac and Cheese is oh-so-creamy and brimming with delicious flavors.
- ½ cup (raw) cashews
- 1 – [ 14.4 oz. package ] frozen cauliflower florets *
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
- ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar *
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
Sauce Herb/Spice Ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- ½ teaspoon dried ground mustard powder
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- 14 to 16 oz. elbow macaroni *
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain, rinse, set aside.
- Place the cashews and cauliflower into a stock pot, cover with water, place on the stove, bring to a boil. Simmer at a low boil for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is perfectly tender. Drain the liquid, then place the cauliflower and cashews into a high-speed blender.
- Add the Sauce Ingredients and Sauce Herb/Spice Ingredients into a high-speed blender along with the boiled cauliflower and cashews. Blend on high until the sauce is creamy, emulsified, and smooth. Taste test for flavor, add more ingredients, if needed, to reach the flavor you desire.
- Place the cooked pasta into a large bowl, add the sauce into the bowl, mix well.
- Serve and enjoy!
*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.
*Servings: 4 to 5
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