Mac and cheese is like, the ultimate comfort food.
Starchy carbs, gooey cheese sauce and a satisfying crunch on the top.
Mac and cheese though
This vegan and gluten-free mac and cheese recipe brings that comfort food right back to your table.
This recipe gives you the basis for many a cheesy dish – use the vegan cheese sauce component in other recipes, like a potato gratin, another pasta-based dish or in savoury pancakes.
I also use the sauce and the crumb from this recipe to make a cauliflower cheese side-dish for Sunday lunch or Christmas dinner.
You could even combine the two – keep the macaroni and add cauliflower to the recipe to create a kind of gooey, veggie-filled hybrid.
If you want to learn more about getting started on your gluten-free and vegan journey, check out my:
- Tips for going vegan when you’re gluten-free
Simplemethod for planning vegan & gluten-free meals
- Guide to checking food labels for non-vegan ingredients
- Guide to checking food labels for non-gluten-free ingredients
How to make macaroni cheese vegan & gluten-free
The recipe for this dish is below. First though, let’s cover the basics of making your mac and cheese vegan and gluten-free
How to make gluten-free mac & cheese
There are two components of macaroni cheese that would typically contain gluten:
- Macaroni – Traditional pasta is made with durum wheat, so it is definitely not gluten-free. Luckily nowadays, you can get gluten-free pasta of all shapes and sizes in most large supermarkets or health-food stores. Use whichever variety you prefer, but do watch out for non-vegan ingredients – while regular dried pasta is usually vegan, some free-from brands use egg or milk to help bind them. If you’re based in the UK, Morrison’s own-brand free-from macaroni has always worked well for me.
- Flour – The cheese sauce in many mac and cheese recipes is made with a roux. A roux combines butter and flour to form a thick, white sauce. The vegan cheese sauce in the recipe isn’t based on a roux, so we don’t need to replace the flour.
How to make vegan mac & cheese
Now clearly, regular macaroni cheese is not vegan: the clue is in the name. So how can we emulate a ‘cheesy’ sauce? There are really two sides to this issue that I can see:
- Texture – by making a sauce based in butterbeans, it comes out nice and thick, and the addition of xanthan gum gives it that sticky, gooey mouthfeel.
- Flavour – every vegan’s go-to for a cheesy taste, the addition of nutritional yeast (plus a little garlic powder) hits your mac with a really cheesy punch of flavour.
This vegan and gluten-free mac and cheese recipe brings comforting junk-food food right back to your table.
- 500 g Macaroni (gluten-free)
- 30 g Almonds
- 30 g Gluten-free oats
- 2 400g cans Butter beans
- 240 ml Vegan mylk
- 4 tbsp. Rapeseed oil
- 6 tbsp. Nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp. Xanthan gum
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 0.5 tsp. Garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C (approx. 350°F)
Part-cook to macaroni by submerging it in boiling water for just 4-5 minutes, then drain and run under cold water to halt the cooking process and add to an ovenproof dish
In a food processor or blender, combine the oats and almonds and blast for a few seconds, to make a breadcrumb consistency. Pour into a bowl and set aside
Drain and rinse the beans and add them to a blender with the mylk and oil, and blend for a minute or so, pulsing a few times at the end
Add in the nutritional yeast, xanthan gum, salt and garlic powder and blend again for a few minutes
When you are sure that the sauce is free from lumps, pour it over the macaroni in the dish
Sprinkle over the ‘breadcrumbs’ and bake in the oven for 20 minutes (or 15 minutes if using individual dishes)
For the mylk, any unsweetened shop-bought variety should be fine.
You can use one large ovenproof dish, or four individual ones.