Thinking of going Vegan? Or maybe you can’t eat diary or are cutting down and can’t bear the thought of giving up your favourite winter comfort dishes – look no further! This is without a doubt the BEST vegan Mac ‘n’ cheese you will ever taste – with absolutely no dairy in! I can’t take credit for this delicious recipe – Lucy Watson’s cook book is full of great vegan dishes, I will post my favourites on the website to share with you all! Give this recipe a go and fool all the family!
500g dried macarooni
40g dried mushrooms (I used normal mushrooms as couldn’t find dried – and the 40g is a rough estimate is doesn’t matter too much)
2 tbsp vegan butter (loads of options in all supermarkets – I stick to non-soya ones such as sunflower or coconut oil)
250g chestnut mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp thyme leaves
Sea salt and pepper
For the Bechamel sauce
50g vegan butter
3 tbsp plain flour
800ml almond milk
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
4tbsp nutritional yeast (this can be found in most health stores – I know the one in Thame next to Waitrose sells it, also in Ocado, and on amazon – If you are diary free I strongly recommend buying some it is great stirred into pasta sauces, or added to curry for a cheesy taste!)
200g vegan cheddar cheese grated (VIOLIFE found in Tesco or Waitrose is the best)
50g vegan parmesan grated (again found in most Tescos, Waitrose, Thame health shop, or Ocado)
For the topping
40g vegan parmesan cheese grated
2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Preheat oven to 220 degrees. Cook the macaroni in boiling, salted water according the the packet instructions. Darin in a colander and refresh under cold water until cold.
Put the dried mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl – pour 15oml boiling water over them and leave them to rehydrate for 15 mins – drain the mushrooms from the liquid, reserving it for the bechamel sauce. Roughly chop the mushrooms (I missed this part out as couldn’t find dried mushrooms so just used added more mushrooms at a later stage!)
Melt the butter in non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the wild mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms garlic and thyme. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the mushrooms have browned well. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
To make the bechamel sauce, put a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the butter and stir until melted. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk, and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, then lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until the cheese has completely melted. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. (I used an electric whisk here – if the sauce isn’t thick enough/too thick just add in some extra of flour or milk – I played around with the quantities a little until I had a nice thick but runny cheesy sauce)
Add the mushrooms and macaroni to the saucepan with the sauce and stir well until everything is evenly coated in the sauce. Transfer to a deep 25 x 30 cm ovenproof dish.
Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the macaroni. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and crunchy.
I served with some green vegetables 🙂