And we’re back to our week of spicy pepper recipes.
The first recipe we looked at was Ultimate California Toast, which had serrano pepper cream cheese. Today we’re stepping it up a few notches and working with THREE peppers in this 3 Pepper Vegan Mac and Cheese.
This isn’t your everyday mac and cheese…and for a couple reasons.
- There isn’t any cheese in this “mac and cheese” hmmmm….
- There is more spice than you’d typically find in mac and cheese.
If you’ve never tried vegan mac and cheese and love a little spice, then this recipe is for you.
So how do we get cheese without the cheese?
Well, from cashew sauce of course.
You are going to soak cashews and combine them with veggies, spices and nutritional yeast to get this creamy sauce.
Weird concept, but it totally works.
I do have to warn any cashew sauce first timers…this sauce is awesome. It tastes really good. But it isn’t going to taste exactly like real cheese sauce. It is pretty darn close, but not 100%.
And in my book…that’s ok. I don’t think that vegan recipes have to taste exactly like their dairy counterpart. But if they taste good, that’s all that matters.
The peppers we are going to use are the serrano (which we talked about here), the jalapeño and canned green chilies (which are usually anaheim chilies). A good mixture of flavors and spice levels.
The first thing you need to do is soak your cashews. This helps them blend better later on.
After they have soaked for at least 4 hours, you will combine your cashews, onion, garlic, peppers, spices, nutritional yeast and broth in a blender. Blend up until you have a creamy sauce.
Add the sauce to your pasta and top with additional peppers, cilantro and some caramelized onions.
And there you have it. Three pepper vegan mac and cheese.
Have you ever had vegan mac and cheese? What is your favorite way to make it?
- 1 cup unsalted cashews
- 12 oz. dry pasta shells
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, separated
- 3/4 large white onion, separated, diced
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 2 serrano peppers, diced
- 1 4 oz. can green chilies, separated
- 2-3 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. corn starch
- salt and pepper, to taste
- cilantro (optional)
- additional jalapeños + serranos (optional)
- Soak cashews in water for 4+ hours. Drain and set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions.
- While pasta is cooking, put a pan on the stove over medium low heat. Add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan. Once heated, add 1/2 of the onion and the garlic. Add salt and pepper, and cook until soft – about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Add remaining 1/2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan and add serrano and jalapeño peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes (or until peppers soften). Set aside.
- Place pan back on the stove and add remaining uncooked onions. Cook on medium low for 5-10 minutes* Set aside.
- Add cashews, cooked onion (excluding the 1/4 onion you just caramelized), garlic, jalapeños, serranos, 1/2 can green chilies, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, vegetable broth and corn starch to a blender. Blend on high for 60 seconds (or until sauce is creamy and smooth).
- Drain pasta and set aside.
- Add sauce back to the pasta pan and cook on low until it begins to thicken – about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and remaining 1/2 can of green chilies. Add pasta back to the pan and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately with cilantro, additional peppers and caramelized onions on top.
*Recipe inspired by Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Green Chili Mac n Cheese.