Baked Vegan Mac n Cheese with Crispy Broccoli Crumb
Baked Vegan Mac N Cheese
Mac n Cheese has, and always will be, an auto-win in my books. It’s a classic comfort food that I grew up eating all the time and that wasn’t going to change. And now that Jackson’s a full-fledged little eater, I want him to be able to enjoy all my childhood favourites, too!
Luckily, I was able to create a super delicious vegan Mac n Cheese that’s free from dairy but still plate-scraping good. While we aren’t a vegan family, we do eat mostly plant-based meals and are fully dairy/gluten-free. I like including recipes for every one ong my blog — except the Standard American Diet. You definitely won’t find any of those around here.
I got blessed with the sweetest little boy who hates vegetables. It’s not that he despises them. He just refuses to try them. The odd time I can get him to willingly eat a veggie he always says, “Mmm…I like it, mom.” *SMH*
It’s important for kids, and adults, to get a rainbow of food each day. Every colour provides a different nutrient so I try to get extra creative on how to serve up his daily serving of vegetables. While the good ol’ spinach in his smoothie is a staple, I also puree different veggies into sauces.
Enter my amazing Baked Vegan Mac n Cheese.
I use cauliflower as the base to the cheese sauce and broccoli crumble on top. You could easily substitute the cauliflower for cooked carrots or butternut squash to mix in up every time you make the vegan mac n cheese, too!
What about noodles?
There are a lot of different gluten-free noodles on the market these days and it’s important not to get sucked into unhealthy options. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular noodles for pasta.
Corn: Corn is one of the most common genetically modified crops and is heavily sprayed with pesticides. It can also contribute to intestinal permeability (leaky gut) because the body can mistake the protein in corn for gluten causing a cross-reaction. I recommend avoiding corn-based noodles.
Rice: Opt for brown rice noodles over the white rice variety to boost up the fibre content. Brown rice noodles have a chewy consistency similar to wheat noodles. If you’re struggling with leaky gut, I suggest avoiding brown rice and quinoa noodles until your digestive lining heals.
Quinoa: You’ll be hard pressed to find a noodle that’s made from 100% quinoa. It’s usually mixed in combination with rice and/or corn to get the correct noodle texture. If choosing quinoa noodles, make sure it’s made with brown rice and not white rice or corn for the above-mentioned reasons. Quinoa noodles have a similar texture to a brown rice but are slightly chewier.
Chickpea/Lentil: Noodles made from chickpeas and other lentils are very high in both fibre and protein. They are similar to brown rice noodles but have a slightly softer texture. Don’t stir these noodles too aggressively or they may break. Chickpea noodles are a staple in our house because they cook quickly and contain about 23 grams of protein in a serving. While they are pricier than a brown rice noodle, you don’t need to include an additional protein to make a complete meal.
Super creamy mac and cheese made without dairy.
20 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp wheat-free tamari
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp onion powder
- Choice of noodle (I used chickpea noodles)
- ¼ cup broccoli, chopped small or pulsed in food pro
- 2 tbsp ground flax
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Steam cauliflower until very soft (about 8-10 minutes).
- In the meantime, cook noodles as directed on the package. Drain, rinse, put pack in pot, and drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
- When the cauliflower is soft and tender, add it to food pro or blender with all remaining ingredients. Blend on high until well combined.
- Pour sauce over noodles. Serve or continue to next step for baked broccoli crumb.
- Turn broiler on and set oven rack about 6” inches away.
- Scoop sauced noodles into a glass pyrex dish or cast iron skillet.
- Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of noodles.
- Drizzle with avocado oil and place under the broiler for 2-5 minutes (or until golden brown crust forms). Remove from oven and serve.
Sauce makes about 4 cups. Freeze any leftover sauces for future meals.