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An overhead image of a white, rimmed plate, which has been topped with a helping of creamy vegan carrot mac and cheese.
4.72 from 21 votes

Vegan Carrot Mac and Cheese

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Soaking time for cashews 2 hours
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the mac:

  • 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (about 10 oz/280 g)
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained of soak water (1.5 oz/42 g)
  • 3/4 cup water (plus an additional 1-3 tablespoons, as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 small clove garlic (substitute 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces pasta of choice
  • 12 ounces trimmed Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size (substitute broccoli or cauliflower florets, cut green beans, peas, or another vegetable of choice)
  • Walnut parmesan, below, or cashew parmesan cheese

For the walnut parmesan:

  • 1/2 cup raw walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of water to boil and fit it with a steamer attachment. Steam the carrots till they're tender, about 8 minutes. Alternately, you can place the carrots in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons water and microwave for 4 minutes, or until they're tender. Set the carrots aside.
  • Bring a larger pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions; 2 minutes before the cooking time is up, add your Brussels sprouts or other vegetable to the pot.
  • While the water boils and/or pasta cooks, transfer the cashews, cooked carrots, 3/4 cup water, salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and garlic to a powerful blender or a food processor. Blend till the sauce is very smooth; if it's very thick or it won't blend nicely, add an extra 1-3 tablespoons water, or as much as you need to get a thick but smooth and pourable mixture. Add black pepper to taste.
  • To make the parm, transfer all ingredients to a food processor and pulse till you have a fine crumble. (This can be done in advance; the parmesan will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.)
  • When the pasta and veggies are ready, drain them. Return them to the pot and bring it to a low heat. Add the carrot sauce and mix well with the pasta. Warm everything through. Taste the pasta, then add additional salt as needed. Divide the mac onto plates and top with the walnut parm or your vegan parm of choice. Serve.