Get your comfort food fix with this dairy-free Cheesy Primavera Mac from Vegan Mac and Cheese by Robin Robertson. This easy recipe is loaded with fresh vegetables, and the sauce is made with potatoes and carrots, making it sneakily healthy! It's the perfect dinner dish for any time of the year!
Vegan Mac and Cheese
When I get a new cookbook, I almost always gravitate to the macaroni and cheese recipe. If it has a delicious mac and cheese recipe, then I know it’s a good cookbook. That was impossible to do with Robin Robertson’s new cookbook, though, as it contains nothing but mac and cheese recipes!
Vegan Mac and Cheese is a comfort food lover’s dream come true. It contains more than 50 recipes for dairy-free macaroni and cheese. I know what you’re thinking, “Is it really possible to make that many different types of mac and cheese?” And the answer is yes! And wait until you see how creative they are!
Robin starts the book with a history lesson. The history of mac and cheese that is! She shares the low-down on veganizing this classic dish, reasons why you should make it yourself, the different types of pasta you should use, and a variety of ways to make dairy-free cheese sauces. She includes different topping and add-in ideas, too.
The recipes in Vegan Mac and Cheese are super creative! Robin uses global inspiration in such recipes as Italian Macaroni Pie, Mac and Thai, and Noodle Kugel. She adds veggies to macaroni in Broccoli Mac UnCheese, Spinach Artichoke Mac UnCheese, and Asparagus Mac and Hollandaise. There are also recipes for those who crave a heartier dish, such as Chili Mac, BBQ Jack Mac, and Shepherd’s Mac. She even plays with her food in such recipes as Mac UnCheese Balls, Waffled Mac and UnCheese, and Cheesy Mug Mac.
Chapters in Vegan Mac and Cheese Include:
- Basic Mac UnCheese
- Global Cheesy Mains
- Mac and Veggies
- Meaty Macs
- Fun with Mac UnCheese
Cheesy Primavera Mac
I had a hard time deciding what recipe to make first. They all look so good! Should I make the Buffalo Cauliflower Mac? Or how about the Arugula Pesto Mac UnCheese? In the end, I went with the Cheesy Primavera Mac. Since it’s summertime, fresh veggies are bountiful at the farmers market. Primavera is a good way to add a little touch of summer to classic mac and cheese.
The cheese sauce in this recipe is made using carrots, potatoes, cashews, nutritional yeast, and a few other seasonings. They whip up into a dreamy, cheesy sauce that will satisfy even the most die-hard cheese lovers. It comes together super quickly in my Blendtec.
This recipe comes together easily. I had two pots going at once – one for potato, carrot, garlic, and cashews for the sauce and another for the pasta. The broccoli cooks right in the pot with the pasta, and the rest of the veggies are tossed in once the pasta is cooked. Once cooked, the sauce ingredients get thrown into a blender and processed until smooth and creamy. Then everything gets tossed together, and dinner is ready!
If you’re looking for creative ways to make everyone’s favorite comfort food, Vegan Mac and Cheese is the book for you!
Cheesy Primavera Mac
- 1 large russet potato peeled and chopped
- 1 medium carrot chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- ½ cup (70 g) unsalted raw cashews
- ⅓ cup (20 g) nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon (17 g) white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- Ground black pepper
Pasta and Vegetables
- 16 ounces (454 g) tricolor rotini or other small pasta
- 2 cups (142 g) small broccoli florets
- 3 scallions white and green parts, minced
- 2 cups (60 g) chopped fresh spinach arugula, or watercress
- 1 cup (149 g) cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- ¼ cup (36 g) roasted hulled sunflower seeds optional garnish
- Handful small basil leaves optional garnish
- To make the sauce: In a saucepan, combine the potato, carrot, garlic, and cashews with enough water to cover. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 2 cups (480 mof the cooking water. Drain and transfer the cooked vegetables and cashews to a high-speed blender, along with the reserved cooking water.
- Add the nutritional yeast, olive oil, paprika, miso, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed. Set aside.
- To make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. About 5 minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli to the pot. Drain the pasta and broccoli and return them to the pot.
- Place the pot over low heat and add the scallions, spinach, and cherry tomatoes and toss to combine.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine and heat through. Transfer to a large serving dish and serve hot, garnished with sunflower seeds and basil leaves, if using.
Text © 2019 Robin Robertson