Anyone who grew up on soul food knows the level of importance that Baked Mac & Cheese holds on the Sunday dinner table. It needs to be cheesy, and, I mean CHEESY. There is definitely a multiple cheese requirement; cheddar only mac & cheese simply won't do. Oh, and don't you dare forget that slightly golden layer on top rippled with small mosaics of broiled cheese. These flashbacks are making me hungry!
This Baked Mac & Cheese recipe will fulfill all of your cheddar and parmesan desires; minus all that pesky dairy. I throw in almost every vegan cheese but the kitchen sink; my taste buds are still thanking me.
What you need:
1.5 lbs elbow pasta (cook according to package before baking)
1 bag Daiya Cheddar Shreds
1 bag Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
1 wedge Violife Parmesan Cheese
1 package Follow Your Heart Gouda Cheese (slices)
1/2-1 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
2 TBSP Flour (I used all purpose but use what you like)
1 stick plant butter
2.5 cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 tsp Onion powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Paprika for topping
Let's do this:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grate all of the cheese that isn't pre-shredded and set aside.
Heat a deep skillet or pot over med-high heat. Melt down your stick of butter. Stir in flour 1 TBSP at a time. Continue stirring until well combined and slightly thickened. Add in seasonings with the exception of the Nutritional Yeast. Continue to stir.
Pour in your unsweetened coconut milk. Allow to come to a soft simmer stirring occasionally. Once you see steam coming off the milk add in 1/2 of your cheese mixture. Add in your Nutritional Yeast. Stir constantly until a nice thick cheese sauce forms.
Pour cheese sauce over your cooked elbow pasta in a casserole dish. You may choose to slightly undercook your pasta 30 seconds to 1 minute and allow it to finish cooking in the oven. Top this with remaining shredded cheese. Sprinkle paprika and a bit of cajun seasoning on top for color.
Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Broil on high the last 5 minutes or so minutes to allow the top to brown a bit. Enjoy once slightly cooled and set.