Don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you. You likely have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. And the process is simple and straightforward. The kids’ will love it! Even the big kids!
The Kids’ Favorite Mac and Cheese
- 10 cups boiling water
- 12 oz pasta (gluten free--cook 4 mins ONLY)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 TBSP vegan butter
- 1 TBSP avocado oil
- 3 TBSP tapioca flour (or cornstarch)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
Make the "béchamel" white sauce
- 1½ cup unsweetened plain nut milk
- ½ cup vegetable broth (boxed*)
- 1 TBSP Better Than Bouillon garlic base
- 1 TBSP white miso paste
- ¾ cup Nutritional Yeast
- ½ tsp nutmeg (fresh, grated (or powdered)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz vegan cream cheese
- 1 cup faux parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Diaya cheddar cheese
- ⅓ cup breadcrumbs (omit for Gluten Free)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)
- Cook the pasta: Add the gluten free pasta and return to a boil. When the water is back at a rolling boil, turn the heat down. Add the salt, and simmer for 4 minutes exactly. This is gluten free pasta and doesn't do well if you over cook it. It will finish cooking in the oven.
- Make the "roux:" Heat a deep skillet to medium high. Heat the butter and olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tapioca flour (see NOTES) and whisk together in the oil until it starts to form a pasty ball.
- Make the white sauce: This is not hard, but it's also not the time to multitask. Add about ½ cup of milk to the roux. It will loosen the the ball, and then it will seize back up. Continue adding milk in small quantities and stirring it in. I will become a wonderful rich sauce. When all the milk is added, pat yourself on the back. You did it and you are ¾ of the way to Mac 'n Cheese heaven.
- Finish the white sauce: Stir in the broth, garlic base, miso paste, and nutritional yeast ("nooch" in plant-forward speak). Continue to heat, whisking constantly, until the béchamel thickens. Add the grated nutmeg the vegan cream cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to whisk until thick and bubbly. You did it! Now let's create our casserole.
- Assemble the casserole: Put half the pasta in the casserole dish. Pour half the sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle on half the faux parmesan cheese. Add all the vegan cheddar cheese on top of this bottom layer. Repeat for the second layer: The remaining pasta, sauce, faux parmesan. If you don't mind a little bit of gluten, bread crumbs add a nice crunch on the top, but they aren't mandatory.
- Bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 25 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it rest on the counter about 20 minutes. Cut it into squares and serve.
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