Macaroni and Cheese: The Perfect Comfort Food

But without the cheese? Can it still be comforting? YOU BET.

Forget the boxed mac and cheese. That stuff is not real food. You can easily make this yourself. Seriously, especially with this recipe. I use a jar. Still real food, I promise.

I recently made a delicious baked macaroni and cheese-and not only was it DEVOURED by people young and old, it was also dairy free and delicious. What did I make it with, you ask?

CASHEW CHEESE SAUCE.

Don’t scream. If you’re vegan, you already know all about this. But let me tell those of you that may not know about this AMAZING phenomenon…cashews make an awesome sauce. It’s rich and decadent and amazing. And you just blend them up…ok, there’s actually more to it than that…

I make my own sometimes but there is a brand you can buy that is GOOD TO GO. It’s called NONA and it is incredible. Inspired by Italy, but CANADIAN (Which always makes me happy).

Not only does it come in three different varieties, depending on what you’re feeling, it is ‘heat and eat’ ready. YUM. Can you say instant nachos?

I used their cheesy-style sauce for this recipe, but I feel like the alfredo-style would be just as good…or both…NONA_vegan_sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 6 cups whole grain macaroni, cooked
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed and steamed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or vegan milk of choice)
  • 1 jar NONA cheesy-style sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with the coconut oil. Set aside.

Puree the sweet potato or mash until creamed. In a large bowl, mix with pasta, NONA sauce and broth. Pour into pan, carefully scraping all the goodness out of the bowl. Top with bread crumbs and cover in foil.

Bake for 20 minutes and remove foil. Bake another 10-15 minutes until it’s all bubbly and the top is starting to brown. Let cool for a bit and eat! It’s so amazing, you won’t believe it. And no one has to know…unless of  course they’re allergic to nuts and then you should probably tell them…in advance. But other than that, it can be our little secret.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Kailey Gilchrist (The Sauce Boss at NONA Vegan Foods Ltd.) gave me one jar each of Cheesy-style, Alfredo-style and Carbonara-Style to try. I was not compensated in any other way for this yummy post.