When I gave up dairy it was very difficult for me to also give up my macaroni and cheese. Well… okay, honestly it was hard to give up cow’s milk dairy cheese in general. There is something to be said about the distinct flavors of Gorgonzola, creamy Havarti or a sharp cheddar, and it is very difficult to replace them. I’ve tried just about every vegan cheese out there, but it’s just not the same (and they don’t make my tummy feel very good).
But macaroni and cheese? I’ve been eating it for as long as I can remember. And I really don’t think it matters what age you are – young, old, or a thirty-something stay at home mom like me; macaroni & cheese is comfort food. Always has been, always will be. I was determined to find a dairy free replacement. Years ago I first made dairy free cheese sauce out of raw cashews. It very good, but cashews are expensive, not to mention they are very high in fat. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not generally one to count calories or fat content (especially healthy fats), but 2 cups of cashews to 4-5 cups of cheese sauce is a little… lush.
I wanted to create a healthier dairy free cheese sauce that was made from ingredients I already had in my pantry, was creamy, froze well, and satisfied not only me, but my children. It took a while to get the recipe just right, but once I did everyone was in agreement – they really loved this recipe for Dairy Free Macaroni & Cheese. We hope you do, too.
- 12 ounces gluten free noodles (macaroni, spirals, shapes, etc...)
- 2 cups Vegan Cheese Sauce (recipe below)
- Cook the noodles according to package directions. Strain.
- Place the noodles in a large mixing bowl and pour the Vegan Cheese Sauce over the noodles and gently stir to coat.
- Serve immediately.
- 1/4 cup raw almonds or raw sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 15 ounces butternut squash puree (canned or fresh)
- 2-3 tablespoons vegan butter substitute or ghee for non-vegan
- In a high-powered blender, process the almonds or sunflower seeds into flour.
- Add the hemp seeds and water, and blend for 30 seconds on high.
- Add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and butternut squash, and blend until smooth and creamy.
- To finish the sauce, add the ghee or vegan butter substitute and blend on medium for another 10 seconds.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume within 3-5 days. Or freeze in an airtight container and consume within 6-8 weeks.
I sometimes freeze a portion of this sauce in covered ice cube trays. When my girls need an added "incentive" to eat their veggies I can easily pull out a cube and defrost it in the microwave or on the stove top.
This recipe is linked to Mostly Homemade Monday, Natural Living Monday, Teach Me Tuesday, Healthy Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Frugal Day Sustainable Ways, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Healing with Food Friday, Wellness Weekend, The Paleo Rodeo and Gluten Free Fridays.
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