Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to come home to have some KD or maybe you lived off of KD while in university because you were living away from home and you couldn’t be bothered to make anything else, let alone know how to turn on an oven.
Now in present time, you are living a healthy lifestyle and assumed you had to give up one of the greatest comfort foods of all time. Think again! I have been doing some digging on finding an easy gluten free vegan mac and cheese recipe – thank you Minimalist Baker!
It takes about an hour or so and it only involves 8 ingredients! Plug in your phone, play some music and enjoy making this delicious dish:
1 head roasted garlic (see instructions for method)
10-12 ounces of gluten-free penne
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons or 12 g)
4 1/2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch
2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk (add more as needed)
Sea salt and pepper to taste (approx. 1/4 teaspoons each)
5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (add more as needed)
1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese (save some for serving!)
To roast garlic, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and cut off the very top of a head of garlic. Drizzle the top with a bit of oil, a sprinkle of salt and loosely wrap in foil.
Place directly on oven rack and roast for 45 minutes - 1 hour, depending on size of garlic. You'll know it's done when the garlic is very fragrant and the bulb is golden brown. Remove from oven, slightly unwrap, and let cool.
At the 40-minute mark, bring roughly 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot and salt generously. Once boiling, add pasta and stir to prevent noodles from sticking. Cook according to package instructions (usually about 8-10 minutes). Once fully cooked, drain and set aside.
In the meantime, begin preparing sauce. Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and minced fresh garlic. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until light golden brown. Immediately add arrowroot starch and whisk - cook for 1 minute.
Slowly add almond milk while whisking, then cook for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. The sauce will likely look a little clumpy - that’s OK! We’re going to blend it.
Transfer mixture to a blender, along with the roasted garlic. To extract garlic, simply push up from the base and the softened cloves should come right out - so gratifying (and delicious).
Next add 1/4 teaspoons each of salt and pepper, nutritional yeast, and vegan parmesan cheese and blend on high until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed - you want it pretty well salted + cheesy, so don't be shy with the nutritional yeast, salt, and vegan parmesan cheese.
Return sauce back to skillet from earlier and cook over low heat until warmed and slightly thickened - about 2-3 minutes - whisking occasionally. As it warms back up, it will thicken and get super cheesy (see photo). For a thicker sauce, leave it as is. To thin slightly, add almond milk 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Turn off heat if it starts bubbling too aggressively.
Add cooked, drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Then top with 1 more Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese.
Optional: Heat oven to high broil and position a rack at the top of the oven. Broil pasta on high for 1-2 minutes (optional), or until golden brown (see photo). Watch closely as it can burn quickly.
Serve immediately. I love topping mine with an extra pinch of vegan parmesan cheese - I can never get enough of that stuff.
Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, though best when fresh. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop - add extra almond milk if it's dry.
Catherine runs on caffeine, one liners, Nutella and positive thoughts. With a background in Communications, writing comes swiftly for her. When she's not running for the train, you'll find Catherine on her mat contemplating her next pose goal.