This simple mac and cheese one pot recipe will pleasantly surprise all. And yes as a cheese lover this dairy free mac and cheese is the best I’ve ever tried.
DIFFICULTY / TIME
Easy / 35 minutes
October 6, 2021
Mac and cheese in one pot is this almost universal food. Eating Mac and cheese can bring you back to when you were a kid enjoying your mom or grandma’s homemade Mac and cheese or even the Kraft blue box kind. There is no right or wrong way to eat Mac and cheese.
Yet while Mac and cheese is incredibly delicious, there can still be feelings of guilt and shame around eating this dish. Perhaps thinking it’s a food you need to avoid.
I know the feeling because I’ve been there wanting to eat Mac and cheese and then kicking myself for “indulging” and not sticking to my diet. That’s why I’ve created a Mac and cheese one pot dish that is vegan. While I don’t prescribe any diets, this recipe will allow you to enjoy comfort food and feel good about yourself too.
How do you get the cheesy Mac and cheese flavor
The secret to this Mac and cheese sauce is using nutritional yeast and cashews. The nutritional yeast is what gives this dish the coveted cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast has a ton of health benefits adding in protein, minerals, and vitamins. Whereas oftentimes dairy can cause inflammation in the body and cause us to feel congested. Nutritional yeast is a fantastic dairy free option.
The cashews in this recipe give the Mac and cheese sauce a creamy texture. The dish wouldn’t be complete with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, spices, and dijon mustard. When the ingredients are all combined, you get this creamy and incredibly delicious Mac and cheese dish.
Can you leave out the nutritional yeast
One question I often get is if you can omit the nutritional yeast. For this Mac and cheese recipe in one pot, I wouldn’t recommend leaving out the nutritional yeast. Even though this recipe uses only 3 tablespoons, the flavor is night and day without the nutritional yeast. You won’t get that coveted cheesy flavor you grew up loving.
While the nutritional dish may be a new ingredient to buy, you can use it in many different recipes. You can sprinkle in on popcorn, roasted veggies, potatoes, and salads.
How to make Mac and cheese in one pot
You’ll want to boil your macaroni noodles according to the package’s instructions. I used elbow macaroni here. Yet any pasta shells work well and taste delicious with the Mac and cheese sauce.
You can keep this dish super simple and just make macaroni cheese in one pot and blend the sauce ingredients in a blender.
Or you can add in some optional broccoli. The addition of broccoli adds in more nutrients, color, and flavor. The pop of green can allow you to feel more inspired about your food. It’s also kid approved with the broccoli. Huge win!
How to Roast Broccoli
Roasting broccoli is super simple and easy to make!
First you need to preheat your oven to 400 F / 204 C.
While the oven is heating up, you can break your broccoli into florets of similar size.
Place the broccoli florets on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper on top. Give it a toss.
Transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.
Once the pasta is done cooking, rinse and drain. When the pasta and broccoli are finished cooking, place the macaroni noodles back in the pot. Place the broccoli and cheese sauce over top. Give it a good stir. Enjoy with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika powder, salt and pepper on top of your dish!
Please note that you can start out slow and add in more cheese sauce based on your preference.
STORING THE MAC AND CHEESE
For leftovers and storing, the cheese sauce and pasta taste best stored in separate containers. This way your Mac and cheese will taste as fresh as possible. All you’ll need to do is reheat the pasta, noodles, and optional broccoli in one pot or in the microwave.
The Mac and cheese sauce stores well for up to 7 days in the fridge.
More Easy Meal Ideas
Looking for more pasta dishes? Try my pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes. The sauce is where it’s at using buffalo sauce. Delish my friend!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, don’t forget to tag a photo #akindspoon on Instagram. Thanks friend :)
Mac and Cheese One Pot
- 1 head of broccoli broken into florets (optional)
- Olive oil for drizzling
- 1 1/3 cup cashews
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni or pasta shells your preference
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Paprika powder for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 F / 204 C.
- Place the broccoli florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and salt on top. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to the package’s instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, place the cashews, water, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, chili powder, salt, turmeric, and dijon mustard into a blender. Blend until well combined.
- You can add a tablespoon of water at a time if the sauce is too thick.
- When the pasta is ready, drain and rinse. Then place back in the pot and stir in the mac and cheese sauce and broccoli.
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