Macaroni and Cheese

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Challenge

vegan macaroni and cheese

I told Ashley, my wife, that I would make a vegan macaroni and cheese.Here I am; making vegan stuff. I am always down for a cooking challenge and am always open to finding healthy and sustainable ways to make food. Today I am going to find some of the different ways that people from around the web suggest making vegan cheese sauce and figure out which one I like best for a vegan macaroni and cheese.

Three Different Vegan Cheese Sauce Methods For Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

It seems that I have found three different themes of vegan cheese sauces. One is bean based, another is cashew based, and the last is potato based. They all tend to try and include an ingredient that is high in umami flavor like nutritional yeast, tamari, or miso paste. Here is a rundown of each and the links:

Bean Based Vegan Cheese Sauce

This was the first I tried and inspired by Chocolatecoveredkatie.com. On the pro side, this was super easy and quick to make. A person could whip this recipe up, lickety-split. In terms of taste, I thought it was decent. I could definitely tell there were beans in it and nutritional yeast tries to give the taste of cheese. Maybe gets 70% of the way there. I think I summed it up when I told Ashley, “I would eat this, but 12-year-old me would look at me like I am crazy.”

Cashew Based Vegan Cheese Sauce

This was a recipe from wallflowerkitchen.com. This was fairly quick, as well, but did require some preparation. The recipe calls to soak the cashews. On the pro side, the taste was not quite as distinct as the bean-based recipe, but it still had flavor. This was a bit sweeter than the first recipe as well. I did not count the calories, but I suspect that this would be a bit more calorie-rich, if you are counting them.

Potato Based Vegan Cheese Sauce

The last was a potato based vegan cheese sauce from eathealtyeathappy.com. This one was the closest in color and consistency. Also, it did not have nutritional yeast, which definitely has a distinct flavor. I like nutritional yeast, but I don’t feel it replaces the umami of cheese. This did have some lemon juice, mustard, and tamari in it, that I thought was trying to give that cheese flavor. It was marginally successful.

Now, the mustard flavor is pretty distinct in this one, so if mustard is not your thing, this recipe may not be your favorite. I almost wanted to experiment more with this recipe and see if miso paste could have been used to give it a taste that was closer to cheese. Also, this recipe takes the most preparation.

While each of the recipes has some positives to it, I have to say that I think this recipe is the best. It gives a color and consistency that is close to an actual bechamel sauce. The flavor isn’t quite there, but both my wife and I gave this one the highest rating for being a replacement for a cheese sauce.

Vegan Macaroni

We have been eating Tinkyada pasta for quite some time. The package does not label it as vegan, but the ingredients list would seem to indicate that it is. I actually think this is really great flour pasta substitute. I have experimented with several different traditional noodle substitutes and I have adopted Tinkyada as my favorite. It keeps firmness really well, tastes good, and is usually reasonably priced. If you can’t tell, I am a Tinkyada fan and probably have about 15 bags of the stuff in my pantry.

So there you have our review of three different vegan cheese sauce recipes. Each had some good qualites and each had some challenges, as compared to cheese sauce.

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Traci @ The Kitchen Girl
    November 7, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I love love love the breakdown of your vegan cheese sauce tests…we must be related! I’ve been testing a few of my own over the past few years…it’s a lifelong endeavor as you know. Thanks again for sharing this great info!

    • Reply
      Ben
      November 8, 2017 at 7:52 am

      The thing is, I am not opposed to using substitutes if they are reasonable substitutes. Heck, some things, like Morningstar breakfast patties are superior to some of the ACTUAL frozen sausage-like products.

  • Reply
    Anjali
    November 7, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Love a great vegan mac n cheese sauce!!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    November 7, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve never made a vegan cheese before, thanks for sharing the different links…am completely intrigued and want to give it a try!!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth | The Recipe Revival
    November 7, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    You have some very helpful information in your post! I’ve never had vegan mac and cheese but it seems like it would be worth a try.

  • Reply
    Ellen
    November 7, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    The sauce variety is very interesting. I bet they are all delicious but the potato one is especially appealing to me.

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