Rockin’ Dairy Free Mac and Cheese

If your kids are like mine, they love anything pasta, and they especially love Macaroni and Cheese. I used to make the very best from scratch Mac and Cheese; it was well worth the crazy amount of time it took to grate the cheese, melt it down, mix in the milk and various spices, etc. But we are a dairy free home now, and thus I have been on the lookout for a replacement for some time. After much tweaking and combining of recipes I found from various places, I have concocted what my kids consider the best Mac & Cheese (and I happen to agree) — and it takes a fraction of the time to prepare!!  I’d take our current recipe any day over the dairy one I used to make.

With many folks dairy free for various allergy issues, I thought I’d share my recipe with you.

Rockin’ Dairy Free Mac & “Cheese”

[ezcol_1half]1 pound pasta
2c almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2t onion powder
2t dry mustard
1t smoked paprika
1t tumeric[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]pinch cayenne
pepper to taste
1/2t garlic powder
2T tahini (optional)
1t yellow miso
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1/4c arrowroot powder[/ezcol_1half_end]

A few comments on ingredients to start.  Some of the items here may seem bizarre and totally foreign. If that is the case, I implore you to try the recipe. It is so very worth tracking down these ingredients.

*you can use another non-dairy milk if preferred, although it would alter the flavor of the sauce.
*dry mustard is a a spice  vs. prepared mustard you store in the fridge
*use regular paprika if you don’t have smoked. Smoked gives it a unique flavor and is worth getting, but regular will work in a pinch
*Tahini is ground sesame. Most grocery stores carry it. I recommend finding a brand that does not have added oil.  I use this brand often. Tahini gives the sauce a creamier texture.  It is a high fat food, but very little is used.  I always add tahini.
*Miso may be one of those strange food items. I purchase mine at Whole Foods, it lasts forever in the fridge, and goes into every mac & cheese I make. I’ve also used White Miso.
*Nutritional yeast: my local Publix carries this, as does Whole Foods.  Ask at your local grocery store, or order from Amazon. It gives the sauce a cheesy taste, without the cheese.
*Arrowroot powder is a thickener.  I suspect cornstarch would also work, but I prefer Arrowroot.  I often order mind from Nuts.com. They provide great service, and likely carry Nutritional Yeast as well.

Now the process, ready?

  1. Cook the noodles
  2. While noodles cook, throw all other ingredients into blender
  3. blend 20-30 seconds
  4. dump contents of blender into pot
  5. heat on medium heat, whisking occasionally, to thicken
  6. When pasta is done drain and put back into pot
  7. When sauce is thick, dumb on top of noodles in pot. Mix to combine and serve.

Super simple!

I almost always add broccoli to the dish; sometimes chopped spinach.  In the last 4 minutes of cook time for the pasta, dump in the vegetables. Cover the pot to bring back to a boil faster, and finish cooking. No need to steam the veggies separately.

For baked Mac & Cheese, just dump the final product into a casserole dish and sprinkle bread crumbs.  Bake 20-25 minutes @350. Serve and enjoy!

Doesn’t get much simpler than that. Now excuse me while I go boil some water…

Mac and Cheese recipe