Vegan macaroni cheese
Hold the salad – as the dark nights draw in, we’re craving more substantial, comforting dishes. And what better than a cheesy pasta dish to cheer us up on a cool, autumn evening. This update on the classic mac and cheese is suitable for vegans, as it uses dairy-free cheese alternatives and soya milk in place of the traditional dairy ingredients. Plus, we’ve added chilli flakes and crushed garlic to the panko breadcrumb topping to give it an extra kick of flavour. A real winter warmer to add to your repertoire of vegan recipes – now, get cooking.
* 1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
* 1 tsp chilli flakes
75g panko breadcrumbs
* 50g dairy-free spread
1 onion, finely diced
60g plain flour
2 tsp mustard powder
* 1 litre soya milk
* 200g dairy-free cheddar
* 50g dairy-free vegetarian parmesan
*Products available from Holland & Barrett
1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni in it, according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta and set to one side.
2 Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the crushed garlic, herbs and chilli flakes. Fry on a medium heat for a few minutes, until fragrant, then add in the panko breadcrumbs and mix well to combine. When the breadcrumbs are a light golden colour, remove them from the pan and set aside.
3 Melt the dairy-free spread in a large frying pan. Add in the diced onion and fry until very soft, then add in the flour and mustard powder. Fry everything together for a further 1-2 minutes, before turning off the heat. Now, whisk in the soya milk, a bit at a time, making sure to avoid lumps. Turn on the heat again and bring to the boil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the dairy-free cheddar and parmesan and let them melt in the mixture.
4 Finally, add the cooked macaroni to the sauce and stir everything together. Divide the mixture into four individual ovenproof dishes, or one large dish if you prefer, and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top. Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Serve immediately.
Read more: How to switch to a vegan diet