Vegan Vegetable Macaroni Cheese

Elbow macaroni along with broccoli, white mushrooms and red pepper, in a cheesy dairy free sauce, topped with more melted cheese. This crowd-pleaser has the same cheesy flavours as the dairy version, but is completely plant based. It’s also a good way to sneak in those veggies

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Yield; Four to five servings Cook time; 45 minutes

You’ll need;

  1. One red pepper, deseeded and chopped into small pieces
  2. 300g/10.5oz white mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  3. One head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  4. 400g/14oz (dry weight) macaroni
  5. 45g plain, all purpose flour
  6. 45g dairy free butter, or oil
  7. 450ml warm plant milk, don’t use anything that is sweeter than dairy milk (5g sugar per 100ml)
  8. 175g dairy free cheese, I used ASDA mature cheddar alternative
  9. One teaspoon dijon mustard
  10. Salt and pepper to taste, use white pepper if you don’t want it to be visible in the cheese sauce

Method;

  • First start by sauteing the mushrooms and pepper for around eight minutes. I used a non-stick frying pan so I didn’t add oil, alternatively fry them over a medium heat in a teaspoon or so of oil. Once the mushrooms have released their liquid and cooked down, it can be set aside
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  • Next, bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and allow them to cook for five minutes. They will carry on cooking once we bake the pasta, so slightly under cooking them now, means they won’t overcook later
  • Now we can cook the pasta and make the sauce, it takes roughly the same time to make both. Bring a large pan of water to a boil, then boil the pasta as per the instructions on the packet
  • Add the 45g butter (or oil) into a small saucepan over a medium heat, and wait for it to fully melt
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  • Once melted, add the flour and whisk it into the butter
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  • Keep whisking until it fully combines. Give it two or three minutes to cook, whisking constantly. This will ensure there is no raw flour flavour in the sauce
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  • Now we can start to add the milk. I just popped the milk into a jug, then warmed it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Add the milk a little at a time, and keep whisking it. You may notice some lumps, but they will go as you whisk. Just keep whisking and once the mixture starts to thicken, add more of the milk until it’s all incorporated
  • Next add 100g/3.5oz of cheese cheese, dijon, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Once the cheese melts you’re ready to assemble the dish
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  • Once the pasta has been cooked and the water has been drained away, return the pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Pour over the cheese sauce and add the vegetables you cooked earlier. Give it a good mix to fully combine everything
  • Add the pasta mix into an oven proof dish, then top with the remaining cheeseDSC_0173-picsay.JPG
  • Bake at 200°C/180°C/350°F for 20 minutes. Once baked, leave it to stand for five minutes, then serve

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