Sounds crazy right?! I understand why you are skeptical however this creamy delicious sauce will change your mind. A decadent pasta dish that any child will love is a veggie packed Vegan cream sauce that tastes like magic. This dish is saucy, creamy, protein packed and filling, and will leave you speechless.
The magic sauce starts with a who roasted head of cauliflower. You can do this in 2 ways: by roasting the whole thing together (cover with olive oil & salt roast in a cast iron 30 mins covered then 30 min uncovered at 375) or in florets (same seasoning for about 30 mins total). There is something special about how creamy the inside of the cauliflower stays when you roast it whole and this makes a wonderful side dish to any meal you are making this week as well.
The next step is something you cannot skip; I think it is the most important part of seasoning this sauce. You have to slowly saute the shallots in olive oil with sea salt, making sure that they get delicious and soft without browning. This, coupled with the cauliflower, makes a magically rich and flavorful sauce. Blending the cauliflower, shallot, nutritional yeast, pepper and veggie stock in your blender creates the creamy texture you are looking for in a “cheese” sauce to mix with your favorite pasta.
I used brown rice and quinoa pasta for this recipe because it packs the protein punch needed to keep you fuller for longer, something important to keep you sustained with a meatless meal. I also added a cup of the starch cooking water to marry the pasta and sauce as well as several cups of spinach to wilt at the end.
This dish is an absolute win at my house! My kids like a little extra nutritional yeast on the top and my husband and I like crushed red pepper and some walnuts for some healthy fat.
Perfect timing for those Meatless Mondays or Meat Free Friday’s during Lent! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Vegan Macaroni and Cheese-less Sauce
-1 head of cauliflower roasted
-4 shallots (diced)
-1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast (Find it here)
-1 cup Veggie stock
-1 package (16 oz) pasta of choice (I like to pick quinoa, black bean or lentil for the protein)
-1 bag or 3 cups baby spinach
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in pan, add shallots and a pinch of salt on a medium heat and saute until soft (about 5 mins). Boil water and cook pasta to instructions on package minus 2 minutes. Break apart cauliflower and add to your blender, then add Nutritional yeast and veggie stock. Once onions are cooked add this to your blender and incorporate until creamy and smooth. Drain pasta but reserve 1 cup starchy pasta water. Add pasta, sauce and water into the pot and stir until mixed, drop in spinach and mix until wilted. Add to bowls and top as desired.
*You can substitute Parmesan cheese if you do not want to try Nutritional Yeast but it’s worth giving it a go, besides its awesome sprinkled on roasted veggies or popcorn so worth keeping in the house!