Saturday, May 28, 2011

Macaroni and "Cheese" Casserole

One of the hardest foods for me to give up when I had to completely give up dairy 4 years ago was macaroni and cheese. Mac and cheese has always been one of my favorite foods, ever since I was a child. It was one of the first things I learned how to make on my own, and I practically lived on it in college. During my first year out of college as a high school teacher, mac and cheese with hot dogs or ground beef was a regular meal for my husband (then fiance) and I.
This one simple dish was such a huge part of my childhood and young adult life, and when I couldn't have it anymore it was really hard to find something to replace it. I could live without pizza, or cheesecake, or even nachos but Mac and cheese? I had to find an alternative to it.

I have been on the hunt for a good dairy free mac and "cheese" for 4 years now. I tried Amy's-it's good but too much soy or something in it gives me a stomachache. I tried a couple of recipes and they didn't turn out well. The flavor or the texture was way off. Then I stumbled upon the recipe I am going to share with you. I found it on Go Dairy Free. If you have not yet visited this site and you are looking for information on being dairy free, this is the best resource on the web!

I made this dish a couple weeks ago as an experiment. When it turned out so much better than I expected, I emailed Alisa- the chief editor of Go Dairy Free- and asked if I could please share this recipe on my blog. She is so incredibly sweet and told me that yes, I could share it with you all.
So thank you Alisa, for first sharing this recipe on your site, and now allowing me to share it on mine.

So here it goes- the BEST mac and "cheese" I've had in 4 years.
Serves 5
30 minutes: 10 minutes to cook macaroni and make sauce, 20 minutes oven and grill time.
3 1/2 cups dried macaroni
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup plain white flour
3 1/2 cups boiling water
1 tsp salt, added gradually to taste
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
Pinch Turmeric
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Cook macaroni in boiling, lightly salted water according to directions on package. When cooked, drain in colander and return to pan to keep warm.
3.While pasta is cooking, melt margarine over low heat.

4.Beat in flour with a wire whisk

Continue to beat over a medium heat until the mixture (called a roux), is smooth and bubbly.

5.Whip in the boiling water, salt, soy sauce, garlic, and turmeric, beating well to dissolve the roux.

6.The sauce should continue to cook until it thickens and begins to bubble.

7.Whip in the yeast flakes.

8. Mix part of the sauce with the cooked macaroni

And put in a casserole dish. (I lightly spray my casserole dish with non-stick spray first)

9.Pour the rest of the sauce on top, sprinkle with paprika (I used smoked paprika for more flavor).

10.Bake for 15 minutes. Put under the broiler for a few minutes until the sauce thickens and gets stretchy.

I served it as a side dish last night with marinated, grilled chuck steak and sauteed sugar snap peas with chive, shallots, and lemon.

My husband, who is very picky about "fake" cheese really likes this dish. So if a cheese eater likes it, that says a lot!

You can find this recipe here.

Happy Cooking!


  1. I am going to have to try this when Chris is out sometime. Milk definitely affects me, and I'm still playing with other items to see if they do, but this sounds good. :o)

  2. Did you ever get to try this? If you do, let me know if you like it!