Vegan Mac and Cheese with Spinach and Tomatoes

Who doesn’t love Mac n Cheese? It’s just the best when it comes to needing a comforting meal which gives you a big hug from the inside out.


It may not be the healthiest but this version has added spinach and tomatoes so there’s a little less to feel guilty about. Life is about balance anyway right?

Photo by Rodolfo Quiru00f3s on Pexels.com

The added veggies, fried onions and nooch (vegan speak for Nutritional Yeast, yeast flakes full of protein, vitamins and minerals and adds a cheesy, creamy flavour to food) gives this dish great flavour and that all important crispy topping I think you need for a good Mac n Cheese. My children on the other hand don’t agree, they don’t like the crispy topping (aren’t children strange) and just go for the soft, creamy, cheesy pasta and veg but that’s absolutely fine by me……..more crispy topping for the grown ups!


Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 400g macaroni pasta
  • 40g vegan spread
  • 40g plain flour
  • 450ml plant milk (I use oat milk)
  • 150g vegan cheese – cheddar style (I use Asda Free From Cheddar) – grated
  • 100ml Oatly Creamy Oats Fraiche – or other vegan style creme fraiche (optional but scrumptious)
  • 100g cherry tomatoes – washed and halved
  • A few handfuls of spinach – washed
  • 1 large white onion – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of nooch (nutritional yeast) – optional but very tasty and good for you too
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • A dash of oil for frying the onion

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180℃ (fan).
  2. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni for 8 minutes on a low boil.
  3. Drain and rinse under the cold tap to prevent further cooking, set aside.
  4. In a saucepan melt your vegan spread.
  5. Once melted add in the flour and using a balloon whisk mix well to form a smooth paste and allow to cook for two minutes to cook off the taste of the flour, whisking as you go.
  6. Slowly add the milk a little at a time, whisking well.
  7. Heat gently and continue to whisk, after approximately 3-5 minutes you will notice your sauce start to thicken.
  8. Once thickened season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Add in ¾ of your grated cheese and stir well till melted. If adding the creme fraiche stir in now.
  10. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry off the onion till crispy and golden brown. Add into the cheese sauce, save a few to sprinkle on top.
  11. Mix the macaroni and spinach into the cheese sauce and tip into a large oven proof dish.
  12. Scatter the halved cherry tomatoes, nooch and remaining grated cheese over the top and finish off with some black pepper and a touch more salt.
  13. Bake in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or till the top is golden brown and you can see the pasta and sauce bubbling beneath the surface.
  14. Serve immediately when piping hot.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoy this one as much as my family do, it’s a regular on my menu plans.

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If you have any questions or would just like to chat more about a vegan lifestyle please do get in touch! I’m always more than happy to help! 

Love from Em x

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