A nutritious macaroni and cheese meal that is plant-based and packed with protein! A delicious meal on its own or have it as a healthy side!
Every kid (and adult) loves macaroni and cheese, but one thing it lacks is nutritional value. It is a carb and cheese overload, but that’s why everybody loves it. It tastes good, but not good for you? 😉 My mom makes the best macaroni and cheese from scratch. I remember when we were younger, she would add a veggie or two into the mix. ‘If you want mac n’ cheese, you have to eat these vegetables,” she said. We never complained because cooked broccoli or cauliflower covered in gooey cheese made them taste delicious! Thanks to Mom, my inspiration for making macaroni and cheese nutritious and without the cheese overload, resulted in this protein-packed meal!
This macaroni and cheese is the adult version of delicious (& healthy) comfort food!
I’ve tried a few plant-based mac ‘n’ cheese recipes on the web, but they always lack something. This sans-cheese sauce is packed with protein, thanks to the yellow split peas; plus, they don’t make the sauce gritty like bean recipes! This one will be on repeat this year and for many years to come! & now, I’m super excited for you all to make it and put it on repeat in your home too! Enjoy! ♥
If you make this recipe, please share feedback and leave a rating (below). This helps our readers and us. – Thanks! xx Jake & Tracey
1tablespooncoconut oilsub olive oil or sunflower oil
2 ¼cupsplant-based milkalmond, cashew, or sunflower milk, plus more to thin
½cupnutritional yeast flakes
1 ¼teaspoonsaltplus more to taste
¼teaspoonpepperplus more to taste
1teaspoonapple cider vinegar
1tbspFresh parsleychopped (optional)
½cupsunflower seedsraw and unsalted
pinch ofgarlic powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and cook the elbow pasta following the box instructions.
Rinse the split peas with cold water and remove any stones or debris. Add them to a saucepan and cover with water (about 1.5 cups). Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat, and cover with a lid. Do not remove the lid until about 20 minutes.
Heat the tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, until just starting to brown. Turn down heat to low, and add 2 cups of the plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, and arrowroot powder. Whisking with a rubber spatula constantly until you get a smooth and thick sauce, about 5 minutes.
Add the sauce, steamed cauliflower, cooked yellow split peas, sweet paprika, salt and pepper, and apple cider vinegar to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy (if the mixture is too thick, add 1/4 cup of plant-based milk at a time until the desired creaminess).
Add the cooked, al dente elbow pasta to a casserole dish and gently stir in the sauce until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle the sunflower crumble evenly on top of the pasta. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven, top with fresh, chopped parsley, and serve immediately!
Sunflower Crumble:Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until you get a coarse meal.
Store leftovers in a container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When reheating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake in a casserole dish for 15 minutes. If the macaroni is too dry, add a tablespoon of plant-based milk at a time while mixing.
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