Even the omnivores might enjoy it.
Vegan Cheese Sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 C yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 C (about 65 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 C unsweetened oat milk
- 1/4 C nutritional yeast flakes
- 8 oz. vegan Colby jack, shredded
- 7 oz vegan mature cheddar, cubed
- 1/4 C vegan parmesan, shredded
- 1 tsp garlic pepper seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp seasoned salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp cracked black Peppe
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
Macaroni and Cheese:
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 lb vegan chick’n tenders, prepared to package directions
- 1/2 C buffalo sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe braiser over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they begin to soften and become translucent.
- You’ll want to start boiling the noodles while you’re making the sauce. Do this according to package directions but remove them a few minutes before they become al dente, and reserve about a cup of the pasta water.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, then sprinkle the flour over everything. Stir together. It will form a very thick paste: stir that around as best you can for about 4 minutes. We’re cooking the flour taste away, so don’t skip this step.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Whisk in the oat milk about one cup at a time. Make sure it’s completely incorporated – the only lumps should be garlic and onion – before adding more.
- After the sauce has been built, it’s time to season it. Add all of the dry seasonings along with the nutritional yeast. Whisk it in thoroughly.
- Stir in the cubes of vegan cheddar next. Let the sauce simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the cheese is completely melted. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
- At this point, you’ll want to coat your chick’n in the buffalo sauce and slice it into bite-sized pieces. Set it aside.
- Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce. Stir it in completely and consider the texture. If the sauce is tight and thick or dry and clumpy already, stir in a few tablespoons of pasta water to loosen it. We’re looking for a creamy, melty American cheese-like consistency.
- Stir in 2/3 of the chick’n (you can also stir in the extra buffalo sauce if you like) and spread the macaroni out evenly in the pan. Sprinkle all of the vegan Colby jack over the top, and grate parmesan over it. Arrange the remaining chick’n over the top. Grate on more vegan parmesan if desired and bake for 10-12 minutes at 425°F, just until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- To get the most out of this recipe, read the post above it!