Who else is a lover of that creamy orangey sauce you get at stadiums to dunk your overpriced chips into? My hand’s raised. Although I don’t eat it from stadiums anymore, let’s not kid ourselves that the way the smell of the nacho cheese fills a stadium isn’t amazing. I do have my own nacho cheese sauce recipe (see here) on the blog, which is great for chip dipping but isn’t a complete meal (at least in my books). So what better way to combo the amazingness that is nacho sauce with everyone’s favourite pasta dish. I give you Nacho Mac and Cheese- your first cozy easy vegan pasta dish of the fall.
Can we talk for a minute here about how Adam said this was his favourite mac and cheese I’ve ever made? What? He LOVES my dairy free nacho cheese sauce (I actually feel like it’s his fav recipe on the site) and his go-to meal is always mac and cheese. So how could he not love this recipe?! But I still wasn’t expecting THAT response. I think a big thing is the consistency of this dairy free nacho cheese sauce. It’s smooth and creamy like you would expect a traditional mac and cheese sauce to be like. My go-to noodles for this recipe are usually these Barilla ones or any gluten free noodle from Tinkyada. And together the vegan cheese sauce with these noodles make for a dang good dairy free mac n cheese.
how to make the dairy free nacho cheese
When making this dairy free nacho cheese it comes down to a few things. You need to soak your raw cashews so they are soft. The potatoes and carrots need to be boiled as these add extra creaminess, nutrients and orange colouring (thanks carrots) to the dish. And then you simply blend all the ingredients together until it’s smooth. There should be no need to heat the vegan cheese sauce on the stove because the potatoes and carrots should still be warm. BUT, if you need it warmer, simply add the dairy free nacho cheese to a pot and heat it over low heat. A word of advice about the jalapeno seeds. Start with a few, then adjust depending on your ability to deal with spice! Then you’ll be left with a killer vegan cheese sauce.
here are a few reasons why I love this dairy free mac n cheese, so listen up!
- As I mentioned, the texture and consistency of this nacho mac and cheese are on point. It’s so creamy and smooth, you won’t know what hit you. I’ll be honest this consistency doesn’t stick around after the nacho mac and cheese has been stored in the fridge. So it is best enjoyed immediately. But leftover dairy-free mac n cheese is still delicious the consistency just changes a wee bit.
- Once your cashews have been soaked, this is a 30-minute meal. No fooling around, no jokes here. 30 minutes from boiling the potatoes and carrots until you are taking that first bite. Pretty great, right?! Cause let’s be honest, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to soak cashews. Let’s just call this a 30-minute easy vegan pasta recipe. You’re welcome.
- We are entering cozy fall season and what is more comforting than a big bowl of pasta? But I gotta know how you enjoy a big bowl of nacho mac and cheese? Would you dollop a little bit of ketchup on that big bowl of comfort? Would you be on team ketchup or no? Me and the Picky Husband are team ketchup all the way. What are you?
Looking for more easy vegan pasta recipes? Try these!
Nacho lovers and mac and cheese lovers, this one is for you. A big comforting bowl of pasta noodles tossed in vegan cheese sauce. A little spice, a lot of creaminess, and a whole lot of deliciousness. The Picky Husband has spoken and is in love with this dish. I have a feeling we will be eating this nacho mac and cheese all fall season, and I’m ok with that because I’m all about easy vegan pasta recipes.
Nacho Mac and Cheese
nacho cheese sauce
- 1/4 cup cashews (soaked beforehand)
- 1 cup chopped potato (roughly 1 small potato)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot (roughly 1 medium carrot)
- 1 jaleneno (+some seeds)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp arrowroot powder
- 1 tbsp avocado oil ( or olive oil)
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 3.5 cups macaroni noodles (gluten free if desired)
- Start by soaking your cashews overnight OR in a pot of boiled water (off the stove) for 30 minutes.
- Bring a different medium-sized pot to a boil. Cut one small potato into 1-inch cubes and slice the carrot into round disks. Once the water is boiled, add the chopped potato and carrot and boil until soft (roughly 12-15 minutes). You should be able to poke a fork through the carrots and potatoes with ease.
- At this point, bring another pot of water to a boil for your pasta. When it has boiled add 3.5 cups of pasta of choice and cook until al dente.
- While the pasta water is boiling, drain the water from the potatoes and carrots. Add the potatoes and carrots to a high-speed blender. Drain the water from the cashews, and add the cashews to the blender. Next, add the rest of the ingredients for the nacho sauce. Be cautious with the jalapeno seeds. I found I only needed a few seeds to spice up the nacho sauce. Start with a few and you can always blend more in later. Blend until smooth. Set aside until the pasta is done.
- Once your pasta is done. Drain the water.
- In the pasta pot, add the pasta back to the pot (if your removed it when draining the water). And toss the nacho sauce into the pasta. NOTE: the nacho cheese sauce should still be warm from the cooked potatoes and carrots but if it isn’t you can add to a small saucepan before adding it to the pasta and heat over low. The pasta ( if recently cooked) will still be hot so it will warm up the nacho sauce as well.
- Thoroughly mix the pasta and the nacho cheese sauce together. Enjoy as-is, or toss in some ketchup. Enjoy immediately. Stores nicely for leftovers in the fridge just re-heat it before enjoying.