This vegan cauliflower mac and cheese is a delicious healthy alternative to your classic mac and cheese or Alfredo sauce. Made with cauliflower, white beans and coconut milk, it’s full of nutrients, protein and healthy fats. Vegan, dairy free, nut free and optionally gluten free, this vegan cauliflower pasta is family friendly takes just 30 minutes or come together.
This week, the temperature hasn’t gone above five degrees. It kind of sucks when you can’t go outside for more than thirty minutes without freezing your face off, but on the bright side, it has been giving me an excuse to stay inside and eat lots of pasta so I’m not too upset.
This creamy vegan cauliflower pasta is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. It all comes together in one pot (minus the food processor/blender) and takes under half an hour to make. This recipe uses cauliflower and coconut milk to make the sauce rich and creamy, while a can of white beans helps to thicken it and add a little protein as well.
How to make Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Prep the ingredients: for this recipe, you’ll need to chop a few shallots, slice some garlic and break down a cauliflower into small florets. It’s better if all the florets are about the same size so they cook evenly. The smaller they are, the faster they’ll cook.
- Cook the veggies: Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large lidded pot and add in your shallots and garlic. Sauté for a couple minutes before adding the white beans and cauliflower. Cover and steam until the cauliflower can be easily pierced with a fork. Its ok if its borderline mushy, this will make for a creamier sauce.
- Cook the pasta: I like to use cavatapi for this vegan cauliflower Mac and cheese, but any short cut pasta will work. Make sure you add at least a couple tablespoons of salt to the water and cook the pasta a minute or two less than the recommended time. You want it to get mushy when heated up with the sauce. Also—SAVE YOUR PASTA WATER.
- Blend: I’ve tested this recipe using both a high speed blender and a food processor and both result in a creamy sauce. I’m sure am immersion blender would work too, but I’ve never tried it. Just transfer the contents of the lidded pot to your blender and add in coconut milk, nutritional yeast and miso. Blend until thick and creamy. Start by adding a 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water, then add more by the tablespoon until the sauce reaches a good consistency.
- Season and Serve: Transfer the sauce back to the lidded pot and add the pasta. You can turn the heat on low just to warm it up before serving, then remove from the stove and add in the white wine vinegar. If the sauce tastes bland, that probably means it just needs more salt. You will need more or less depending on how salty the pasta water was.
Want more vegan pasta recipes? Try these:
- Vegan Stuffed Shells with Sunflower Pesto
- Creamy Vegan Lemon Artichoke Pasta
- Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Made this recipe? Tag @wandering_chickpea on Instagram!
Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (Nut Free)Course: Dinner, MainCuisine: Vegan, AmericanDifficulty: Easy
This rich and creamy vegan cauliflower mac and cheese is a delicious healthy alternative to traditional Mac and cheese or Alfredo. It’s vegan, nut free, dairy free, optionally gluten free and comes together in just 30 minutes!
1 lb short cut pasta*
3 small shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about one head)
1 14 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned coconut milk*
1 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish
- In a large pot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add in shallots, garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower florets and white beans to the pot along with 2 tbsp of water. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low, allowing the cauliflower to steam for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
- While the cauliflower steams, cook your pasta al dente ing heavily salted water according to the package instructions. Reserve pasta water.
- Once the cauliflower has softened, transfer everything to a high speed blender or food processor. Add in coconut milk, miso and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth, adding reserved pasta water until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Return to the pot over medium low heat and add the pasta, cook until heated through. Remove from the stove and stir in the white wine vinegar. Taste for salt and add more as needed. Serve warm with chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper.
- *For gluten free option, use gluten free pasta
- *Canned coconut milk is important here, make sure you scrape off and use the solid part on the top for an extra rich and creamy sauce.