This savory plant-based mac and cheese is incredibly creamy and you'll never guess that the dairy-free cheese sauce is made from potatoes, carrots, and cashews! If you're looking for a recipe that's made with whole foods and mostly unprocessed ingredients, this is the dish for you!
In a large pan over medium heat, saute the diced onions until soft. Add potatoes, carrots, cashews, and 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and let it cook for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and the water has all been absorbed.
While the vegetables are cooking, cook the noodles according to package instructions in a large pot of boiling water. When the pasta is done cooking, drain the water.
Add the cooked vegetables, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, and 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk to a large blender cup. Blend on high until the sauce is smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too thick, add an additional ½ cup of almond milk.
Pour the cheese sauce back into the pan and warm it up until it starts to bubble. Add the cooked elbow noodles and stir to coat the pasta with the cheese sauce. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Make sure that you use unsweetened almond milk (not vanilla-flavored either) because sweet plant milk won't work flavor-wise in this savory dairy-free sauce.
If your blender doesn't have a lid with a vent in it (like a Vitamix has) to let the steam escape, it's important that you wait until the vegetables have cooled before you blend the sauce. If you try to blend hot ingredients in a sealed blender cup (like a Nutribullet) you run the risk of the cup exploding and sauce going everywhere.
Store the leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or you can freeze it for a future meal.