Gluten-Free Vegan Caprese Mac & Cheese

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Today we are featuring Gluten-Free Vegan Caprese Mac & Cheese. This Italian-inspired recipe is about creamy pasta, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. It’s comfort food we often dream of. 

This vegan Mac and cheese is creamy, tasty and has everything you could ever want in a gluten-free, vegan mac and cheese and more!

Whether you follow a vegan diet or are dairy intolerant, this Caprese mac & cheese recipe is for you! This pasta dish is a mid-week meal we remember. Simple, satisfying and delicious.

There’s no chance you will be disappointed when you taste the fresh tomatoes and fresh basil in this gluten-free pasta dish. The two flavours change classic Mac and cheese to a meal with an Italian twist. 

It’s perfect for a summer meal or when you’re craving something fresh and flavorful. Another couple of vegan recipes you may enjoy is the Vegan Ramen Salad With Sesame Ginger Dressing,  or the Vegan Cheesy Cream Of Broccoli Soup, or my favourite  the Vegan Parsley Black Beans & Tomatoes Pasta.

 

vegan mac and cheese in a pie dish, gluten free

 

What does vegan Caprese mac and cheese taste like?

If you’re like me, you love anything and everything cheese. So I decided to create a vegan, gluten-free version of this classic Mac and cheese. 

First, let me say it’s super easy to make. You don’t need unique ingredients, just dairy-free milk, cashews, nutritional yeast and some gluten-free pasta. 

What makes it vegan and gluten-free

This gluten-free, vegan Caprese macaroni and cheese recipe is the perfect summer dish. It is light, refreshing, and full of flavour. The best part about this dish is that it is vegan and gluten-free, so that everyone can enjoy it.

I used dairy-free milk, cashews and nutritional yeast to add creaminess and a cheesy flavour to this macaroni dish.

To make this dish gluten-free, use short-cut gluten-free pasta. Many great options are available now, so it should be easy to find one you like.

What is nutritional yeast?

If you’re following a gluten-free, vegan diet, you may wonder what nutritional yeast is and why it’s so popular among those who follow a plant-based diet.

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast often used as a cheese substitute in vegan recipes. It’s high in B-vitamins and protein, making it a nutrient-rich food that can help you meet your daily needs.

While it’s not necessary, nutritional yeast can be a great way to add flavour and nutrition to your diet.

 

top view of gluten free Caprese Mac And Cheese in a pie dish

 

The best way to include protein in a vegan diet.

If you’re vegan and gluten-free, you may feel your options are limited when finding tasty and nutritious foods. However, there are plenty of delicious, healthy, gluten-free, vegan recipes, including this yummy Caprese macaroni dish!

This dish is packed with protein, thanks to the inclusion of cashews and nutritional yeast. Not only do the cashews add protein, but they also help to thicken the sauce and add creaminess. 

If you can’t have cashews, you could try substituting them for another protein-rich food such as tofu.

This recipe is super easy to make and can be on the table in no time. It’s the perfect weeknight meal for the whole family to enjoy!

Why do kids love Mac and cheese?

There are plenty of reasons why kids love Mac and cheese:

— Comfort food is typically associated with happy childhood memories.

— It’s relatively easy to make and can be customized to suit each child’s taste.

— Mac and cheese is usually pretty affordable, which is excellent for families on a budget.

— Kids love the taste of cheesy goodness combined with pasta!

The fresh tomatoes and basil make this the best Mac and cheese

The fresh tomatoes and basil make it light and refreshing, while the cheesy cashew sauce makes it rich and satisfying.

Which gluten-free pasta is best for Mac and cheese

There are many different types of gluten-free pasta, and it can be hard to know which one is best for Mac and cheese. 

I’ve tried a few brands, and my favourite is the Barilla Gluten Free Macaroni. It has a great texture and flavour and doesn’t get mushy when cooked. 

Why are children sensitive to dairy?

There are several reasons why children may be sensitive to dairy. For some, it may be a temporary sensitivity that goes away as their digestive system matures. 

For others, it may be an intolerance or allergy to one or more of the proteins found in milk. Still, others may have a sensitivity to the lactose sugar in milk. 

Whatever the cause, avoiding dairy can be a challenge, especially if your child loves milk and cheese, as many kids do.

Fortunately, many delicious plant-based milk and cheese products are now available that are perfect for kids with dairy sensitivities. 

These products are usually made from almonds, coconuts, soy, rice, or other non-dairy sources, and they provide all the nutrition and flavour that kids crave without dairies. 

So if your child is sensitive to dairy, rest assured that there are plenty of tasty options for them to enjoy.

How to store Mac and cheese?

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a love/hate relationship with Mac and cheese. I love how comfortingly creamy it is, but I hate how quickly it goes from hot and bubbly to cold and congealed. 

That’s why I was so excited to create this recipe for gluten-free, vegan Caprese mac and cheese. Not only is it just as delicious as the traditional version, but it also reheats beautifully.

To store your leftovers, place them in an airtight container and pop them in the fridge. When ready to eat, reheat in a 350-degree oven until hot and bubbly. Easy peasy!

Overall, this dish was a success! The gluten-free vegan pasta worked well with the fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. And the “cashew sauce” tasted great. 

This would be a perfect pasta meal for anyone following a gluten-free, vegan diet because this vegan Mac and cheese is creamy, tasty and has everything you could ever want in a gluten-free, vegan mac and cheese and more!

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Many thanks!

Kristina xx

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter (I used earth balance)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
  • 1 tsp. Pure sea salt
  • 1 tsp. GF mustard powder
  • 1 tsp GF paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. GF ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. Tapioca starch/flour
  • 1 3/4 cups unsweetened dairy-free milk (almond, coconut or rice)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup Roughly chopped fresh basil plus some for serving
  • 3 cups your favourite short cut gluten-free pasta, cooked per package directions
  • *As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please check out my sponsorship and disclosure policy page for more details

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray or grease with vegan butter.
  • In a large saucepan sauté onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes
  • In a high-speed blender add the onion mixture, cashews, salt, ground mustard, paprika, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, and non-dairy milk. Blend together until smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture to the same saucepan you used for the onion mixture and cook over medium heat until the sauce starts to bubble, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in tomatoes, basil and cooked pasta. Transfer to the prepared baking dish
  • Place the baking dish onto a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and rest for ten minutes before serving. Top with fresh basil.
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