This hearty casserole embodies your mac and cheese cravings in a single pan and it takes only 25 minutes to make. The creamy cashew-cauliflower cheese sauce that is oh-so-flavorsome, but super light and fluffy at the same time. There will certainly be no feelings of heaviness after this meal. White pepper gives it just the right amount of kick without taking away from the core flavors of traditional mac, while mustard, nutritional yeast, and sea salt round everything out to give you a classic cheesy, yet refined dish.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Macaroni and Cauliflower Cheese:
- 12 ounces gluten-free pasta of choice
- 1/2 large cauliflower, including stalk, plus 2 cups pasta/cauliflower cooking water
- 2 large onions, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 cups fresh parsley, packed
For the Topping:
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Boil a pot of water, preheat the oven on fan bake at 390°F, and chop your cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.
- Put the pasta in a pot and cover with boiling water, then place the cauliflower on top in a steamer attachment if you have one. Cook for 5-7 minutes. If you don't have a steamer, you can cook the cauliflower in a separate pot with 1/2 cup of extra boiling water.
- Heat the oil in a large flat pan (oven-proof if possible), and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until light brown and caramelized.
- Blend all the topping ingredients in a blender until they form a crumb but still with some texture — set aside.
- Drain the pasta and cauliflower, reserving 2 cups of cooking water. Pour the pasta into the pan with the onions while still on a low heat.
- Meanwhile, put the cauliflower in your blender with the 2 cups of cooking water and all remaining sauce ingredients (cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard, pepper and salt). Blend until super creamy, then pour into your pasta pan and stir while still on low for 2 minutes until everything heats through and the sauce begins to thicken.
- Pour over the sunflower seed topping, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden and crunchy on top.