Where are my vegan friends at?
actually, scratch that, where are my food loving friends at? Cause this vegan French onion mac and cheez is one dish everyone will love – so long as you love caramelized onions that is! Vegan is a sore topic for many – “HOW could you not eat meat or dairy with a meal?” or “That’s gross and strange, not for me!”.
It’s a fallacy guys – vegan just means no animal products are consumed. Don’t Worry! It’s not scary and you also don’t need to be a vegan to eat a vegan, plant based meal! For instance, this is how I like to live my life – with balance and an open mind, and with that, you get to have amazing meals like vegan French onion mac and cheez. I am not a vegan and I LOVE vegan food.
In this recipe, there are quite a few steps but this is only to enhance major flavor into the pasta dish. I recommend you save this for a day off or a weekend cause the process is a longer one. It’s worth it – and any plant based meal is a big W for win in my books! This pasta sauce has roasted garlic, French lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavorful “Swiss Cheez Sauce”.
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast that has a cheesy, nutty, savory flavor profile! Which is why in many vegan dishes it is used to mock the flavor of cheese! Furthermore, It is unbelievably healthy for you packed with vitamins, minerals and protein. One tablespoon has 2 grams of protein, and all nine essential amino acids. Nutritional yeast is especially rich in thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. It’s like cheesy flakes of goodness when added to a sauce, you’d fool anyone into believing there was real cheese in the sauce.
In conclusion, this recipe is very yummy. Give it a go and let me know in the comments below if you want to try this recipe out!
This Vegan French Onion Mac n Cheez is insanely tasty and totally cheezy - without the cheese, go figure. Don't let the word vegan turn you non-vegan folk away, because this is recipe is for all food lovers alike! I cannot take credit for this recipe as I found it on Tik Tok and oh my, its got Flavor Flav and I don't mean the rapper!
- 3/4 Cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 Cup Hot Water
- 2-3 Cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/4 Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 Cups non-dairy milk (oat, macadamia, almond, soy, etc.)
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2-3 large sweet onions, sliced
- 1 Tsp sea salt
- 4 Cups of pasta, like shells or cavatappi (my fave)
- 3/4 Cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tsp paprika
1. Hot-soak the sunflower seeds. To do this, pour nearly boiling water over sunflower seeds and allow to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Drain.
2. Caramelize the onions. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add sliced onions and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Cook onions for about an hour, more or less, until dark golden brown and sweet. During the cooking process, stir onions periodically and check for moisture level. Whenever the onions start to stick, and the pan is dry with caramelization, deglaze the pan with a splash of water and continue cooking. I used about 1-2 cups of water during the entire caramelization process.
3. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, make the “Swiss cheese” sauce. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and the roughly chopped garlic to a small sauce pan. Turn heat to low and allow garlic to gently simmer until golden (it takes about 4-5 minutes after the sizzle starts). Remove from heat immediately and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
5. In a blender combine soaked/drained sunflower seeds, the garlic-oil mixture, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt and 3 cups non-dairy milk. Blend until super smooth. It will be a very thin consistency, this is what you want. Pour the sauce over the cooked noodles. Stir to combine. Add the caramelized onions and stir until onions are evenly distributed. Season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a large baking dish.
6. In a small bowl combine breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons olive oil, dried thyme, garlic powder, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix until all breadcrumbs are saturated with oil. Evenly coat pasta with the breadcrumb topping. Bake for 15 minutes until heated through and crunchy/golden brown on top.
Baking – the “cheese” sauce sets up quite a bit while baking, avoid over-baking to keep it at it’s creamiest and if you didn't make enough sauce add 1/2 cup more of plant milk to the dish before placing crumbs on top!