I've found plenty of promising dairy-free mac & cheese recipes. What I liked about this particular recipe was that it didn't call for Daiya soy cheese. I should admit that I've only tried Daiya once, but I found it woefully lacking in all areas. The recipe I followed used cashews for creaminess and nutritional yeast and tahini for flavor. I also added in a bit of mustard and paprika to spice it up.
The verdict? Pretty damn good. It's not going to fool anyone into believing that it is real mac & cheese, but I found it to be a nice creamy, thick, comfort food substitute. The tahini and lemon juice give it a tangy bite, the cashews impart a perfect creaminess and the nutritional yeast adds in its nutty, almost-cheesy flavor. (Not familiar nutritional yeast? Learn more about it in the inaugural episode of the From Scratch Club podcast! Subscribe via iTunes here.)
Cheese-less mac & cheese. It's possible. It's not that bad. It's a fine vegan comfort food. It certainly doesn't taste like your mama's delicious homemade mac & cheese casserole, but it will do in a dairy-free pinch. Non-vegans... don't burn me at the stake for attempting a cheese-free mac & cheese recipe. Vegans or dairy-free folks, send me your tips! (I should note that last night, we made a very cheesy lasagna and, together, ate almost half of it in one sitting. Sigh.)