I have served this many times to non-vegans and they always go for seconds. I use cashew or almond milk for their mild flavor, but you can always experiment with other plant-based milks.


ACTIVE: 35 MIN • TOTAL: 55 MIN • SERVES 6

FOR THE MACARONI AND CHEESE:

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pasta water 1 pound short pasta, such as cavatappi, elbows or small shells
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
41⁄2 cups unsweetened cashew or almond milk
4 cups shredded plant-based cheddar cheese (We like Violife)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

FOR THE BREADCRUMB TOPPING:

1 cup panko or coarse dried breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

Position the oven rack about 8 inches from the top and heat the oven to 400°F.

Make the macaroni and cheese: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then salt it. Add the pasta and cook until it’s a few minutes short of al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven). Drain into a colander and pass under cold running water to stop the cooking. Shake out any excess water.

Meanwhile, to make the cheese sauce, in a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 3 minutes to cook out the raw flavor of the flour. Add 1 cup of the milk and whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Continue to whisk in the remaining milk a little at a time, at first, to avoid lumps. Let the mixture reach a simmer while whisking often, paying attention to the corners where the flour can collect.

Remove from the heat and add the cheese, nutritional yeast, dry mustard, the 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, the black pepper and the cayenne pepper. Whisk until creamy and smooth. Add the pasta and stir well to coat. Taste for salt; you may want to add a little more. Scrape the mixture into a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish.

Make the breadcrumb topping: In a small bowl stir together the breadcrumbs, oil, salt and pepper. Grate in the garlic and stir to combine.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the macaroni and cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Then turn on the broiler and broil for 1 to 3 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving and sprinkle the top with the parsley.

Recipe from Jessica Seinfeld’s Cookbook, Vegan, at Times.