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Southern Style Vegan Mac and Cheese

Casserole Mac and Cheese that is custardy, cheesy, and filled with flavor. Make sure to read the blog post for more details on the process, purpose, and cultural significance of this dish. It's more than just Mac and Cheese...it's history.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Keyword cheese, Macandcheese, veganized
Prep Time - 30 mins
Cook Time - 35 mins
Total Time - 1 hr 5 mins
Servings - 8

Equipment

  • 9x13" casserole dish

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces dried elbow noodles (Use elbow or be judged)
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar, divided (I used Moocho brand)
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella (I used Forager brand)
  • 10 ounces American cheese, divided (I used Good Planet slices, chopped )
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
  • 8 ounces sour cream (Tofutti)
  • 1 cup unsweetened oatmilk (Silk is my fav brand for cooking)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or corn starch, tapioca is better for baking)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1/2 cup soft silken tofu (A box is roughly 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or wipe oil into a 9x13" baking dish. Set aside.
  • Cook noodles to al dente according to package instructions. Don't overcook because the noodles are getting baked too and you don't want them to be mushy. Make sure to salt the water. Roughly 1 teaspoon per cup of water. Salting the water flavors the noodles from the inside out. Drain the noodles and set aside or if your cheese is ready just mix it together.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the tofu until it's as smooth as you can get it. Mix in the sour cream, cream cheese, and oatmilk. Stir in the nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, salt, pepper, ground mustard, and garlic and onion powders. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add half of the cheddar cheese, 8 ounces of American cheese, and all of the mozzarella. You will use the rest to top the dish. Stir well to evenly distribute the shredded cheeses. Stir in the cooked macaroni.
  • Scoop into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining cheese and drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the pan with foil, I spray mine with oil so the cheese won't stick, and bake on the middle rack for a total of 35 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the foil and continue baking for the remaining 20 minutes. You should see bubbling on the sides of the dish and the cheese on top should be melty. Bake for 5 min longer if there are no bubbles on the side.
  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. This rest time allows the custardy sauce to set and the cheese on top to firm up a little.

Notes

Why bake covered with foil for a short period? Vegan cheese tends to dry out and bake looking like shreds vs melting like dairy cheese. A trick is to cover your dish for part of the baking time which steams the cheese into melting rather than drying it out at the high heat. Do you need to do the foil part? No. But if you do you'll need to remove it after that 15 minutes because your Mac and Cheese dish needs to bake uncovered to allow excess moisture to be released. You want ooey and gooey rather than soup.