The usual response from nonvegans to vegan macaroni and cheese is “No thanks,” but in the CHOW Test Kitchen, we won over tasters with this recipe. The key is that the dish doesn’t try to pretend it’s made of cheese and milk; it just offers up a creamy texture and rich flavor, achieved through a combination of coconut milk, nutritional yeast, and toasty walnuts. Mixing in spicy cayenne, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and caramelized onions gives it even deeper flavor.
What to buy: Nutritional yeast is a strain of yeast grown on molasses, deactivated, harvested, washed, pasteurized, dried, and packaged. It is often used in vegan cooking for its cheesy, creamy, nutty flavor. Look for it in the bulk or supplement section of health food stores or online.
This recipe was featured as part of our 3 Surprising Twists on Standard Macaroni and Cheese.