with the cheesiest cheese sauce
Creamy vegan shells and cheese that are wonderful on their own or in a burger! This is the second of a seven-part post series for Dustin Harder’s new cookbook, Epic Vegan: Wild and Over-the-Top Plant-based Recipes. The idea behind this awesome book: Dustin takes a collection of tasty recipes and puts them together to make one epic creation - and it’s all vegan! Dairy-free, quick enough to have ready in 30 minutes (with a baked option) and gluten-free option.
The Epic Recipe I chose to share here: Bacon Macaroni and Cheese BBQ Blue Burger.
all seven recipes
- Hemp Parmesan
- Easy Creamy Shells & Cheese
- Quinoa Bacon Bits
- Red BBQ Sauce
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- All American Burger
- Bacon Macaroni & Cheese BBQ Blue Burger
recipe 2 of 7: Vegan Shells and Cheese
Today, we are focusing on the mac and cheese part, with actually two recipes from the book: Cheesiest Cheese Sauce and Easy Creamy Shells and Cheese. It is just what it sounds, super creamy and this recipe makes a nice big batch. I had never tried using sauerkraut in a cheese sauce until now, and while it might sound strange, it actually adds a little pleasant tanginess that helps balance the other ingredients - genius! There are a lot of veggies in this sauce, so it’s a nutritious winner for the whole family.
More recipes in the series
Easy Creamy shells and Cheese with The Cheesiest Cheese Sauce
- 2 ½ cups 570 ml water 570 ml
- 2 cups squash 10 ounces/340 g, peeled and cubed kabocha or butternut
- 1 russet potato peeled and cubed, large
- ⅓ cup arborio rice 50 g
- 2 tablespoons olive oil 30 ml
- ½ cup onion 80 g, chopped
- ½ cup red bell pepper 75 g, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- ½ cup sauerkraut 71 g
- ¼ cup tahini 60 g
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard 30 g
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 15 ml
- 2 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 lb pasta (1) 454 g or (2) 8-oz boxes pasta shells (gluten-free if desired)
- Hemp Parmesan optional
- In a large saucepan, combine the water, squash, potato, and rice. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender. Do not drain the water.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.
- Meanwhile, get a pot boiling and cook your pasta shells according to the package instructions.
- In a high-speed blender, combine the sauerkraut, tahini, mustard, vinegar, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Transfer the contents of the saucepan (including the water) and the contents of the skillet to the blender. Remove the plug from the lid of the blender and place a dish towel over the hole to allow steam to escape. Blend on low and increase the speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth, about two minutes.
- In the large pot that the shells were prepared in, combine the cheese sauce and the shells until the shells are entirely coated. Serve topped with the parmesan, if desired. Serve warm on recipes as needed or toss it with steamed broccoli or your favorite vegetables! Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat when needed.
- To bake: While the shells cook, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Transfer the finished mac and cheese to a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges have started to brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with (vegan) parmesan, if desired.