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This creamy Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is gluten-free, nut-free and oil-free too! Super easy to make in just minutes with less than 10 ingredients, this Vitamin A-packed dairy-free mac and cheese can be enjoyed as a main course or as a side dish.
I scream. You scream. We all scream for…
Wait, what? That’s not how it goes. Oh, well. It is pumpkin season and all, so I’m taking some pumpkin creative license over here.
Anyway, if you’re like me, you love pumpkin just as much in savory dishes as you do in sweet ones. Take my tomato and pumpkin pasta sauce, for example.
Today, of course, we’re talking about another savory dish…mac and cheese to be exact.
Oh, mac and cheese, one of my childhood favorites.
I loved mac and cheese so much as a kid, I would come home from school and eat an entire box of that classic blue box.
I wasn’t a huge milk person, though, so I would ask my parents to use less milk than the box called for.
This resulted in large clumps of that orange powdered cheese to be scattered throughout the noodles.
But that was a-ok with me.
The more clumps the better was my motto. I used to even lick off the ones that were stuck to the wooden spoon.
Fast forward a few decades (but who’s counting) and my blue box mac and cheese eating days are over.
The only cheese “powder” I’m enjoying is nutritional yeast.
But, unlike in the old days, I’d rather not have clumps of nooch floating around in my pasta. I’m sure you feel me. 🙂
Anyway, before adopting a vegan diet, I did make a homemade version of pumpkin macaroni and cheese.
In fact, I found it scribbled on a sticky note and almost dropped dead when I saw how much dairy I used.
I knew I wouldn’t be using that old recipe as inspiration for this dish.
I decided instead to make an easy recipe similar to my stovetop vegan mac and cheese but without any oil or vegan cheese (I used vegan butter in that one and vegan cheese slices).
I wanted to keep it nut-free too like that one, but since I wasn’t going to use butter, I had to find something that could be as creamy as cashews, stand in for the butter and act as the milk.
So, I went with light canned coconut milk. It has the perfect consistency and amount of creaminess needed for this dish.
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
Cook your gluten-free pasta of choice according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, start the sauce.
Add pumpkin puree, light coconut milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, salt, mustard powder and garlic powder to a high-powered blender.
Blend on high, scraping the sides as needed, until ingredients are well-incorporated (approximately 2 minutes total).
Transfer pumpkin sauce to a saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until heated throughout (approximately 7 minutes).
If you stop whisking for too long, the sauce will start to bubble and will splash hot liquid due to how thick it is.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!
What to Serve with This Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese
This pasta dish pairs perfectly with an autumn-inspired salad. Try one of these:
- Sweet Potato Salad from My Quiet Kitchen
- Roast Vegetable Salad from Healthy Midwestern Girl (keep it gluten-free by omitting or replacing the farro)
For the kids, you can also serve this mac and cheese alongside vegan “chicken” nuggets.
Of course, you could just simply enjoy a bowl of it on its own too! 🙂
Storing and Reheating
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat in a pot on the stovetop until warmed throughout, stirring frequently.
You can also reheat in the microwave, covered, until warmed throughout.
Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- 8 oz gluten-free pasta of choice
- 15 oz canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup canned unsweetened light coconut milk (you can use vegan half & half instead, but ensure the brand you are using does not have any oil in the ingredients to keep this recipe oil-free)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp non-GMO cornstarch (substitute arrowroot starch instead, if desired)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste, if desired (kosher or sea salt)
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Cook your gluten-free pasta of choice according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, start the sauce.
- Add pumpkin puree, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, salt, mustard powder and garlic powder to a high-powered blender.
- Blend on high, scraping the sides as needed, until ingredients are well-incorporated (approximately 2 minutes total). Taste test and add more salt, if desired.
- Transfer pumpkin sauce to a 2- or 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until sauce is thoroughly heated (approximately 7 minutes). If you stop whisking for too long, the sauce will start to bubble and will splash hot liquid due to how thick it is.
- When the pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Stir to combine.
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