Awhile back, I did a gluten-free version of a recipe that came from The Brokeass Gourmet that intrigued me. It was a Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac and Cheese. And it was delicious.
It is definitely the time of year for pumpkin flavored things, so when the office potluck luncheon rolled around this week, I decided I would make the Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac & Cheese. And then, after pondering for a bit, I decided to do things a little differently. For one thing, it was going to be vegan, as we do have a vegan in the office and I wanted him to be able to eat it too. Secondly…I was going to do a different recipe that put a little more emphasis on the pumpkin portion of the entree.
So, after some searching I found a recipe that originally came from The Inventive Vegetarian and modified it to fit the ingredients I have (vegan & gluten-free). The end result…was better than I dreamed.
Recipe: Gluten-Free and Vegan Pumpkin Mac and “Cheese”
Time: Prep 15 minutes; Cook 45 minutes
- 1 box elbow macaroni (I used BiAglut Gluten-Free Maccheroncini)
- 2 cups almond milk (I used unsweetened)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
- 2 cups Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds (I prefer the Daiya wedges, so I just shredded an entire Daiya Cheddar Wedge)
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce*
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like heat)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the almond milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it.
In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat and sprinkle in the flour. Whisk for about 2 minutes to create a smooth roux. The mixture should darken slightly during this time.
Still whisking, add the hot almond milk slowly and cook for a minute or two more, until the mixture has thickened. A good way to check is to dip a spoon into the mixture, then run your finger over the back of the spoon. If the mixture does not run into the streak made by your finger, it’s thick and good to go.
Add in the pumpkin puree and stir until smooth. Keep it on the heat for just a minute or two, until the puree is warmed through.
Take the almond milk mixture off the heat and stir in the vegan cheese, soy sauce, and spices. Partially cover and let the mixture sit as the cheese melts.
While waiting for the cheese to melt, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your macaroni. Cook it just shy of al dente (subtract a minute or two from the al dente cooking time on the box). Drain the noodles when they’re done.
Once the cheese has fully melted (it will take a little longer with this stuff than with real cheese), taste and adjust any of the spices, as well as salt and pepper, to your liking. The whole mixture should now have a nice, velvety texture to it. Add the cooked macaroni (and the onions if you’re adding them) and stir well. Pour the whole mixture into a 9×13 baking dish, or a deeper casserole dish.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly.
The difference between this pumpkin mac and cheese and the previous one is the pumpkin flavor is definitely more pronounced in this one. I think that has to do with the seasonings used more than anything. It was creamy and delicious and those who ventured to try it at the office luncheon all said it was really good.
*Now, I do want to note that if you are using real cheese and not making this a vegan recipe…do not add the soy sauce. The soy sauce is basically used as a seasoning for the extra umami that soy cheese needs. Real cheese…you’re good to go without it.
Very impressed with this recipe. If you love pumpkin and mac & cheese…give this one a try.