Cheesy Thermos Pasta - Vegan

Sep 23, 2013

thermos mac n cheese vegan

This is the most sought after lunch choice in our home lately.   Who doesn't love a little homemade mac n cheese? Except this recipe doesn't have any cheese...  So you can please the vegans, the lactose intolerant, and the kids all at once!   One step closer to world peace.

So you all want to know how cheesy no-cheese pasta can be right?  Well, not exactly like mac n cheese.  A taste hybrid between cheese and alfredo sauce.  Really creamy alfredo sauce.  It's all about the sauce.  My friend makes it but replaces the pasta with rice which has her kids clamoring for "cheesy rice".

The original recipe I found over at VegNews.  I've made just a few alterations to make it more straightforward and I've doubled it.   The recipe is versatle.  I've added less cashews, more potatoes, or forgotten the oil and it still works great.

 thermos mac n cheese vegan

Cheesy Thermos Pasta
Adapted from VegNews
Serves 10


2 shallots
2 large or 3 medium red or yellow potatoes (not russet)
2 carrots
1 yellow onion
2 cups water

1/2 cup raw cashews, preferably pre-soaked and drained*
1 garlic clove, minced
2 TB extra virgin olive oil**
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB salt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 16 oz package small shell pasta

* The cashews do not have to be soaked but it does aid in digestion and nutrient absorption.  Simply soak the cashews in room temperature water for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

** Non-vegans can replace the oil with butter for a richer taste if desired.  I like it both ways.


Peel and chop shallots, potatoes, carrots, and onion.  Place in a covered saucepan with the 2 cups water and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender.  Set aside to cool slightly.

While vegetables cool cook pasta according to package directions and drain.

Meanwhile, place the rest of the ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth adding some of the liquid from the cooked vegetables as needed.  Finally, add in the vegetables with the remaining water and blend until smooth.  Pay close attention not to burn yourself if the vegetables are still hot.  Depending on the size of you blender you may need to process the sauce in batches.

Pour sauce over cooked pasta.  Stir and serve.

Serving suggestions:  This recipe fills a 9X13 pan.  If you are having company over put it in a pan and bake it at 350 until bubbly.    If it's just you and a couple kids, put half in an 8X8 pan to bake that night for dinner and save the other half for tomorrow's lunch thermoses.  The pasta does not have to be baked.  It's just more casserole like that way.   I don't bake it for the thermoses.  I just heat and pack.  Furthermore, if you are ultra picky about leftovers you could make the sauce ahead of time and cook the pasta fresh in the morning.  I think it tastes great leftover though.

Air travel, car travel, down the street to the park travel. Healthy food to pack no matter how you picnic.

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