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Quick and Easy Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Mac ’n’ Cheese

Serves 4 | Ready in 30 minutes

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    Tip: Over the top

    Play around with whatever toppings strike your fancy. The dish is shown here with hemp hearts, fresh thyme sprigs and extra strips of roasted bell pepper, but you can also try other chopped herbs, extra nutritional yeast or crumbled tempeh.

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    Quick and Easy Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Mac ’n’ Cheese

    Ingredients

    • 8 oz macaroni or shell pasta of choice (whole grain or gluten-free)
    • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
    • 3/4 cup roasted bell pepper (homemade or store-bought)
    • 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 2 Tbsp white miso or 1 1/2 Tbsp brown or red miso
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/8 tsp black pepper

    Nutrition

    Per serving:

    • calories204
    • protein9g
    • fat8g
    • carbs26g
      • sugar3g
      • fiber4g
    • sodium473mg

    Directions

    01

    Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta of choice and cook according to package instructions.

    02

    While pasta cooks, transfer cashews, roasted peppers, garlic, onion powder, nutritional yeast, miso, lemon, salt and pepper to blender, along with 1/3 cup water. Blend until smooth, adding 1 to 2 Tbsp extra water if sauce is overly thick or difficult to blend (should be about the texture of alfredo sauce). Taste sauce and add salt and pepper as desired.

    03

    When pasta is ready, drain and fold in sauce (you may not use all of it; if you have some left over, it can be thinned and used as salad dressing!). Divide pasta onto plates and add desired toppings. Serve. Leftover sauce will keep for up to 5 days in airtight container in fridge.

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    Like this recipe?

    This recipe is part of the Perfectly Simple Summer Meals collection.

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    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.