Vegan Poblano Macaroni and Cheese
Making this plant-based dish might become a new holiday tradition in your house — and the recipe is fast and easy enough to become part of your weeknight rotation as well. It’s not your average macaroni and cheese as it has no actual cheese, but its creamy cashew sauce, stained green from smoky fire-roasted poblano chiles, is guaranteed to turn heads. The end result is sure to be piled high on everyone’s plates. To get vegetarian recipes like this one delivered to your inbox, sign up for The Veggie newsletter.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1cup raw cashews
- 1pound russet potatoes (about 3 medium), scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 3ounces carrot (1 medium), scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 10ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 ½ cups)
- 10ounces poblano (or pasilla) peppers (2 medium)
- 1medium jalapeño (optional)
- ⅓cup nutritional yeast
Step 1Add the cashews to a small bowl and cover with hot tap water to soak for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Step 2Meanwhile, combine the potatoes and carrot in a medium pot with 4 cups water, salt liberally, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until the vegetables are fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve 1½ cups of the cooking liquid, then drain.
Step 3While the potatoes and carrots cook, bring 8 cups water in a medium pot to a boil over high. Salt liberally, add the elbow pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot.
Step 4While the potatoes and pasta cook, char the chiles: Place the poblano chiles and jalapeño, if using, directly on the grate of a gas burner and turn the heat to high. Cook, using heatproof tongs to turn the chiles so they blister and blacken on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Remove the stems and seeds and discard, then slice the chiles and set aside a few for garnish.
Step 5Working in batches if necessary, blend the potatoes, carrot, cashews, chiles, nutritional yeast and the reserved potato cooking water until smooth. Taste and season with salt. Add the sauce to the pasta and stir to coat. Turn the heat to low and let sit for about 5 minutes so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Serve hot, garnished with the reserved chiles.