(This post is sponsored. I received compensation to write this post but all opinions and ideas are mine alone.)
What’s for dinner? How about this Vegan Italian Mac and Cheese that you can prep on the weekend and place in the oven just 10 minutes before serving? If your family loves a hearty pasta dish but is looking for something new to add to the mix, this recipe is for you.
There are a few steps to this Italian Mac and Cheese, but I promise it’s worth it! It starts by roasting a head of garlic, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms in a balsamic vinaigrette. While that’s doing its thing in the oven, boil and cook your pasta. While the pasta cooks, crumble some vegan Italian sausage into a skillet.
The creamy garlic “cheese” sauce is a quick blend of the roasted garlic, cashews and just a few other ingredients. Once the vegetables, pasta and sausage are done, transfer it all into a baking pan and pour the sauce over it. Give it a nice stir and pop it in the oven for just 10 minutes to heat through. With only 10 minutes in the oven, you can see why this is an easy weeknight meal pleaser if you assemble it all on the weekend. Bon appetit!
Vegan Italian Mac & Cheese
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 55 minutes
6 ounces cremini mushrooms
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 head (12 cloves) + 6 cloves garlic, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ pound cavatappi
14 ounces vegan Italian sausage
1 cup vegetable broth
½ cup raw, unsalted cashews (Soak overnight if not using a high-speed blender.)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- Set the Digital Toshiba Convection oven to “Roast” at 400ºF.
- Clean and cut the mushrooms in quarters.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, thyme and pepper. Stir in the mushrooms and tomatoes, mixing well so that everything is coated. Transfer to a baking dish with the marinade.
- Place the peeled cloves of 1 garlic head in a piece of foil and wrap it into a ball. Place it in a baking dish along with the vegetables. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring the vegetables every 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- While the pasta and vegetables cook, in a medium skillet cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spoon. (You may need to chop the sausage depending on the firmness of the product.)
- When the garlic is done roasting, prepare the sauce: In a high-speed blender, combine the roasted garlic, vegetable broth, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
- When the pasta is done cooking, add the pasta and sausage to the pan with the mushrooms and tomatoes. Stir well to combine and pour the sauce on top. Mix well.
- Set the Digital Toshiba Convection oven to “Bake” and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with the fresh basil.