I promise I have not went vegan on you (at least not yet 😉 but if you can save some calories and still have the taste, why not better your health. The choice is yours…
But 10-ingredient creamy mac ‘n’ cheese is made with a simple eggplant-based cheese sauce! Caramelized onions and toasted breadcrumbs send this dish over the top.
FOR THE PASTA
- 1 small-medium eggplant
- Olive oil
- 1 1/2 yellow onions, sliced in 1/4 inch rings or wedges
- 10 ounces macaroni noodles (GF for gluten free eaters)
- 3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 3/4 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1-2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- Sea Salt
FOR THE TOPPING
- 1/4 cup panko or regular bread crumbs (make sure your brand is vegan)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil (or sub vegan butter)
- Slice eggplant in slightly less than 1/2-inch rounds (but not quite 1/4 inch ) and sprinkle both sides with sea salt. Place in a colander in the sink for 20 minutes to drain moisture and draw out any bitter taste.
- In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil and the onions. Cook 10-12 minutes – stirring every few minutes. Turn down the heat if browning too quickly. Once caramelized, place in a bowl for later.
- Preheat oven to high broil and place an oven rack on the very top rack.
- Start pasta water by bringing a large saucepan 3/4 full of water with 1 Tbsp salt to a boil.
- Rinse eggplant and dry thoroughly. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle both sides with olive oil. Broil on high for 3-4 minutes on EACH side until the eggplant is browned (be careful not to burn, just seriously roasted).
- Remove eggplant from oven and wrap in foil to steam for 5 minutes. Then peel off skin and add to a blender with almond milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch and garlic powder. Start with a pinch of salt and add more as you need.
- Blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, nutritional yeast or garlic powder if desired.
- Once pasta water is boiling, add noodles. Cook according to package instructions, then drain and cover with a towel to keep warm.
- Pour the eggplant sauce into the same saucepan you used to brown the onions and bring to medium heat. Cook to thicken for about 5 minutes. Once bubbling, lower heat to low/simmer and stir occasionally until noodles are ready.
- If topping dish with breadcrumbs, heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil or vegan butter. Than add breadcrumbs and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes until light brown and toasted. Set aside.
- Add drained noodles to the eggplant sauce in the large saucepan, along with half of the caramelized onions and stir to coat. NOTE: If your saucepan is NOT oven safe, transfer the mixture to an oven-safe dish at this time.) Smooth the top with your spatula or spoon and top with remaining caramelized onions and the toasted panko bread crumbs.
- OPTIONAL: Preheat oven to high broil once more and move an oven rack to the 2nd level from the top. Once hot, place macaroni under the broiler to toast for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown on top. BE CAREFUL not to burn as it can go fast. Don’t walk away.
- Remove from oven using an oven mitt and serve immediately. Leftovers don’t tend to reheat well with this dish as the noodles absorb the sauce. Best when fresh.
Serving size: 1/4 of the recipe Calories: 446 Fat: 13g Saturated fat: 1.8g Carbohydrates: 70g Sugar: 6g Sodium: 220mg Fiber: 8g Protein: 11.8g
Source: Minimalist baker.com
Prep time :