This mouth-watering Baked Mediterranean mac and cheese has great flavors, plus is vegan and soy-free!
It’s Monday. Womp, woooooomp. But, hey, Terry Hope Romero is doing an Authors Worth Celebrating dinner at Mohawk Bend tonight, and I’m going! Not only will there be awesome food from her book, Salad Samurai but there will also be great company. So much to look forward to!
Even though chances are you’re not going to that dinner, I have something else to brighten up your Monday, this incredible Baked Mediterranean Mac and Cheese! Here we have red onions, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and arugula; basically making this thing delicious by default.
But then, you have a simple, homemade cheese sauce that makes it even better! Not to mention the panko crumb topping, baked to a golden crisp. Mmm… Yes, please! I had my parents try this for dinner one night and despite my mom’s distaste for olives (WHAT?) both very much enjoyed it!
I may have spoiled what one of the upcoming #Returnofthemacmofo recipes are over on the Vegan Yack Attack Facebook, so take a peak and get excited. So many mac ideas flowing this month!
Baked Mediterranean Mac and Cheese
For cheese sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked in boiling water for 15-20 minutes
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
For sauteed ingredients
- 1 tablespoon sunflower or coconut oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup red onion sliced into crescents
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives pitted and halved
- 1 1/2 cups baby arugula
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts quartered
- 1 1/2 tablespoons capers plus extra for topping
- 2 cups macaroni noodles or pasta of choice (gluten-free if necessary)
- Water for boiling
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
For the cheese sauce
Drain the cashews of soaking water, then place them in a high-speed blender along with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Puree until completely smooth and add salt as preferred, minding that the olives and capers are briny. Set aside until noodles are cooked.
For sauteed ingredients
- Warm the oil in a medium-large cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot, then add the garlic and red onions to the pan, sauteeing until the onions start to turn clear.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the onions and saute until the onions are caramelized. Stir in the olives, baby arugula, artichoke hearts and capers and saute until the arugula is wilted slightly. Set the pan aside.
Preheat oven to 350F. Cook pasta in a pot according to the instructions on the package, then drain and return to the same pot.
- Stir the cheese sauce into the noodles, then fold the mac and cheese into the sauteed vegetables in the cast iron pan. Move the mac around until it is flat on top.
Sprinkle the panko crumbs and nutritional yeast over the top of the mac and bake for 10 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden. Top with a few extra capers and serve hot.
Find more mac recipes here: MACARONI MOFO!
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