Updated: May 30, 2022
I've searched far and wide.....until I created my own.
Okay, here we go.
What you'll need:
2 cups uncooked elbow pasta
1/2 cup raw cashews soaked (2 options for soaking): Soak overnight in a bowl of warm water, then drain; or Place cashews in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover with lid, and remove from heat. Allow cashews to soak for 15 minutes, then drain
2 1/4 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (my go-to is unsweetened soy)
1 stick (8 tbs) of vegan butter (I always keep Earth Balance in the refrigerator)
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (I use Violife, as the texture is smooth and melts easily)
3 cups vegan shredded cheddar cheese (Violife is my favorite shredded cheese)
1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (I use Follow Your Heart)
Creole seasoning (if you do a Google search, you may already have seasonings in your cupboard to make this)
Makes about 4-5 servings
Set oven to 350 degrees.
Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente (you don't want your pasta to become mushy and overcooked while baking). Drain.
Prepare cashew cream: Place drained cashews in blender, and add 1/4 cup water (I use the individual cup that comes with my Ninja blender). Blend. Add 3 tsp water; blend; add 3 tsp water; blend; add 3 tsp water; blend for a final time. You want to gradually add extra water in as you blend. Your cashew cream should be smooth, with no chunks (see the video above). Set aside.
Bring your milk to a gentle boil in a large pot until reduced to 1 cup, about 20 minutes.
Add butter to pot, and let melt.
Add cream cheese.
Add cheddar and parmesan cheese.
Whisk until everything is melted and smooth.
Lightly season with seasoned salt, creole seasoning, and black pepper.
Add 1/2 cup of your cashew cream.
Whisk to mix.
Add cooked elbow macaroni, place in oven-safe dish, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Cashew Cream Notes
Store remaining cashew cream in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (up to 3 months in the freezer). You can use leftover cashew cream as salad dressing, sauce, coffee creamer, etc. If storing in the freezer, store in freezer-safe, airtight container for best flavor (you can also freeze in ice cube trays, then transfer them over to a freezer-safe, airtight container). When ready to use, just add water for the consistency you enjoy.
For those with nut allergies: be on the look-out for a nut-free alternative to this recipe, with the same great taste