Stovetop mac and cheese: This dish is so good you may want to make it when the kids are not around

We encourage you to make extra sauce and eat it with broccoli, or bake potatoes, or your fingers . . .

Published June 16, 2019 4:30AM (EDT)


Excerpted with permission from Compassionate Cuisine: 125 Plant-Based Recipes from Our Vegan Kitchen by Linda Soper-Kolton, Sara Boan, and Kathy Stevens. Copyright 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. 

Selected as one of PETA's must-have vegan cookbooks of 2019, Compassionate Cuisine tells the story of one of the country’s oldest and most respected animal sanctuaries—Catskill Animal Sanctuary—through its food. With humor and heart, Chefs Linda Soper-Kolton and Sara Boan bring the Sanctuary’s vegan culinary program to the page through an array of 125 recipes intended to inspire and delight.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary, located in Saugerties, New York, is a 148-acre refuge for farmed animals rescued from cruelty, neglect, and abandonment. Today, it is one of the world’s most beloved sanctuaries, having saved over 4,000 farm animals through direct rescue, and exponentially more through groundbreaking programming that encourages humans to adopt veganism.

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Chef Linda: For many people considering a plant-based diet, it’s not the meat but the cheese they can’t imagine living without. Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret . . . you don’t have to live without it!

Take this mac and cheese recipe—it’s simple and economical, and it uses everyday ingredients, so you can dig into this creamy family-favorite anytime you want. Our approach is deceptively delicious: carrots, potatoes, and chickpeas are blended to silky-smooth perfection, and, together with few additional ingredients, they create a sauce that is undeniably cheesy.

This dish is so good you may want to make it when the kids are not around. We encourage you to make extra sauce and eat it with broccoli, or bake potatoes, or your fingers . . .

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Recipe: Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Serves 6 to 8

Allergens: Contains ingredients that may contain gluten and soy. Nut parmesan contains nuts.

Special Equipment: Blender and food processor

 Make Ahead: Nut parmesan can be made several days in advance.


Cheese Sauce:

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped, about 2 heaping cups
  • 2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed, about 2 heaping cups
  • ½ medium onion, roughly chopped, about ½ cup
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsps vegan butter
  • 2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 2 tsps yellow mustard
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste


  • 1 pound elbow or shell macaroni, regular or gluten-free
  • Salt

Nut Parmesan:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, walnuts, or Brazil nuts
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ tsp salt


1. To make the cheese sauce, place carrots, pota­toes, onion, garlic, and butter in a small pot and cover with milk. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully pour into the blender. Add the chick­peas, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, mustard, turmeric, and salt. Do not blend right away. Let the mixture cool while you start the macaroni.

2. Boil the macaroni in salted water, according to package directions.

3. Blend the cheese sauce for about 1½ minutes, until smooth and glossy. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if you like.

4. To make the nut parmesan, put all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

5. When the pasta is done, drain and return it to the pot. Add most of the cheese sauce and stir to combine. It will seem very saucy, but the pasta will absorb the sauce as it sits. Serve immediately, drizzled with additional sauce and garnished with nut parmesan. Store the remaining nut par­mesan in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one month. Extra sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days or frozen for up to six months.


By Linda Soper-Kolton

Selected as one of PETA's must-have vegan cookbooks of 2019, Compassionate Cuisine tells the story of one of the country's oldest and most respected animal sanctuaries-Catskill Animal Sanctuary-through its food.

MORE FROM Linda Soper-Kolton

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