February 10, 2011

Mac & Shews

by IsaChandra

Serves 8
Time: 1 hour || Active time: 30 minutes

I don’t think vegans ever get sick of Mac & Cheese, or, “Cheeze” or whatever. One of the first recipes I ever tried was from one of my all time favorites, the New Farm Cookbook. It was great for me back then because I always had a ton of people over, and you could make it for a crowd at the drop of a hat. So if you were all sitting around watching Evil Dead 2 on repeat, it was only a matter of time before a magical pot of Mac & Cheese would appear and swallow your soul.

That recipe is still the prototype for many a vegan Mac & Cheese recipe: lots of nooch, garlic, onions and, wait, what’s that? Half a cup of margarine?! This was the 80s and so it wasn’t even non-hydrogenated margarine. It was the real deal – a bright yellow log of pure processed fat. Today we have less ungodly ingredients to work with, but still, I can’t shake the feeling that when I eat those types of Mac & Cheese, I’m eating melted margarine.

So I’ve been toying with different ingredients for the past few years and I’ll probably continue to mess around with it. It’s all about developing flavor and creaminess with ingredients that are still really accessible and really delicious, but also way less processed, and, well really real.

To keep things from being one note, I wanted to build flavor with a few simple methods and ingredients. Like all great Mac & Cheese recipes, this one begins with a roux. Flour is cooked in olive oil, lending a toasty flavor and giving the finished sauce extra body and creaminess. If you’ve never made a roux before then this will be a great skill to add to your repertoire! And speaking of creaminess, cashews are given their standard vegan treatment: a long soak in water and then a horrifying (for them) trip in the food processor, to be pureed until they’re silky smooth.

So I’ve been playing with various ratios and ingredients, and it always comes out good and creamy, but I wanted something different, tangier, more interesting. Cheese is aged, giving it flavor and nuance. There’s always mustard (an ingredient even in the New Farm recipe), miso, lemon…but I hit upon an ingredient that really gave me the depth I was looking for…sauerkraut! Since the average home cook (myself included) isn’t really set up for aging stuff, I wanted something that’s already fermented, and sauerkraut really works.

This mac is my favorite yet! (But that still doesn’t stop me from adding some Frank’s Red Hot.) And of course I don’t totally break with tradition, I used a little turmeric and a touch of nutritional yeast for that telltale yellow that tells you you’re eating “cheeze” not “cheese.”

Recipe notes:
~You really need to blend the beejeezus out of the cashews and sauerkraut. Although it won’t be completely creamy until after it’s cooked, it should still be relatively smooth, with absolutely no chunks, when it comes out of the food processor. I think a Vitamix type thing would work here, too, but I don’t have one myself.

~Make sure that the roux is cooked and toasty before streaming in the veggie broth. It really makes a difference in the final flavor, so get your roux a really beautiful gravy color.

~You can use any smallish pasta. I love to use chiocciole because it can hold plenty of sauce, and I just find the shape pleasing. Small shells or traditional macaroni are both great choices, too.

~To soak cashews, just place them in a bowl and submerge with water. Soak for at least an hour, preferably two, or up to overnight.

~And lastly, the type of veggie broth you use makes a huge difference. If I use my own homemade broth, I make sure it’s super assertive. If you use the type of broth that comes from a powder or concentrate, that is totally cool, just make it a bit stronger than you usually do.

1 lb small pasta like shells, macaroni or chiocciole

1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked (see recipe note)
4 cups broth, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 cups sauerkraut

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon tumeric
Several dashes fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

First boil salted water for the pasta. Cook pasta and drain. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the recipe.

Place the soaked cashews and 2 cups of the vegetable broth in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the food processor with a spatula occasionally to make sure you get everything. This could take 5 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat a large pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic and a pinch of salt in a tablespoon of the oil, until onions are softened.

Drain the sauerkraut in a sieve, pushing it into the sieve to remove as much moisture as possible. Add to the pan just to heat through, a minute or two.

Transfer sauerkraut mixture to the food processor with the cashew mixture. Once again, puree until relatively smooth. There will be some texture, just make sure it’s not chunky.

Wipe out the pan that you sauteed the onions in and preheat it over medium heat once again. Add 3 tablespoons of oil, along with the flour. It should become a gooey clump. You’re now making a roux! Add a little bit more olive oil if necessary. Toast the roux for about 15 minutes, until it smells toasty and turns a medium brown. Stir practically the whole time so that it cooks evenly.

Now stream in remaining 2 cups of broth, whisking constantly so that it doesn’t clump. Whisk until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes.

Stream in the cashew sauerkraut mixture, and whisk until well incorporated. Add the tumeric, black pepper, nutritional yeast if using, salt and fresh lemon juice. Heat through and stir occasionally, allowing the mixture to thicken.

Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease an 11 x 13 casserole with olive oil.

Add the cooked pasta back to the pasta pot and pour in the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper. Mix to coat, then transfer to the casserole dish. Cover casserole with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve hot!



  • February 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm: Lauren

    Yes! So good! I’m so excited you posted the recipe!

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm: Desdemona

    Chiocciole is the bomb for mac & “cheese.” Thanks for sharing this new approach; I’ll give it a try next time!

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm: Drea

    Thank you for creating this recipe! As someone who can’t eat soy or yeast, I’d given-up on finding a good cheezy sauce. This sounds amazing (I love saurkraut!), I’ll have to try it tonight!

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm: Patty

    Sauerkraut?? OK, I trust you.

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm: Kim

    I can’t wait to try this one!

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm: Sam Wibatt

    Do you have a recommendation for a sauerkraut recipe or a brand of prepared sauerkraut? I don’t have much experience with it but would like to try these Mac & Shews. Thanks!

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm: Stephanie Brown

    Suddenly I’m so glad I have a jar of sauerkraut in my pantry. I was wondering what your secret ingredient was going to be!

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm: katiejayne

    Stupid cashew allergy getting in the way of enjoying tasty mac cheeziness.

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm: Ashley

    What do you suggest using instead of cashews? I’m allergic to cashews unfortunately. :(

    • February 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm: IsaChandra

      You can try slivered almonds, but they don’t get as creamy.

  • February 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm: Maria

    Isa I agree with you the new farm cookbook is one of my favorites cookbooks,
    along with all your books which I very much enjoy. The new farm’s recipe uses half a cup of oil
    but one and a half cups of cashews in a pound of pasta scare me too!
    Have you tried to make this recipe with just half a cup of cashews? Or do you think it would be good?
    I really like your idea with cashews but maybe make it with a smaller cashews amount?

    • February 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm: IsaChandra

      I’m not sure what scares you about 1 1/2 cups of cashews? They are a whole food with nutrients and minerals. This recipe serves 8 so it’s not even 1/4 cup of ‘shews per person. But of course you can try it with less.

  • February 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm: Kristine

    I trust you too but I HATE sauerkraut… Is it sauerkraut ish?

    • February 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm: IsaChandra

      I don’t know, don’t make it if you don’t like sauerkraut. I can’t be in everyone’s tastebuds so it’s really up to your own judgment.

  • February 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm: Karen R.

    Sauerkraut, what an awesome idea! I am totally trying this. I love that you don’t own a Vitamix…just love it. As I don’t either! Not that I don’t want to own one, but so many veggie gurus have one and proclaim it as a must. Thank you, Isa!

    P.S. Just ordered Appetite for Reduction. Can’t wait until it arrives!

  • February 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm: Denise

    I bet that shiz is f’ing delicous. I recently made a mac N cheez with similar ingredients, minus the kraut and it was AMAZEBALLS. Thanks for posting!

  • February 10, 2011 at 6:05 pm: Crystal/paprikapapaya

    DUDE. I’m gonna make this on the weekend. Damnnnn. I’d love it if the tanginess of sauerkraut shines through. Cant wait!

  • February 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm: Maria

    thanks Isa for your reply :)
    I loooove cashews
    I would be scared for 1.5 cups of cashews since
    a pound of pasta for me would be a meal for 4 not 8…
    it is an issue of portion control though ….
    I will definitely try it; the sauercarut idea is great too :)

    • February 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm: IsaChandra

      Oh, ok, well this was really really filling with all the sauce and stuff, and serve with some broccoli, then I bet 1/8th of the recipe would be enough! Or try 1 cup cashews.

  • February 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm: Angel

    You are the best about sharing recipes. If you mention some food you made, it’s really likely that we’ll end up with the recipe a couple days later. And I appreciate that, wholly. Thank you!

  • February 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm: Chickpea

    This is crazy pants. Last night I wanted Alfreda from VwaV and didn’t have pinenuts so I used cashews instead. It was delicious of course, so creamy and mild. I thought, this could be tweaked into mac somehow, I know it. And then the clouds parted, I signed on my laptop the next day, and there by the grace of nooch Isa shared this recipe. Sauerkraut is GENIUS, I cannot wait to try this.

  • February 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm: Steph

    Interesting . . . I’m a saurkraut hater. I wonder if I could find room in my kraut-hating heart to try this.

  • February 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm: Nebraskalaska

    So excited to try this! Sauerkraut! Brilliant!

  • February 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm: Jojo

    This looks awesome, I love creamy cashew based sauces. I’ve never eaten sauerkraut before but I think this’d be a great way to try it!

  • February 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm: Mo

    I’m about to make this right now. In the ingredients it says the veg broth is divided. In the directions, it says to add the veg broth with the cashews. Should that say 2 cups of the broth?

  • February 10, 2011 at 7:22 pm: Henry

    What do you do with the onions and garlic that you have sauteed?
    Is it blended into cashew/sauerkraut mix?
    Or is it tossed with the sauce and the pasta before baking?

  • February 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm: Bianca-Vegan Crunk

    I just made the mac & cheese from Happy Herbivore last night…had the leftovers for lunch and wishing I could have seconds. I love your idea of adding sauerkraut….just one more reason you’re the goddess of veganism. :-)

  • February 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm: Anita

    Sauerkraut?!?! Sign me up.

    This sounds amazing and I can not wait to try it. I have been avoiding soy for the past few months, so this will probably go into heavy rotation in my dinner repertoire!

  • February 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm: Jen

    This looks awesome! I’ve noticed melomeals posted a bunch of different cheezes on the Food Porn forum using sauerkraut. Looks like it’s gonna be the new hot thing for bringing that tangy quality to vegan cheese!

  • February 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm: Mo

    Holy balls, Isa! I just tasted the sauce before I put it in the oven! So frickin GOOD!

  • February 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm: Laura

    Do you taste the sauerkraut? I HATE sauerkraut.. but kind of want to try the recipe anyway. :)

  • February 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm: Aj

    may be a stupid question but the cashews raw or do you toast them first?

    • February 11, 2011 at 1:18 am: IsaChandra

      They work raw or roasted. I don’t roast them, just buy em that way.

  • February 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm: SaraJane

    This is awesome. I actually have a jar of sauerkraut in the fridge that I’ve been trying to find a use for. I am totally making this over the weekend. And maybe I’ll even put on Evil Dead 2 with it. :)

  • February 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm: Danielle

    My mind mistook sauerkraut for cole slaw and I was very confused.

  • February 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm: Darlene

    YUM! An anecdote for those of you who hate sauerkraut but are still willing to try:

    I hated, I mean H-A-T-E-D tarragon before I tried the recipe Lotsa Veggies Lentil Soup in AfR. I hesitated when I saw the dreaded herb, but then reasoned, if anyone could change my mind about tarragon (ack, phooey) as an ingredient, it’s Isa! Well, needless to say: Best. Soup. Ever. In fact, the second time I made it, I ran out of zucchini so I substituted chopped fennel root to highlight the anise-y flavor of the tarragon! Thank you, Isa, for expanding my flavor horizons. :o)

  • February 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm: Darlene

    That was meant to be a smiley face not an “oh no” face.

  • February 10, 2011 at 11:49 pm: nino

    Maccheroni….no macaroni….it looks delicious….

  • February 10, 2011 at 11:57 pm: Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day

    Sauerkraut is such a great ingredient! I love using it to culture nut cheese too.

    Try it in a cashew cream frosting.. it’s so good and you can laugh knowing that your guests are eating sauerkraut on their cake.

    • February 11, 2011 at 1:20 am: IsaChandra

      Wow, you did sauerkraut, too? That is too funny. Have you tried a chocolate sauerkraut cake? I remember that being amazing.

  • February 11, 2011 at 12:53 am: mike desert

    This sounds very interesting, but if I don’t like mac & cheese can I make something else? What do you suggest?

    • February 11, 2011 at 1:16 am: IsaChandra

      Hmm, let’s see, do you like apples? Have an apple.

  • February 11, 2011 at 3:22 am: Andrea

    I almost skipped this post in my news feed because I’ve got a bunch of vegan mac ‘n’ cheese recipes in my collection. This could be the only one I need, though. I’m glad to find a vegan mac and cheese that doesn’t rely on nutritional yeast. I rarely like nutritional yeast and don’t agree that it tastes like “cheese”, no matter how many vegan books try to convince me that it does. (Different taste buds, perhaps.) I do, however, have a vegan alfredo recipe that’s cashew based. I’m intrigued by the sauerkraut idea.

    I’ll try this the next time I’m in the mood for a vegan mac ‘n’ cheese. Thanks for posting it.

  • February 11, 2011 at 3:51 am: Gabrielle

    I can’t wait to try this, thank you so much for sharing!

  • February 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm: Angela

    Wow this looks AMAZING and I LOVE LOVE LOVE saurkraut which I usually just eat right out of the jar so it will be great to actually do something with it :-) Just got AfR as well so will get stuck into that this weekend as well.
    Thanks for another amazing recipe :-)

  • February 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm: Maija Haavisto

    Interesting. I wonder if umeboshi could be used to a similar effect? Some “uncheese” recipes contain it for this reason (and I already happen to have ume vinegar…)

  • February 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm: Eva

    Uhoh… no I have to find out if they have Sauerkraut at all in France ;-) Sounds really interesting!

  • February 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm: SallyT

    I made this last night since I have been jonesin for some good mac. I did not tell my family about any of the ingredients because they generally don’t like vegan mac and cheezy recipes. I am happy to say that everyone liked it! Not a single complaint. I’m the mom of 2 teenagers. A meal without a complaint is a small miracle. I think I could detect the kraut since I knew it was in there but no one else seemed to think about it in the least.

    Thanks for the recipe, Isa!

  • February 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm: kelsey

    my friend and i made this (very labor intensive!) and it’s fantastic. i am not a fan of sauerkraut at all but the end result is great. we added truffle oil, smoked paprika, and tempeh bacon.

    (and lots of sriracha!).

    YUMMMMMM!

  • February 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm: Melissa

    I stink at the pureeing of the cashews. Is there a trick to it? The smoothest I could get it still have tiny little niblets of cashew. Everything else seemed to go well and according to the recipe, but my pan definitely is not the same consistency/texture as the picture. Any tips for how I can get a smoother consistency on the cashews? The flavor was delicious. My 4 year old who refuses to eat pretty much anything I give to him asked for more, so that was a positive sign!!

    • February 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm: IsaChandra

      You just have to do it for a long time until it’s smooth and make sure you soak them first. No trick to it, just patience!

  • February 12, 2011 at 3:59 pm: amee

    @kelsey: good call on the truffle oil and smoked paprika. nice way to tweek something good into something gooder. my husband and i love “Bubbie’s” sauerkraut. it doesn’t have vinegar, however. might have to add a splash to the sauce to give it the true sauerkraut zip.

  • February 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm: katie

    This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing! I’m so excited to try it tonight.
    And depending on how the sauce turns out I’m hoping to tweak it in the future to make vegan scalloped potatoes – my other seriously missed cheesy comfort food.
    Thanks Isa! You rock!

    PS I love your responses to the ridiculous comments :)

  • February 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm: Miranda

    Well, my current fave veg M&C involves combining soy sauce, soy milk, noosh, mustard and well, it seems like a bad idea until you taste it all blended together! So based on that and previous experience with the awesomeness that is the PPK and Ms. Chandra, I’m gonna take a deep breath and try this. Today. Saurkraut. Would never have thought of it. xD
    Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m a little nervous, but I can’t wait to try it. (Aw just realized I can’t make it immediately because of cashew soaking. Tomorrow then! I have a potluck tomorrow anyway.)

  • February 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm: katy

    this has renewed my love for sauerkraut!
    awesome : )

  • February 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm: Hanne D

    That was sooooo good! My hubby hates sauerkraut but loved this! And so does my two-year-old. Now she won’t be nagging me for grandmothers mac&(real)cheese anymore! though next time I’m thinking of addingsome vegetables. I’m thinking steamed broccoli would go nice with it… can’t wait till next saturday.. maybe i’ll make that mac and shews night!
    Thanks again.

    • February 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm: IsaChandra

      Yes, steamed broccoli is an awesome addition. I like to steam really lightly and it the broc in a layer inside the casserole. So add half the pasta, then the broc then the rest of the pasta on top and bake as usual.

  • February 13, 2011 at 7:02 pm: Anni

    I’m excited to try this – cashew cream has long been one of my favorite bases. It’s amazing in lasagna too! my favorite is kale lasagna with a cashew/artichoke cream.

  • February 14, 2011 at 12:57 am: Andy

    This is really interesting. I’ll admit, I was really disappointed when I tasted the sauce before baking; I’d put so much faith in the crazy sauerkraut idea. But now that I have it in front of me, with every bite I’m more and more excited. It’s not perfect, I don’t think (though I didn’t toast the roux very long and forgot to soak the cashews), but I’m having a flashback to a hazy memory at an Italian restaurant. This is good. I’ll be trying it again. Maybe with more nooch? Some roasted garlic?

  • February 14, 2011 at 1:01 am: Andy

    Oh, I think I figured it out. There’s a distinctly ricotta vibe goin’ on here. This could be interesting…

  • February 14, 2011 at 1:45 am: Laura in Taos

    Unfortunately during preparation, my 25 y/o Regal La Machine (which is not made any more – and I know why) had a tantrum and lost a fair amount of the creme through various crevices. No matter, threw it into my $40 crappy HB blender, added some macadamia nuts I had leftover to fill in and it was all good. (Vitamix & Cuisinart FP on wish list for b’day).

    I *love* that this has no Earth Balance in it. What’s the function of the sauerkraut? I didn’t taste it in there, but was thrilled with how it came out. Husband liked it better than my normal go to mac & cheese. Thanks again for another kick-ass recipe.

  • February 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm: Liz

    I used sauerkraut in a mac and cheese for an old Food Network Friday, but not for the same reasons as you, we were veganizing this http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/reuben-mac-n-cheese-recipe2/index.html Matthew thought the stringy bits of kraut were melty stringy cheese! I can’t wait to see how it works blended in.

  • February 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm: Susie Fricker

    Tried it last night and loved, loved it! So creamy and yummy. The addition of saurkraut was truly inspired as it gives it the tangy, cheezy taste and added fiber and antioxidants. I think if I didn’t know I would not think that there was kraut in the casserole. Thanks Isa!!

  • February 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm: Deb

    SO GOOD!! Thank you Isa, this is a fabulous recipe!

  • February 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm: SaraJane

    Okay, so I made this last night. Isa, you rule. I mean, damn. Holy hell this was so good my boyfriend and I each had thirds. Yowza. We had steamed broccoli and hot sauce with ours, too. Yummy. I think the sauerkraut is the ingredient vegan mac and cheese has been missing all its life.

  • February 15, 2011 at 12:43 am: Gabrielle

    Isa, this stuff is fucking awesome. Valentine’s Day mac and shews with maple pecan pie is the best idea I’ve ever stolen from you.

  • February 15, 2011 at 1:05 am: Miranda

    I made it, everyone said it was good (I did take it to the potluck, the omni potluck!). But… It just wasn’t right. Then I added some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. I really think that completes it, at least for me. Next time you make it set aside a bite or two and try it with a little liquid aminos. Other than that little tweak (well and some curry powder, but that’s just how I make everything) it was really great!

  • February 15, 2011 at 1:56 am: Allison Dubya

    OMG this was the shit!

    My husband and I LOVED it, devoured it, and all but made love to it…

    This is the most incredible mac and cheese I have ever eaten in my life, vegan or pre-vegan. My sauerkraut-phobic hubby ate like three quarters of a casserole dish of this stuff of his day off while I was at work. Hat’s off, Isa! You’ve done it again! :-)

  • February 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm: Megan

    aw, snap! The rumors are true: this is amazing. I don’t think sauerkraut haters will detect the kraut-ness (in response to some of the above comments.) I too was a Farm Cookbook loyalist and was making their full-fat recipe for many years before discovering some lower fat versions.

    We’re holding the inaugural Baltimore Vegan Supper Club at mi casa in March. It’s going to be soul food themed, and this is definitely going to be on the menu.

  • February 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm: Jenna

    This sounds amazing, I can’t wait to try it! I’m a sauerkraut lover, so this sounds right up my alley. Your comment about the broth was interesting, as I’ve been making some of my own lately, but find it hard to gauge how flavorful or assertive it is. Any tips on that or would you care to share your broth recipe?

  • February 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm: Dan

    I made this and it was so incredibly good. Can’t believe it is missing all that fat. Cheers.

    • February 18, 2011 at 5:42 am: IsaChandra

      It still has a lot of fat, just not the gross kind!

  • February 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm: Mel

    I was a little scared of this, not being a sauerkraut fan, but holy crap it’s amazing! Tastes like a vintage cheddar. I’m throwing out my other mac ‘n cheese recipes.

  • February 17, 2011 at 10:42 pm: katherine

    Decided to try the vegan challenge for one week. This recipe was my first try at vegan cooking and WOW! I would devour this even if I wasn’t trying to go vegan. I didn’t use all the sauce, it was a little much. I also topped with vegan bread crumbs which gave it a nice little crunch. I will definitely be making this one again. Mmmmm

  • February 18, 2011 at 7:35 am: Elaine Benis

    Recipe looks interesting, I will try it one of these days. One question — use raw cashews?

    • February 18, 2011 at 3:40 pm: IsaChandra

      Don’t use roasted, but they don’t have to explicitly say “raw” on them. Whatever is at the bulk bins should be fine.

  • February 19, 2011 at 12:27 am: Deanna Woods

    Hi!!

    This was a badass recipe…SO GOOD. I just made it today; added a little Smoked Hungarian Paprika (actually like 1 TBSP) and a couple drops of liquid smoke and it was killer. Very similar to mac ‘n cheese made with gouda…nice and smoky.

    PS I love Veganomicon!!! I use it all the time.

  • February 19, 2011 at 4:02 am: Erica

    I was so excited to make this… and then disasters struck. Yes, multiple kitchen catastrophes occurred while making this. Of course, they were all operator-error and had nothing to do with the recipe.

    The upside is that this turned out so well! I have never like mac and cheese or mac and “cheese” but I could not get enough of this. Totally worth the major clean-up (nobody wreaks havoc in a kitchen quite like me!).

  • February 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm: Leila

    Oh my god. The mac ‘n’ shews are in the oven now (with a layer of broccoli), and OH MY GOD. We had to save a few bites of mac and sauce to eat while it’s cooking because otherwise it never would have made it into the oven. Thank you for once again revolutionizing vegan cooking.

  • February 20, 2011 at 5:13 am: Beth

    An ingredient I use in my cheezy sauces to give them that fermented/aged edge is fermented bean curd, which comes in jars and you can find in asian markets. Try it!

  • February 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm: Amanda

    I just made this for lunch. Couldn’t even get it in the oven….just eating spoonfuls right out of the casserole dish. This is fantastic. And the sauerkraut is absolutely necessary. Yes…..this!!!!

  • February 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm: Michele B

    I have yet to attempt a vegan mac & cheese. This recipe is definitely the most intriguing I have seen. I may just have to try it :)

  • February 20, 2011 at 11:08 pm: Get Skinny, Go Vegan.

    Um, yum!! I love the cashew sauce on raw pasta but some nights just really want cooked rice pasta, goes better with a glass of Frey wine. Also, cashews don’t have the same packaging as Daiya Cheeze!

  • February 21, 2011 at 12:52 am: Suzie

    Had this tonight along with some Buffalo ‘fu (used the marinade from A. F. R.) and steamed broccoli. You can’t really taste that it’s sauerkraut at all. It’s super yummy! Very reminiscent of the baked mac’n'cheese I used to make with lots of “real” sharp cheddar way back when. We loved it! We have tons (and tons, and TONS) of leftovers. The 8-person serving size is very generous, especially if you serve it as a side dish. We’ll be taking leftovers to school (hubby and I are both in college full-time) at least twice this week, and I’ll be able to put a couple of servings in the freezer as well. I will definitely make this again. Might add more nooch (we really love the nooch in this house) and maybe even a little more kraut.

    Thanks Isa for the recipe! It’s delish!

  • February 21, 2011 at 1:38 am: Quark

    I’ve never really liked Mac & Cheeze (not a huge nooch fan), but this recipe is awesome! My spouse (vegetarian), my mother-in-law (cheese allergy), and some omnis all ate and enjoyed it. They said it didn’t taste like cheese but was really yummy (to me, it tasted a LOT like cheese).

    Thank you so much, Isa! I haven’t enjoyed Mac & Chees/ze for years!

    • February 21, 2011 at 3:31 am: IsaChandra

      Thanks! Yeah, I’m not sure it tastes like cheese, but it’s creamy and yummy and that’s all that counts.

  • February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm: foodie and the chef

    I was looking for a yummy cheeze recipe… the cashews really appeal to me, they have such a wonderful creaminess. I can’t wait to try this! :D

  • February 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm: Estheruth

    Sweet barking Jesus, I’m going to make this with kimchi.

  • February 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm: gretchen

    What do you think of using plain unsweeted yogurt [like Wildwood makes] instead of the kraut? Would that give the same tangy fermentedness?

  • February 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm: Kristi

    I LOVE sauerkraut! I’m not a fan of onions, but this looks very good! Thank you for posting the recipe.
    http://vegonaledge.blogspot.com

  • February 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm: claire

    this looks so yum. another thing that adds a little tang to cheezy sauce is a little ketchup. sounds gross, but it works.

  • February 22, 2011 at 12:41 am: Jen

    Just made this today! In fact, it is still hot out of the oven, but it didn’t stop me from burning my mouth to try it. It’s good. Really really really good. It’s a lot of work, but worth it since it makes a ton. I only did a half recipe for fear that I might sit and eat a whole pan in one sitting.

  • February 22, 2011 at 2:23 am: Kat

    I made this tonight. It’s delicious! When should the tumeric be added? And how do I avoid the pasta from drying and sticking together in the colander while I am prepping the rest of the ingredients?

    • February 22, 2011 at 3:08 am: IsaChandra

      Oops, I added the tumeric to the directions. Add it once you add everything to the roux. I try to time the pasta to be ready pretty close to when the sauce is, that way it doesn’t stick together. But rinsing it under cold water briefly helps it not to stick together.

  • February 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm: asharpknife

    Oh yes. Oh hell yes. I have never been very interested in mac & cheese recipes, cos like, yeah, marge overload, and a totally not worth it marge overload. But this, changes everthing. Xx

  • February 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm: Sheryl

    How kind and generous of you to share this recipe. I am really trying to limit my fats; I think vegans are coming to realize that even vegan diets with too much fat are just not healthy. I don’t eat a no-fat diet like McDougall, etc., but I do limit the amount of fat I eat – not avoid it totally.

    Thank you for your book and your generosity in sharing these scrumptious recipes. you rock!

  • February 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm: BlessedMama

    What a great twist on the traditional vegan mac and cheese. Sauerkraut! I have to try this. Thank you.

  • February 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm: KissWithAFist

    This is truly amazing. I mean I have a shedload of it (cooking for only myself- freezing the rest pre-baking, I’m hoping it will survive it).

    Question: What would be the best way to reheat it? Oven? Microwave? Any opinions from anyone who has reheated it?

  • February 24, 2011 at 12:16 am: iAM

    I just saw another mac and cheese recipe earlier this week. It also had cashews, but it used potatoes and carrots instead of roux and sauerkraut. I’ll be experimenting with them both. Thanks.

  • February 24, 2011 at 2:11 am: Rennie

    sauerkraut!? I’m so intrigued!! I make a “fancy mex” version without the kraut – I saute red peppers and black beans with my “cheese” sauce and add a pinch of chipotle pepper… I can’t wait to try this version!

  • February 24, 2011 at 2:17 am: Jessica

    Yeeeeess. Just made and ate this. I love sauerkraut and cashew and so was super exited to see this recipe. Thank you!

  • February 24, 2011 at 2:30 am: Rennie

    @ KissWithAFist – when I reheat mine, I usually heat a little broth or unsweetened soy milk with a little oil in a sauce pan…. it gets really dried out otherwise.

  • February 24, 2011 at 5:40 am: val

    oh wow this was great! i’m normally not a kraut fan but it was awesome in this! thanks so much.

  • February 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm: Ruchama Burrell

    Wow!!! This really worked. I LOVE MY VITAMIX!! With that dandy machine making this is effortless and fast, less than a minute to blend the cashews and kraut. We had to omit the yeast due to a guest’s allergy. We found that a dollop of Dijon mustard helped make up for that. So next time we’ll add some Dijon to the mix.
    One interesting thing is that the dish smells a lot more like pickles than it tastes. In the oven and on the table I was afraid that the kraut taste would overpower. But it didn’t. This recipe makes a whole lot so we’re saving to reheat for tomorrow when the weather will once again be cold and rainy. Thanks for the recipe, my yeast allergic guest was thrilled!!

  • February 25, 2011 at 12:19 am: Estheruth

    I made this and it was awesome. I am set up for home fermentation, so I used our homemade kimchi instead of saurkraut. I also added a head of raw, chopped broccoli and 8 oz. of sauteed white mushrooms. I used only 1 cup of cashews in the interest of reducing fat. (Mushrooms were cooked in 1/4 tsp of oil and 2 tbsp white wine before adding).

  • February 25, 2011 at 1:01 am: Butternut

    This was amazing! I was suspicious, but had to try it. So glad I did! Thanks!

  • February 25, 2011 at 5:37 am: Ainslie

    This sounds ridiculously delish. I’m a big mac & ‘shews fan, but never would have thought to put sauerkraut in it, no matter how much I love ‘kraut. Can’t wait to give this a go!

  • February 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm: Nicole @ A Vegan in the House

    I wonder if my non-vegan kids would enjoy this? It’s sounds so good. The ingredients are so interesting that I don’t think I have a choice…I must make it. Thanks!

  • February 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm: KT

    I would never have made this if I didn’t already trust you. But it was fantastic! And my baby is eating her third helping, which is a good sign. I really want to try a kimchi version now.

  • February 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm: Nancy B.

    This tastes wonderful. I put some on noodles, some on stir-fry veggies and potatoes, today I’m going to coat some pretzels with the sauce and dry them. (Noodles are the best, but most decadent.) Most cheeze recipes have way too much yeast in them for me. This was just right. The VitaMix made it very smooth. When the roux lumped, I just added it to the VitaMix and velvety smooth again.

  • February 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm: Claire

    Mmm this was SO good. I used macadamias cause I was out of cashews. It didn’t get quite as creamy as I wanted it, but the flavor was AMAZING…without question my favorite mac n cheese recipe to date….

  • February 27, 2011 at 4:13 am: Miranda

    This was fantastic! I made it for a potluck and decided to call it “Pasta in a a cashew sauce” so that nobody would go “Well, this tastes nothing like mac and cheese!” and everybody loved it. To me it tasted cheesy, but nobody else (all non-vegans) compared it to mac and cheese. Not that it mattered. All I know is that it is all gone.

  • February 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm: Laura F.

    Um, yeah, amazing… To make gluten free, I simply used quinoa pasta and garbanzo bean flour for the roux. I plan add in some smoked paprika next time.

  • March 1, 2011 at 12:45 am: MikeyPod

    I have it in the oven right now! I thought I hated sauerkraut and almost rejected this recipe because of that hate, but then I realized I haven’t tried it since I was a kid. I likey! I likey! So excited to eat this!

  • March 1, 2011 at 4:13 am: kaleeen

    I i only use 1 cup cashew how much sauerkraut should i use?

  • March 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm: SonOfSeitan

    Came our really tasty, but it seemed like there was too much broth -I think my mix got more liquidy than you described. plus it ended up making lots more sauce than I needed. I swear I used just 4 cups! only thing I did different was used cashew pieces instead of whole. I’ll try making it again.

  • March 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm: siflali

    I i only use 1 cup cashew how much sauerkraut should i use

  • March 2, 2011 at 8:58 pm: SonOfSeitan

    1 1/2?

  • March 2, 2011 at 10:00 pm: Nate and Nakh

    Holy Guacamole! (We served this with a spicy avocado mash)…….This recipe blew our shews off.
    We were initially resistant to the idea of kraut, but found a fabulous simple, local make at the corner store and the consistency of the end product cheez was f**kin awesome! Thanks Isa, you rock girl.

  • March 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm: Rachel

    Delicious, thank you! I skipped the baking step. SO GOOD.

  • March 4, 2011 at 3:44 am: Rachel

    I’m sure most folks will figure it out, but you could mention that the cashews are raw in the ingredients list, and that it’s 2 cups of broth when you puree them.

  • March 5, 2011 at 12:49 am: Kate

    LOVED IT! And it’s so the second day, too.

  • March 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm: Judith

    Looks so good…I really need to get a Food Processor!

    I’m not strictly Vegan, but love VEGAN WITH A VENGEANCE…..have actually made some decent tofu, thanks to you…

  • March 6, 2011 at 4:48 am: Dawn (Vegan Fazool)

    I love kraut, so can’t wait to make this. Some nice additions/renditions from fans above as well. Any recommendations on the kind or brand of kraut? Jar? Bag in refrigerated section? I love kraut so no matter, just curious. Also, in other recipes, I drain and rinse the kraut and then cook it with wine or broth (to replace the liquid) and thyme, onion, etc. would that work nicely here? Love your recipes, Dawn

  • March 7, 2011 at 10:25 am: Tim

    Really tasty! I was curious about vegan Mac and Cheese and now I have made it. I cooked it in the pot a bit longer and have been using it as a topping sauce vs. in a casserole. Rather expensive and time consuming to prepare so I might prefer Pasta Primavera which is quicker and less expensive and still vegan healty. Thank You!

  • March 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm: LittleMiss

    I am eating Mac and Shews as I type this. So delicious in my mouth! I was extra not afraid of the sauerkraut I used extra!

  • March 8, 2011 at 12:03 am: Dominique

    Wow. This is excellent. My roommate (a self-professed mac & cheese expert, and non-vegan) LOVED this too!

  • March 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm: Vivian

    Argh! The 1st addition of broth doesn’t specify to leave out 2 cups. :(

    • March 9, 2011 at 2:12 am: IsaChandra

      Whoops! Fixed. I guess people got it cause it says “divided” in the ingredients list. Whew.

  • March 9, 2011 at 12:34 am: Andy Dufresne

    Made this last night and, happily, will have it for a few days to come. It was delish! You’re a genius, Isa!

  • March 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm: Sarah

    This was amazing! I agree with Andy – you are a genius. Who would have thought that sauerkraut would add such amazing flavour? Yet another reason for me to love sauerkraut.

  • March 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm: amethyst

    Holy shiitake, Isa…you have really outdone yourself this time! We tried this last night, and it’s not only the best vegan mac and cheeze I’ve had so far, it’s also the most filling. Thanks!

  • March 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm: Juli

    Holy crow!! This was the best vegan mac I’ve even made/enjoyed. It destroys Daiya mac-n-cheese that was loaded with just fat and salt. This had incredible flavor, was so hearty, and once we replaced the noodles with quinoa/corn noodles it was able to be eaten by everyone in the house…2 plates in a row. Thank you, thank you, a million times over, you are a Goddess of the kitchen.

  • March 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm: caroline

    This. was. amazing! Only downside was telling the omnivorous BF who loathes sauerkraut what the secret ingredient was… tried it, like a champ, but passed on second helpings. Also – Added extra onion, turmeric, and some smoked paprika…topped off with a lil sriracha…mmmmm:)

  • March 13, 2011 at 4:21 am: Sarah

    My (cheese-eater) boyfriend and I made this tonight and it was amazing! I’m so glad it makes a ton because I would happily eat it for days. My sister practically went into shock when she tried it and says there could never be a better mac n cheeze. I agree. We all think you are a food genius, Isa! You are our hero!

  • March 13, 2011 at 6:38 am: Jen B

    This was really excellent. I couldn’t stop eating the leftover cashew-and-sauerkraut dregs from the blender. It baked up delicious and was a hit at an omni potluck. I think I’m going to put in a little more sauerkraut next time, and add some veggies.

  • March 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm: Jen B

    And as a morning-after update, it’s fantastic microwaved. I put some in a bowl, added about half a cup of delicious, delicious sauerkraut, and nuked it. Perfect breakfast!

  • March 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm: Kristy

    I made this last night for my omni boyfriend. I told him I would melt a little real cheese on top if he thought it needed it (I’m an enabler like that), but he totally loved it. I did too, as I ate 2 huge bowls of it. Good recipe. The only problem is that there is no mention on what to do with the onion/garlic mixture. I just mixed mine in with the sauce and that turned out great.

  • March 15, 2011 at 12:05 am: Erin H.

    I just ate this….this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had, and it destroys all other vegan Mac & Cheese recipes! I never like vegan “cheese” dishes, but you have made me a believer! Outrageously delicious and very creative! You really are a genius. :)

  • March 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm: Andrea T.

    OK: this is good. REALLY REALLY GOOD. I can never leave a recipe alone, so I added about 1/2 tsp dry mustard, several dashes of cayenne and white pepper (I like spice!) into the sauce. I adore Nutritional Yeast so put even a little more. Also: thinly slice some tomatoes on top, and sprinkle w/a little smoked paprika to finish (all before baking).
    Filling, satisfying, tangy, yummy. Great w/broccoli or sauteed greens (spinach, chard, kale).
    I have a large Cuisinart food processor and I just let the damn thing run and run to get the cashews pureed in the broth. Always get some “leakage” but no biggie to clean up. I had another brand of food processor in the past: nowhere near as good. The Cuisinart is worth the $$. Someday maybe Santa will bring me a Vitamix.

    • March 17, 2011 at 1:12 am: IsaChandra

      Sounds great! This recipe is a blank slate for all sorts of ingredients, go crazy.

  • March 17, 2011 at 4:57 pm: chouettes crepes

    Am I the only one in the vegan world who wasn’t wild about this? I was only going to make 1/2 but then I thought, “nah it’s isa, I trust her + this looks really cool.” 1 thing that didn’t work was the cashew consistency. It wouldn’t been much better had I ground them up before adding the broth. Maybe even adding the broth a bit at a time, but 1/2 the broth at once did not bring my cashews to the right texture :( and it never got that interesting aged taste I was hoping for. It just tasted like cashews and sauerkraut and lemon juice :( it’s a little better the next day, but from now on I think I’ll stick to the way I do cheesy sauce.

  • March 17, 2011 at 5:02 pm: chouettes crepes

    + I would’ve used EB instead of olive oil. I know we’re looking for healthy fats here, but cheezy sauces are supposed to be fatty. Could you imagine the calorie count if we were in the omni sauce biz??

  • March 17, 2011 at 5:08 pm: Rachel

    Nothing but praise! Thank you SO MUCH for this reciple!! I hate that nutritional yeast, but love mac’ncheese. Moving in to my 8th year as a vegetarian/vegan, this was a delicious surprise :)

  • March 18, 2011 at 12:38 am: Monica

    OMG! This turned out amazing! I used spinach penne to make it green for St. Patrick’s Day. It was a huge hit. Thanks for sharing.

  • March 19, 2011 at 2:46 am: Mark

    hey im trying to make this it looks amazing. But i want to avoid using garlic. is there anything i can replace it with?

  • March 21, 2011 at 12:42 am: dreadymuffin

    This is soooooo good! My husband is a freak and wouldn’t even try it so I ate the whole pan in 3 days. YUM!!!
    I usually hate most vegan cheezes, the processed packaged stuff never quite lives up to what I remember cheese tasting like. This doesn’t taste exactly like cheese either, but better. Sooo soo so much better.

  • March 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm: claire

    I tried this and didn’t tell my kids it had sauerkraut. They enjoyed it. But very filling. Next time I’ll do a half batch.

  • March 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm: Timberly

    Whoa you know it’s good when there are 156 comments! I loved it fresh out the oven with some hot sauce, two days later reheated with breadcrumbs, broccoli, and carmelized onions, and I still have some left so maybe tonight with tempeh bacon and sauted kale. Thanks for yet another awesome recipe, Isa!

  • March 27, 2011 at 12:04 pm: Amy

    This recipe is the bomb! I’ve made it 3 times and all 3 times my non-vegan husband has scarfed up every last crumb. I’m going to try it tonight with some sauteed friarielli (rapini or broccoli rabe) and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Thanks, Isa!

  • March 29, 2011 at 12:53 am: Debra

    I’m going to have 9, yes 9, people living in my home for two weeks (1 is not vegan). I was looking for some good crowd pleasers and think this shall do as one. Thank you!

    • March 29, 2011 at 1:18 am: IsaChandra

      Cool, also try the Cashew Korma and the Spaghetti-O recipe I just posted! Those are great for crowds.

  • March 29, 2011 at 6:19 am: Urs

    Hey thank you so much for an amazing recipe! I just made it and put it into the oven, (this 20 minutes is killing me!!) the sauce is to die for and the sauerkraut well that ‘s just pure genius!!! I left out the roux sauce only because I’ve never liked a white sauce (yours does sound good though). Will definitely be getting your books.

  • March 31, 2011 at 9:21 am: KT

    Um, one problem – my children are now obsessed with this and want to eat it every day. On the plus side, a recipe feeds us for three days, so that’s handy.
    @Mark – I use hing powder instead of garlic + onion. Check your local Indian grocery, or you can get it online. Make sure you read up on how to use it.
    And one note – this sets up really nicely if you want to fry slices of it the next day. Or, um, so I’ve heard.

  • March 31, 2011 at 11:17 pm: Angela

    YUM – never too many Mac & Cheeze recipes, and I also like avoiding margarine where possible. Bookmarked! :)

  • April 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm: Dawn (Vegan Fazool)

    Ahem, I am soaking the cashews now and going to the store for the kraut, finally! SO excited to make this. Thinking of adding broccoli, some sauteed swiss chard that I have leftover and throwing in some chickpeas (also leftover). I love me some goodies in my mac & cheese :-). CAN’T WAIT.

  • April 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm: Hylas

    Made this today for my boyfriend, had no intention of eating it, myself, as I’ve been eating raw for a month and intend to stay that way, but how to cook without tasting, and how to taste this without eating WAY too much?? Best vegan mac and cheese experience yet. I’m so glad you had the idea to throw saurkraut in the mix! Perfect! Next time I’ll try with add-ins, spinach, etc.

  • April 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm: Tracy

    This is the first PPK recipe that I have tried – I followed the recipe to the letter, and got a great result. DELICIOUS. It turned out better than I could have imagined.

  • April 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm: Christina

    Best mac & cheese ever! Made this yesterday for a vegan potluck & it was a hit :). I made sure to put this recipe page address on ingredient card, so hopefully this dish will spread like wdfire, converting cheese-loving omnivores everywhere! ;P. On a scale of 1 to 10, this dish is an 11!

  • April 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm: Danny Vice-Holt

    Cashews really are the business. They can be used for so many things, especially in raw cooking. I made a great Brandy Cashew Cream to go with my mince pies last Christmas. I love the sauerkraut idea. Something I NEVER would have tried if you hadn’t mentioned it.

  • April 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm: Dawn (Vegan Fazool)

    Does anyone else’s food processor leak when putting in so much liquid (the cashews + two cups of broth)? Mine always leaks all over the place. It is a really good one, too (Cuisinart Pro Classic). I might try the blender next time but I don’t have a VitaMix, so went with the processor. Thoughts?

    • April 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm: IsaChandra

      Yeah, food processors do that sometimes. But do you notice that it stops leaking after about 10 seconds?

  • April 7, 2011 at 12:10 am: Dawn (Vegan Fazool)

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to stop (it slows down a little, though) and I am always prepared with towels because I know it does it. As long as that is normal and won’t like leak into the motor or something, I’m cool. My processor is seven years old and has always leaked with liquid based recipes. Anyhoo, the Mac & Shews recipe is FANTASTIC, and I definitely want to make it again. I always worried about the processor leaking but never asked anyone, so I really appreciate your help with my appliance issues :-).

    • April 7, 2011 at 12:14 am: IsaChandra

      Well I have a Cuisinart, too, and it does leak when there’s a lot of liquid, but it stops after a few seconds. I assume it stops because it gets clogged but at least it stops!

  • April 8, 2011 at 12:46 am: Dawn (Vegan Fazool)

    I shall soldier on with more confidence,now. Thanks, Isa!

  • April 11, 2011 at 3:08 am: Luna31

    I really, really wanted to like this recipe. I used less sauerkraut (I do like sauerkraut) and just could not get past the sauerkraut smell before eating. Like I said, I wanted to like it and kept trying a spoonfull throughout the day, but this was a miss for me. I’m glad other people like it, but just not for me.

  • April 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm: Lauren

    Note about the food processor: Yes, it will leak! I too did not look at the “max liquid” line. After sopping up my mess, I re-started with a small amount of broth and added slowly as the mixture became less liquid-like.

    I was really excited to make this since I cannot stand fake cheese but I LOVE mac and cheese. I was VERY impressed with how this turned out! I am a fan of Sauerkraut already so no issues there, although I have to say in the finished dish I could not taste it (but I’m sure if I hated Sauerkraut I would have picked it out right away, that’s usually how it goes).

    I substituted gluten-free pasta and chick pea flour to make the recipe Gluten Free Friendly! I also added a topping of crushed gluten-free pretzels mixed with some herbs (basically italian seasoned breadcrumbs) for some crunchy crust on top.

    Can’t wait to make it again!

    • April 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm: IsaChandra

      Sounds good about the GF changes. A friend of mine had good luck with rice flour as the roux base, too.

  • April 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm: emily

    This recipe is DELICIOUS! I’ve made it for many of my vegan and non vegan friends and everyone loves it. I want to try to use the cashew cream sauce to make stuffed pasta shells then pour marinara over it.

  • April 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm: MelissaC-T

    I am so excited to try this recipe tonight. I have tried a variety of Vegan Mac n Cheese and need the perfect one for my upcoming wedding in June, which will be featuring so many of your recipes. I have a feeling the genius addition of sauerkraut is going to be the missing link. I seriously don’t want to wait a few hours for these cashews to soak. I’ll be patient though.

  • April 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm: MelissaC-T

    So I made a few adjustments for taste and added a little bit of dijon mustard and soy sauce to the cheese sauce. Absolutely amazing, a great recipe. Thank you Isa!!

  • April 15, 2011 at 5:07 am: Ren

    For those who are allergic to cashews, try substituting macadamia nuts instead. I use them in my pesto recipe and they add a nice creaminess. You may not even have to soak them, but you’ll have to experiment with that. I also use a vita mix, that could possibly make a difference in texture, it does when making pesto. Hope this helps.

  • April 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm: Morgan

    Hi Folks, Any thoughts on the best way to make this ahead of time? Is it best to make it, bake it, fridge it and then re-heat it in the oven the next night? Or make the sauce and noodles ahead, keeping them separate until ready to bake? Thanks!

  • April 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm: Ruthann Douglas

    Made this last nigh. It is AWESOME! I brought some to work for lunch, I am so enjoying it! Thanks again for a homerun! The Family all love it too………….the sauerkraut is nothing short of GENIUS! you are so my hero!!

  • May 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm: rasrasras

    Yo. I love this so friggin much. We added spinach + bread crumbs to the top. The spinach was a nutrients/taste BOOST.

  • May 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm: Kaydee

    I just made this for my mom and step-dad who have recently switched to a whole-food-plant-based diet and have been missing cheesey comfort food. This was AMAZING!!! I wasn’t really expecting much having avoided any kind of “fake cheese” things myself. Loved it, and will totally be making this again! I added dried onion to it, just a little, but I don’t think that made much of a difference :P
    I also made your cornbread with it, using almond milk instead of soy (personal preference)

  • May 4, 2011 at 12:06 am: Al

    This was…CRAZYDELISH! I made half a recipe suspecting that, being home alone, I might be tempted to mow down on the lot of it and…I was right! So good! So tough to pry myself away from that pan and save some leftovers! Thankyouthankyou!

    I love that it achieved all that I was craving (a creamy baked pasta dish) without any processed ingredients. Winwinwin (and major thanks)!

  • May 5, 2011 at 1:07 am: DHD

    Macadamias instead of cashews??? Curious what you think

    • May 5, 2011 at 3:00 am: IsaChandra

      Macadamias are a bit sweeter and for some reason, although they are just as creamy, they don’t thicken up like cashews. Why are cashews so magical? That said, if it’s an allergy situation or you’re just hell-bent on experimenting, please try it and report back!

  • May 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm: DHD

    Thanks, Isa…I’ve got these macadamias sitting around, so I might do a combo with cashews…if so, I will let you know how it goes!

  • May 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm: DHD

    Hi, Isa…the recipe was really good with macadamias (no cashews, just macs)…the sauerkraut was a bit strong (perhaps because the nuts are sweeter), but otherwise delicious.

    • May 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm: IsaChandra

      Good to know!

  • May 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm: Angela

    I made this last night, and it totally rocked my world. My husband is not even vegetarian and he LOVED it. Thank you!

  • May 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm: Angela

    Oh yeah, we are gluten-free too and used brown rice Tinkyada pasta and brown rice flour for the roux, and it turned out great.

  • May 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm: Audrey

    I was nervous – this was my first vegan mac-n-cheese…but we added the bread-crumb topping and the hot sauce – we never missed the cheese. I like rasrasras’ suggestion to add spinach but I think I’m going to be naughty next time and do a crumbled-potato-chip-topping with peas mixed into the pasta. Potato chips are still a form of veggies LOL! In all seriousness, many thanks – we’re not vegans but we are really working hard on reducing our saturated & trans fat intakes. xoxo

  • May 22, 2011 at 9:44 am: ace

    When I want tang in my “cheez” I add a pinch (well, more like 1/4 tsp) of cream of tartar. Yum. I’m skeptical about the sauerkraut but am willing to give it a try…just not thrilled about the idea of having leftover sauerkraut. Any chance I can use vegan kimchi? Oh how I love the vegan kimchi.

  • May 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm: Allison Dubya

    This is totally our new fave. When we first moved into our new home, this was the meal that I christened our kitchen with. It makes a house a home. :-)

    Last night, I played with the cheese sauce recipe, cut the pasta, and added half a bottle of white wine, shallots, rosemary, dijon mustard, and some daiya for some kickass vegan fondue. My husband said he no longer pines for the melting pot, now. :-)

  • May 25, 2011 at 3:14 am: Giovanni H

    This was so freaking good it made no sense. i was a bit nervous at first (I got some directions reversed) but it was great! Can I say that I’m gonna use the cashew/sauerkraut/veggie broth mixture in sandwiches and all else? It was so good!

    • May 25, 2011 at 4:02 am: IsaChandra

      This is my favorite thing that has ever been said. “This was so freaking good it made no sense.” It makes up for everything.

  • June 4, 2011 at 1:20 am: becca.book

    OH MY SEITAN! I just ate this recipe for the third meal in a roux and still am lovin it. This recipe combines all of my favorite things but doesnt taste like any of them! I had been meaning to try out this recipe for literally months but every time I bought all the ingredients i would keep eating the ingredients separately before i had a chance to make it ! (yes, i eat fresh sauerkraut straight, dont judge.) Thnxxxx!

  • June 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm: Kristin

    Oh man was this stuff good! I was concerned I wouldn’t like this because of the sauerkraut , not a big fan of it alone, but I was so wrong, the result of all the flavors together was so tangy and creamy, it was absolutely the best vegan Mac and “cheese” I have tried to date! Thanks Isa for continuously serving up awesome new recipes!

  • June 5, 2011 at 10:42 pm: Meghan

    I have a question — did you make your own sauerkraut? Or do you buy the stuff in a can?

  • June 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm: Tanya

    Can you soak the cashews in the 2cups of vegetable broth that you will purée them in, or do you recommend soaking them in water and then adding the veg broth at the time of puree?

    • June 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm: IsaChandra

      People always ask this, and I suppose you could, but I think there is something a little yucky about the soaking liquid once it’s done. I like to just start anew and I don’t see any reason why not. Is there a particular reason you want to soak them in the veg broth instead of draining the soaking water?

  • June 8, 2011 at 8:17 am: Elijah

    THIS IS AMAZING. Definitely the best vegan mac&cheese I’ve had!!! :D

    Also, I didn’t cover the casserole with foil when baking and it still turned out amazing. (I love the baked edges.)

  • June 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm: Tanya

    ISA, thanks for replying! No reason in particular to soaking them in broth, I just thought I could soak them in my Vita mix blender and then turn it on when they were soaked without draining. No biggie though to soak in water first.
    Anyhow, I made this last night. My family are not vegans although we are trying to eat much healthier and maybe someday I will be vegan. But for now I am experimenting with it all. I make a very good mac and cheese so I wanted to test this on my family(husband and 2 teenage sons) they are brutally honest! They all really liked it! 1. they do not like sauerkraut, they didn’t even know it wad there. 2. They thought it was nice and creamy, but not cheesy. They were fine with that because it tasted good. 3. The sauce was tangy when made but lost the tanginess when baked with the whole wheat noodles, so I served it with Frank’s Red hot sauce. I had added mustard and smoked paprika to the recipe also. I think next time I might add more than the tablespoon of mustard that I originasly put in. Anyone not sure about the kraut, don’t sweat it, try it you’ll like it!

    • June 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm: IsaChandra

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • June 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm: Stef

    Hrmmmm…I wonder…

    Any ideas of how it’d taste with replacing the sauerkraut with Kimchi? I’m not certain, but I bet it’d give it an extra little kick such that it wouldn’t need the hot sauce ;-)

  • June 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm: helen

    wow. i just used the sauce in a potato gratin with broccoli. so good, didn’t miss the cheese at all!

  • June 19, 2011 at 1:41 am: Caroline

    Made this last week and really enjoyed it, although it tasted nothing like mac and cheese to me. It actually reminded me of this delicious stuffing my aunt makes for Thanksgiving every year which has tons of onions, butter, and Italian sausage in it…. soo good, but soo not vegan! I think I may bring some Mac and Shews to next Thanksgiving so I won’t feel bummed about missing out on her stuffing like I have the past 3 years. Or sub the noodles w/ vegan cornbread stuffing, mmm. Thanks for the recipe!!

  • July 3, 2011 at 12:46 pm: Belinda

    I made this tonight and loved it! I used chickpea flour and added mustard, smoked paprika and cayenne. I only made a small pasta bake and plan to use the rest of the sauce on fresh veges. So delicious… thanks for the recipe!

  • July 11, 2011 at 12:00 am: P

    Mmmmmm…… just perfect!!!!! I have been a Vegan for almost 10 years and have never had anything that satisfied the mac n cheese craving. This was simply profound! Also, I am so happy it didn’t included any creepy fake cheeses. Thank you so much it was a gift to my mouth, not to mention 5 close friends who applaud you.

  • July 23, 2011 at 3:50 am: blueanimal

    Try adding half of one of the big cans of Hatch roasted green chiles, chopped up, for a tasty Chile Mac n Shews experience. I also made a cool Psychic TV cross with chiles on the top for fun.

    • July 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm: IsaChandra

      Ooh Psychic TV!

  • July 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm: Susanne

    Oh man, this is my absolute favorite sauce that I have ever made! (The first time I made it, I used a foor processor and it leaked everywhere, but after that I used a blender and that seemed to get it creamy enough).
    I like to make just the sauce and use it for everything–putting on pasta, dipping bread, coating steamed veggies. My new favorite recipe by far. I find that every time you reheat it after being in the fridge, it gets milder, but no less delicious.
    Thanks for this amazing recipe. Any idea if it can be considered low-fat? (I mean it’s certainly lower in fat than a stick of margarine, though)

  • August 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm: Doreen

    Yum. We made it last night. Used a blender, worked out fine. Had it with a nice side salad with homemade Italian dressing. Thanks for the recipe!

  • August 10, 2011 at 2:31 am: Gregoire

    My lady-friend I made this last night. It was a great success, but we made a few alterations that are worth mentioning. I had been thinking for a while about ways to make an ‘asian-infused’ mac and cheese [cheez]. We stuck with the basic recipe, but added a couple spoonfuls of miso paste to the vege stock, replaced the salt with soy sauce, and added about 2 tablespoons of ‘prickly ash’ chinese chilie sauce. We also fried up a couple of chinese eggplant (the long, purple kind) and about 10 oz. of shitake mushrooms, and stirred them in with the roux/cashew/kraut mixture.

    The resulting mac was delicious! The miso, soy sauce, and shitakes gave it a nice, pungent, fermented quality, and the eggplant some interesting color. We ate it with Sri Racha sauce and IPA, very nice.

  • August 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm: wendyz

    This recipe is soooo yummmmy!

  • August 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm: JenniferK

    I have no idea why I waited so long to make this. It was wonderful. Served it with a side of bbque tofu and collard greens. Now I must take a nap….tired since I ate way too much of this. Will put this one in my monthly rotation of dinner. Thanks Isa!

  • August 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm: kitten

    i made this yesterday for some friends and just finished up the leftovers for breakfast. i was drawn by the idea of making a vegan mac n cheese with cashews and sauerkraut. this was SO GOOD and had my omnivorous friends hooked. i had several helpings of this myself. i used canned broth with half a cube of veggie bouillon added, and i also included a few generous dashes of cayenne pepper as the onions and garlic cooked. also, i omitted the turmeric as i don’t have it handy and couldn’t justify the expense. it wasn’t missed. otherwise, i followed the recipe precisely. i will definitely make this recipe again. this is a great potluck recipe. i’m afraid if i made it for myself i’d eat myself sick. thank you!

  • September 22, 2011 at 8:52 pm: Kae

    II pretended like I had enough time to make it when I started it. I soaked the cashews overnight on Monday night, made the mix with the cashews, broth and sauerkraut (I used mild KimChee) on Tuesday . I finished the whole thing on Thursday. One thing that is very important is that I ruined one batch of the cashews in the food processor because I used all 2 cups of broth. I tried again and only used about a cup to get it the right consistency. i didn’t add any other spices that would conflict with the KimChee. For instance I didn’t add any onion or garlic. i did add the nooch and only 1 cup broth at the end w/ the roux. I added breadcrumbs to the top which was fab! The consistency is wonderful. There is a slight metallic taste with the kimchee. I hope my fam likes it!

  • September 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm: Holly

    Are there any substitutes for cashews that aren’t other nuts? I’m allergic to all varieties…

    • September 24, 2011 at 6:02 am: IsaChandra

      Unfortunately, no. Are you allergic to tahini? I bet that would be good! Not the same, but good.

  • October 25, 2011 at 4:06 am: V

    I’ve been wanting to make this for two weeks now, ever since I first spotted the recipe. And today, I finally made it, and it is sooo satisfying, just as satisfying as real mac ‘n’ cheese. Definitely the best vegan version I have ever tasted and definitely a recipe I will repeat! So creamy and comforting! Thanks for thinking outside the box!

  • October 25, 2011 at 10:28 pm: Tonia

    Wow. I mean, just wow. I would have never thought this recipe would be good, but I couldn’t believe how yummy it was! My husband took one bite and said, “Oh wow.” Seriously. Wow! :)

  • November 12, 2011 at 11:08 pm: Kathryn

    I am new to being vegan and I have missed my homemade mac and cheeese but this recipe is so much better and way more tasty. It has way more flavor than regular mac and cheese. I have never tried saurkraut before and was hesisant because I always thought it looked and tasted gross, however the end result was very good!!! Thank you for this recipe!

  • November 15, 2011 at 12:53 am: Kelly B

    You are so unbelievably talented Isa!. I made this, tempeh orzilla and the chocolate pumpkin loaf cake in the last two days and
    honestly I am speechless they are all so good. You really have a very special gift. Thank you for being a vegan! xo

  • December 1, 2011 at 12:29 am: Krystle

    I’ve had Cahsews soaking the past 3 days…. Hope it isn’t weird. D:

  • December 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm: Miranda

    THANK YOU FOR THIS AMAZING RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I make this all the time now, and have even adapted the sauce, (took out the sourkraut) and used it for “cream” of broccoli soup. THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • December 27, 2011 at 1:55 am: nina

    I love the idea of this recipe and have tried many from Veganomicron. I could scale the recipe down, though wondering if you have tried to freeze the sauce on its own . As delicious as it looks, I know it will go to waste if I make the entire recipe.

    Thanks!

  • January 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm: allie

    oh man, i really want to try this but I have a mild tree nut allergy (almonds, cashews, macs, etc.). Maybe I will try it will the tahini you suggested above. Could peanuts be substituted as well?

    (trying to give up dairy is so annoying when you are allergic to almonds, cashews and soymilk!)

    • January 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm: IsaChandra

      I think peanuts would conflict with the other flavors. What about sunflower seeds?

  • January 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm: allie

    sunflower seeds i could try…would I prepare them (soak + blend) just as you would the nuts?

    thanks for responding!

    • January 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm: IsaChandra

      Yeah, I think so! I honestly don’t know if the soaking will add much but it doesn’t take any extra energy, so why not?

  • February 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm: Annelise

    I used whole wheat pasta instead and it was Delicious! Thanks for never posting bad recipes.

  • February 14, 2012 at 4:08 am: Nancy Chenier

    Wow, that was delicious! My husband offered to do the dishes, and I caught him “cleaning” the saucepan with his fingers before committing it to soap.

    Moving on to the raspberry truffle brownies…

  • February 17, 2012 at 7:14 pm: Liz

    I made this last night. I told the family I was making something with sauerkraut and cashews, but wouldn’t reveal anything else. Suffice to say, skepticism as to the deliciousness of the forthcoming meal was high but undeserved! Plus, this stuff must be super low-calorie! Thanks for adding sauerkraut for my list of pantry must-haves!

  • February 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm: JJ

    I’ve made this twice in the last two weeks, and I love the sauerkraut as a secret ingredient! I find this is even better cold and great for a picnic lunch!

  • February 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm: Julia

    I’m not a fan of sauerkraut, but this is amazing. The dish doesn’t taste like sauerkraut (for those of you with a distaste for it), but rather it adds tang to the sauce. I never knew cashews were so fantastical. =) Every time I bring this to work for lunch I get, “That smells good, what is that?” I used a very odd-shaped pasta (don’t remember the name), but the more twists and turns the pasta does, the more sauce it catches. This is glorious AND it freezes well. Double score.

  • February 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm: Emily Jean

    Unfortunately, we forgot to pick up Sauerkraut at the store, so I made this without it and just added a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar. Still came out delicious and very Cheezy. I had the cheese sauce with made-from-scratch Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels, and it was so delicious, I couldn’t stop eating it and had the cheese with three pretzels for Lunch. ^_^

  • March 13, 2012 at 2:05 am: Mary

    Wow, delicious. This tastes like fondue cheese to me. I added a bag of frozen spinach so this meal was an iron powerhouse. Thank you Isa!

  • April 4, 2012 at 11:51 pm: Monique

    Made this yesterday! It didn’t take as long as i thought it would. We loved it! I had a vitamix, so the sauce blended up really well. Although the kitchen smelled like sauerkraut, the sauce did not. I didn’t have turmeric on hand… but I think the next time I make it, I might skip the yeast, and use mustard for flav and turmeric for color. Also, I wasn’t sure how the top would look after baking, so I used my vitamix to chop up some Jewish Rye, toasted it, and then sprinkled on top. I thought rye and sauerkraut would go together. So yummy! I can imagine using the sauce recipe for a pasta primavera… maybe add a bit of wine.

  • April 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm: lauryn

    mind blown. god bless you, isa.

  • April 21, 2012 at 2:22 am: alma

    just made the sauce. used my blender wand thing and i got the smoothest creamiest savoriest sauce. so delish, isa! i was timid about the ‘kraut, so didn’t do all 2 cups and didn’t have tumeric (even though i swear we do somewhere in the kitchen) so I used smoked paprika and a tsp or 2 of dijon. also, used garbanzo flour. it turned out so good. don’t think i will bake my pasta. i don’t want to turn the oven on. it was a scorcher today. the house is hot. perhaps tomorrow.

  • April 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm: Jennifer

    Thanks for the recipe! I made this last night. I’m one of those people who usually eat a fourth of pound of pasta per serving, but here I finished a sixth and felt uncomfortably full afterward. (Not used to foods this dense!) It seemed like I had a ton of sauce — maybe I didn’t thicken it enough? but it seemed pretty thick — but that seemed to work out well, since I was hoping to be able to add a lot of broccoli into the mix. There was enough sauce for two heads of broccoli and a pound of gemelli.

    I noticed that the sauce was a lot more powerful — tangy, pecorino-ish maybe — before I baked it than after. I think if I make this again (and what else am I going to do with all the leftover sauerkraut? Seriously, I’m asking!), I might not bother with the baking stage and just stir everything together on the stovetop and serve. The acidity will be stronger, but I think some extra nutritional yeast would counterbalance that and result in a very intense, savory, cheesy sauce. (Side benefit: if the sauerkraut is only warmed, not cooked, then I think it’ll retain a lot of its lactobacillus.)

    Now I’m curious about blending some sauerkraut and nutritional yeast into Bryanna Clark Grogen’s béchamel for a lower-fat alternative… But I proceed at my own peril.

    • April 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm: IsaChandra

      Try the Runza recipe on the blog, it’s a great use of Saurkraut!

  • April 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm: KariVery

    This is the strangest recipe I’ve ever loved! I prepared it for a vegan family friend who needed some comfort food. I am a complete newbie to vegan cooking. I read the ingredients, very dubiously, then I read the comments – which are overwhelmingly complimentary – and I HAD to make it, if nothing else, to satisfy my curiosity. So very very good! And, I am so excited to learn to cook more of these recipes. We’ve been talking about reducing our meat and dairy intake at my house, but I was unsure about how to cook without using those foods. It’s awesome how you have created such fantastic flavor and texture by combining these crazy ingredients. I can’t wait to learn more! Thank you for this great recipe and this wonderful site.

    Peace.

  • May 23, 2012 at 3:36 am: ella birt

    i’m so glad i came across your website! i usually skip to the recipes on sites, but your writing is great! so funny, things i would think too…and great recipes!

    thank you!!!

    ~ella

  • May 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm: Rachel

    I was recently craving this and made it again the other day. SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • June 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm: Nicole

    I am planning to make this for a friend tomorrow! This may be a dumb question but I am a novice cook…do you think I could make everything beforehand, assemble and put it in the casserole, and the bake it later that day? Or would that mess up the roux and all by not baking it immediately? I have a busy day planned before dinner and thought it would be nice to prep in the morning and then just toss in the oven later. But since I am feeding someone besides myself, I would hate to create a disaster! I also love the idea of adding steamed broccoli that you mentioned in one of the comments. I was thinking about maybe also (or instead of) mixing in some fresh torn spinach leaves before baking. Any reason that would ruin everything? :) I love adding veggies to my mac n cheese – esp. green ones. Thanks for the recipe; I am excited to try it!

  • June 5, 2012 at 9:53 pm: Amanda

    AHHH I love this! It is so sinfully good. I avoided cashew cheeses for so long because cashews are so expensive! But now you got me hooked… it’s going to be really depressing when I have to be homeless because I bought so many pounds of cashews, but until that day comes, I am going to enjoy this to the fullest!

    It reminds me so much of the high quality, homemade macaroni and cheese that my family makes. My mom won’t eat any vegan meats, cheeses (except Daiya which she loves for some reason), or anything, but she ate some of this because it smelled so good, and then she took like half of the pot! But that’s okay, because it gave me an excuse to make more.

  • June 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm: Kelsey

    I made this. Came out great! Totally dig it;)

  • August 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm: Gabrielle

    Thanks for all your recipes! This is the first recipe I made of yours and I’ve tried many since and have enjoyed them all.

  • September 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm: chels

    Isa shmisa, you think that sauerkraut would be good in your Veganomicon Pumpkin Baked Ziti recipe?

  • September 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm: Stephanie

    I made this last weekend. It was amazing! i loved how cheesey it was. I altered it to make it gluten-free, and it worked out really well. I used certified gluten-free oat flour (I think any gluten-free flour would work) in place of the all purpose flour and I had to add about 1 tbsp of arrowroot powder so that it would thicken properly. I will make this again for sure. My omnivore boyfriend also thought it was amazing (as he does with all of your recipes I have tried so far). :)

  • September 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm: Melody

    My husband and I are newly vegan (about 9 weeks). I wasn’t expecting much from this macaroni and “cheez” but was intrigued by the sauerkraut so gave it a try. This was the first faux or vegan cheese sauce I’d tried. My husband and I LOVED this recipe so much we ate two bowls full! I’m thinking about organizing a vegan potluck, maybe once a month, and this will definitely be on the menu for the first night! Thank you Isa, your recipes have not disappointed us!

  • October 23, 2012 at 6:20 am: krystle

    WOOF just ate some tonight for dinner. This dish is so satisfying and filling! It is a staple here and cashews were getting really expensive; so we made the switch to sunflower seeds(i also tried sunflower mac, it was good but i missed the tanginess from the sauerkraut in mac n’ shews). I was hesitant about subbing shews for sunflowers, but it came out just as good! It never really smoothed out and had a slight taste difference. It definitely hit the spot. And we kept it gluten free with brown rice pasta and buckwheat flour. The flour made it an odd color but it baked up really nice in the end!
    Topped it off with a little daiya cheese(mozz and cheddar) and stuck it under the broiler. mmm aughh roll me to bed

  • November 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm: Julu

    This is fantastic every time! A sprinkle of Chipotle doesn’t hurt. :) I think this sauce would go great in Manicotti!

  • November 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm: Marissa

    gross. All of the is gross.

  • December 10, 2012 at 1:54 am: Gary

    I can not express how satisfying this dish is. I’ve been vegan since 1997 and have never had a better simulation of this filling classic. Delicious recipes like this keep me coming back to Post Punk Kitchen.

  • January 4, 2013 at 8:54 am: Roz

    OK…. wow! totally freaked out by the sauerkraut… but I def see where it adds to the flavor profile…. wonderful! have to say, I was very impressed with this recipe. I put half in the pan, then laid down a bed of spinach, and eggplant bacon and put another layer of macaroni and sauce over it… topped it all with breadcrumbs……. yummy!

  • January 9, 2013 at 1:15 am: Erin

    I’m a total cooking noob, and I wanted to share my experience with others who are similarly afflicted. So, as with all of the recipes of yours that I’ve tried, it was fabulously smooth sailing… up until the roux moment. I mixed, I stirred, it toasted up nicely as described, I was more chuffed than was appropriate about my victory. As I cockily whisked in the broth and then my cashew goop and spices, I started to smell something toxic and burny and acrid. “That must be what roux smells like, I’m just unaccustomed to such sophisticated aromas,” I thought hopefully. Yeah, no. The nylon spatula I was using to mix, scrape and stir the roux had, during that process, gradually melted in an accordion-like pattern, and the burned plastic fumes had permeated the whole pot of sauce. I completed the recipe in pursuit of a fantasy that maybe the fumes would bake off in the same way that alcohol is supposed to, but god, did that ever not happen. I created an amazing-looking tray of creamy, bakey, golden mac and shews and spatula. Now, I know this site isn’t Vegan Cooking for the Woefully Uninitiated, but adding a bit about the ideal implements with which to prepare a roux (Wooden paddles? Sassy.) couldn’t hurt, right? I’m not letting the spatula win, I’m remaking this dish tonight armed with a paddle and a grudge, but I thought I’d chime in on behalf of any other potential spatula melters of the universe. Godspeed, you graceless culinary clods.

    • January 9, 2013 at 2:11 am: IsaChandra

      Aww, that sucks! A slanted wooden spoon spatula is what you need!

  • January 30, 2013 at 1:20 am: Judykatherine

    oh my, this sauce is so good! Only had a small can of kraut, but it took so well to the penne and roasted green chilis!

  • February 1, 2013 at 2:32 am: Jill

    I made this tonight without the sauerkraut (my dad’s stomach can’t handle it) and it was so good! This recipe rules.

  • February 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm: Julu

    Mac & Shews is always good, lately we’ve taken to sprinkling chipotle.

    NEW BREAKTHROUGH: we made Mac & Shews last night and saved 2 cups of the Cashew Sauce.

    We cooked down a pound of fresh spinach tonight, mixed it with the leftover sauce, and stuffed this as a filling in cannelloni, baked with a spicy tomato sauce. It was amazing! A wonderful all purpose creamy cashew sauce!

  • February 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm: Melissa Jo

    Finally made this. My food processor is garbage so I couldn’t get the sauce very smooth but the flavors are delightful. It was rich and creamy (mine was a bit stringy from the sauerkraut). Don’t fest the sauerkraut. The stinky bitter flavor is easily masked by the other flavors so don’t fear.

    This is a great recipe! Thanks for sharing.

    Once I get my new food processor I will try this again for sure.

  • February 21, 2013 at 2:11 am: Janet

    I made this tonight for my family and they really liked it. They couldn’t guess the secret ingredient. We are not vegan but I love making tasty food that is good for you. Thanks Isa for being such an awesome chef and using real ingredients to make real food!

  • March 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm: jess

    I was very suspicious of the sauerkraut, and would NEVER have even taken the time to try this recipe if it wasn’t coming from such a trusted source :) I’ve made it twice now and it is absolutely delish!! Rich and creamy, but not too heavy – and the flavour is just perfect. I usually reserve fake mac and cheeses for vegan friends, but this one is a hit with any omni crowd. I’ve passed this recipe along to two grateful omnis, in fact!

    Isa – I’ve never posted on your site, but I am one of the silent masses who loves and appreciates all your amazing recipes, and buys all your books hot off the presses. keep up the great work!!

  • March 9, 2013 at 6:34 pm: Sarah

    I just made this as the vegan/dairy-free option for a local fundraising mac & cheese dinner. It was a big hit! Word even started to spread that the vegan option was better than main mac being served. I left out the sauerkraut since I didn’t have any on hand and just added a little miso paste and extra lemon juice for the tangy, aged taste. Thanks!

  • March 18, 2013 at 8:44 am: deLUXE

    Could you suggest what amount of a gluten-free flour mix one might use in this recipe?
    Specifically, I use Better Batter as my flour.
    These gluten-free flours have a high starch content and thicken like crazy.
    If you don’t have a suggested amount, that’s fine… obviously.
    I’ll just experiment and post my results later.
    I just thought I’d ask first. This looks delectable though! I can’t wait to make it.

  • March 27, 2013 at 12:46 am: Amy Blessing

    Made this today and it was FABoo – best yet! The addition of sauerkraut is ingenious! Thank you for sharing this and your other delightful recipes and insights.

  • April 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm: Kate

    Sauerkrat!! Genius! I’m going to try replacing the miso in other cheese recipes with sauerkrat! Brilliant!

  • May 2, 2013 at 11:01 am: Grace

    This s better than many other vegan mac and cheese recipes, and since nooch can be pricey, it’s a good thing that the sauce isn’t 80% nooch. And we all love the nooch, folks, but it can be frustrating when a lot of vegan mac and cheese recipes basically taste the same. I don’t really want recipes to be able to make non-vegan friends think they’re eating non-vegan food, but I do want recipes that reflect how far vegan food has come, and this kind of innovation does exactly that.

    For the people who are iffy about the sauerkraut: if you taste the blended sauerkraut mixture before cooking, you can taste a bit of the sauerkraut flavour (though it’s mostly the tanginess of it, rather than the specific flavour of the sauerkraut), but once the dish is cooked, unless someone told you it was sauerkraut, you wouldn’t expect it at all.

    The final sauce would probably also go even better in a potato bake, and with some mustard in it.

  • August 16, 2013 at 11:25 pm: Running On Vegan

    Looks soo delish! I am not a sauerkraut lover myself but I get your intentions on using it. Subbing in cauliflower here, already smells fantastic (my iPhone is now sticky)

  • August 20, 2013 at 6:11 am: Tessa!

    THIS WAS AMAZNG.

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  • September 14, 2013 at 1:27 am: Alexa

    Sauerkraut and cashews? Sounds werid, are you sure final flavour is “cheesy”?
    I can live without meat (well, I hate the taste, so I find being old enough to decide about it a nice thing! and openly declaring as vegetarian is easier than eating this gross thing sometimes), and I don’t like eggs (it’s gross when raw, so why cook and eat something gross? and I didn’t bake a lot, so I can learn vegan recipies. And my habit of grabbing a yogurt or milk dessert for every brekfast or snack, whas more from habit and convinience, than taste (so bananas work as well… and I don’t need a spoon for them!) But cheese is hard as hell. No camembert for the rest of my life? No cheese on my pizza? No toast? No mozzarella, no caprese salad? Even no cheese-flavoured popcorn? OMG, I’m gonna cry!
    But I’m not sure, if I’m desperate enough, to try cashews and sauerkraut in one dish. You swear it tastes cheesy, not sour and you don’t find the smell od cabbage in it?

  • October 2, 2013 at 3:49 am: Laurs

    you’re a genius! thanks for bringing umami into vegan pasta!! loved it!

  • October 28, 2013 at 3:51 am: melissa

    What do you do with the onions once sauteed? Added to sauce? Or as a garnish?

  • November 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm: Karen

    This is the BEST vegan mac and cheese I’ve had so far. Like someone else above mentions, I used vegan kimchi (just the simple store bought jar from Whole Foods) instead of sauerkraut. I always liked a little bite to my mac and cheese anyway (think pepper jack flavor) and it turned out AMAZING. So don’t be afraid to make that substitute if you like the spice.

  • November 25, 2013 at 3:35 am: Parker

    I currently can’t find raw cashews anywhere(thanksgiving season, ugh), but I really liked this recipe when I made it back in September for my family and friends (who all liked it and ask for it). I was wondering if I would be able to sort of combine this recipe and the sunflower mac one? Or would the consistency of the sunflower seed’s sauce be too different for the sauerkraut to work as well as it does with the cashews?

  • January 29, 2014 at 12:38 am: Patricia Sjöberg

    I’m a little late to this party, but I was jonesing for some comfort food, as well as needing to use up some leftover collard/kale/what have you greens, so I thought this recipe and the greens would make a great meal. So far, it smells heavenly. I am sure it will taste fantastic, and I do plan to make this recipe again.

  • February 25, 2014 at 7:03 am: TS

    People, ADD THE GERMAN KIMCHEE. The tangyness added so much flavor. It doesn’t taste like saurkraut at all, it’s a wonderful secret ingredient.

    Unfortunately, my family is not a fan of cashew cheese (must be a vegan/health food thing). I loved it. Definitely gonna make a batch of cheese to freeze for myself, then pull out when I want an easy dish.

  • March 22, 2014 at 3:36 am: Rian

    It’s the bomb, easy to make and delicious. I used whole wheat penne and I was very happy. The timing is important so try to have everything out and ready before you start. I used roasted cashews from Safeway but next time I want to try raw. This is a must try!!!