1tablespoonapple cider vinegar , or white wine vinegar
¼teaspoononion powderDo not omit, it makes all the difference with the cheesy flavour
¼teaspoongarlic powderDo not omit, it makes all the difference with the cheesy flavour
⅛teaspoonsmoked paprika or chipotle powder
1tablespoonvegan butter(optional - and bear in mind that if you use my vegan butter recipe it is NOT nut-free)
For the crumb topping
3thick slicesbread, gluten-free if necessary
2tablespoonsvegan butteror olive oil (optional but recommended and bear in mind that if you use my vegan butter it is NOT nut-free)
Preheat oven to 400°F (200 °C).
Fill a large pan with water and bring to a rolling boil then cook the macaroni as directed on the packaging. Drain when tender and return to the pan.
Add all of the sauce ingredients and blend until completely smooth. If you have a smaller blender you might need to do it in 2 stages.
Pour the sauce into the cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole.
Wash out and dry your blender, (or use a food processor instead), then break the bread into pieces and place in the blender with the butter or olive oil and garlic. The oil/butter is recommended for a crisper, more golden and more flavorful topping but you can omit it if you prefer. Pulse until breadcrumbs are formed then spread evenly over the mac and cheese in the casserole.
Bake for 25 minutes or until piping hot and the crumb topping is golden brown and crispy. If you want the top even more golden broil it for a few minutes but keep a close eye on it because the breadcrumbs can turn from ok to black as a cinder very quickly! Serve immediately.
SWEET POTATO - I recommend white fleshed sweet potato like the Hannah variety for this recipe. White sweet potato gives the cheese sauce a better flavor than orange sweet potatoes because they aren’t as sweet. It’s still ok when made with the orange ones but doesn’t taste as cheesy and is sweeter. Look out for sweet potatoes with lighter, golden-colored skin and white flesh. If you aren’t sure you can scratch the skin gently to see the color of the flesh underneath or check out this article about sweet potato varieties. The Hannah is the 3rd one in the list and is the kind you are looking for. If you can't find white sweet potatoes then use a regular potato or an orange fleshed sweet potato if you don't mind the sweetness. SWEET WHITE MISO PASTE - Lots of people ask what miso I use and it's a naturally aged organic Shiro Miso made by Amano. It's common across Canada and the US. Any sweet white miso will be fine though and use chickpea miso if you want to keep the recipe soy free.MILK - I like cashew milk, soy milk or oat milk for this recipe as they are very neutral. The milk used must be unsweetened and unflavored. I don't recommend almond milk because the flavour comes through too much in savory dishes & takes away from the cheesiness in this recipe. Rice milk is naturally sweet and does not work well i savory sauces. TAPIOCA FLOUR - My thickener of choice in this recipe because it gives the sauce a texture like a sauce made with cheese. It really is the best option. However, if you need to sub it then I think arrowroot powder would be the next best option, followed by corn starch.TO COOK ON THE STOVE TOPCook the macaroni then drain it and return it to the pan. While the macaroni is cooking make the sauce, transfer it to a pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes until hot. Then mix the sauce and macaroni together. Keep it over the heat for a few minutes so that it becomes piping hot, then serve. When cooking it on the stove top you can either skip the crispy breadcrumb topping, or prepare the crumbs as instructed in the recipe, then fry them in a frying pan on the stove top. You will need to do this in batches though for ultimate crispy goldenness. Then sprinkle the crispy garlicky breadcrumbs over the mac and cheese as you serve it up.