10 minute ‘Cheese’ Sauce + Stove-top Mac and Cheese! {low fat, vegan, healthy, gluten-free, no oil added}
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10 minute ‘Cheese’ Sauce + Stove-top Mac and Cheese! {low fat, vegan, healthy, gluten-free, no oil added}

Mac and Cheese will always be one of my favourite comfort foods. This is my creamiest and easiest  Mac and Cheese yet! The cheese sauce is super creamy and tastes good on just about anything – veggies, pizza, chocolate (haha maybe not chocolate) and of course – mac and cheese πŸ˜‰
 Vegan Cheese Sauce
Between writing essays I got a serious craving for Mac and Cheese yesterday evening (will not be the first time and will not be the last!). I did not feel like going the traditional route by spending 30 minutes plus preparing a roux out of flour and oil and then grating tons of cheese (way too much work and not that healthy!). I looked back on my first time making Mac and Cheese and this healthy vegan version also takes about 30 minutes to put together. It then dawned on me that I had roasted some sweet potatoes the night before for another recipe that is in the works. One thing led to another and my ten minute cheese sauce was born πŸ™‚
Vegan Mac and Cheese
This cheese sauce could not be simpler to make: fry up an onion, a couple cloves of garlic, roast a sweet potato, steam some cauliflower in the microwave, add it all into a blender with a big handful of cashews and some water, blend and voila your creamiest Mac and Cheese sauce is ready to be slathered on some hearty pasta! This recipe makes 6 heaping cups of sauce, so if you are not feeding an entire family you can store half the sauce in the fridge for later or freeze it for up to a couple months and enjoy it next time you need to satisfy a mac and cheese craving.
Vegan Cheese Sauce
Things I love about this sauce? It is oil-free, full of healthy fats from the cashews, as well as containing a ton of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from the cauliflower and sweet potato. I promise that you cannot taste the cauliflower but it makes this sauce that much creamier and healthier. It really does bring a hearty element into any dish (remember how well it worked in my Butter Chicken?). Plus, cauliflower is a super food full of good for you vitamins and minerals (read more about that here). For all of its deliciousness and health factors cauliflower seems to be finding its way into everything I cook lately. The second star of this recipe is sweet potato. If it is not part of your weekly diet than wait no longer – it is sweet, hearty, and way better for you than your average white potato we all know and love! One sweet potato contains a ton of Vitamin A, C, vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients (Read more about that here). This sauce is sure to leave you feeling great and totally satisfied.
Vegan Mac and Cheese and Cheese Sauce
If making Mac and Cheese out of the following ingredients ‘scares’ you, go into this with an open mind, this is a great alternative for the creamy Mac and Cheese we all know and love that will not leave you feeling heavy or bloated after. You can always sneak in some cheese into the end result if it is not “cheesy” enough for you πŸ˜‰ Wishing you a great end of week – I need to get back to the books now if this essay will ever finish itself!

Update on 05/20/2014: This sauce is perfect when easing into a healthier lifestyle and looking for alternatives to old favourites such as Mac and Cheese [One cup of sauce is only around 100 calories or 3 points+]. When making this for my family I added a few tbsp of Parmesan Cheese to get a bit more of that “cheesy” flavour. With the added Parmesan the dish still remain very low fat and healthy but is of course no longer vegan or dairy free. For my vegan and dairy free friends I would recommend adding a couple of teaspoons of nutritional yeast to get more of that “cheesy” flavour! I also still LOVE this dish as is  but adding a couple dashes of Parmesan seems to add that extra kick without adding heaps of cheese in the traditional version.

Also, don’t forget to like the Ceara’s Kitchen facebook page! I got it up and running last week πŸ™‚


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10 Minute ‘Cheese’ Sauce + Stove-Top Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Ceara


  • 1 small yellow onion, diced*
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashews (soaked in water for at least an hour) OR milk of choice
  • 1/2 head chopped cauliflower (about 3 heaping cups)
  • 1 roasted sweet potato (about 1 cup)
  • 2.53 cups water* (depending on desired thickness, *sub for milk if not using cashews)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • Splash of hot sauce (optional)
  • Pasta of Choice*


  1. If using (see notes), soak cashews in water for at least 1 hour in advance.
  2. Roast sweet potato in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes at 375f or 180c (until soft when poked with a fork). Once the sweet potato has cooled down a bit, scoop out the insides and discard skin. Alternatively, if you are really pressed for time, poke little holes all over it with a fork, and microwave it on high for about five minutes in a bowl with a bit of water on the bottom. (Microwaving will take some of the sweet out of the potato though!)
  3. In a large pan, saute the garlic and onions, in water, over medium-high heat, until slightly browned and most of the water is soaked up.
  4. Microwave the cauliflower, in a bowl, with a bit of water on the bottom, for about 5 minutes until they are cooked through and easy to pierce with a fork.
  5. Add the sweet potato, cauliflower, garlic, onions, soaked cashews, and 2 cups water to the blender. Blend, blend, blend until nice and creamy.
  6. Add the cayenne, optional hot sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and blend some more. If you sauce is too thick add a bit more water (up to one cup).
  7. If serving over pasta, cook pasta as directed on the box.
  8. Transfer sauce back to the pan where you sauteed the garlic and onions and cook it for another minute or so to let the flavours really develop (flavours seem to become more intense over time as well!)
  9. Add in your cooked pasta and voila your stove-top Mac and Cheese is ready to be devoured!


  • – If you are really pressed for time just use dried garlic and onion powder to taste
  • – If you are allergic to cashews you can skip them altogether but use your milk of choice instead of the water when blending
  • – Use Gluten-free pasta if you need this to be gluten-free
  • Nutritional Benefits: No cholesterol, high in fiber, high in magnesium, manganese, very high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, C, and iron
  • Note and Substitutions*


  • Serving Size: 6


What’s your favourite Comfort Food?

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