Curried Cauliflower Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

This post is generously sponsored by Banza

For this gluten free college celiac, nothing says “fall comfort food” like a bowl of creamy vegan mac and cheese. There’s something nostalgic about finishing class and rushing home to eat some cozy mac and cheese, even if it’s not like the boxed variety I ate with dinner as a child.

In fact, I think this gluten free mac and cheese recipe is even better. The vegan cheese sauce has a slight kick from the curry powder, and while it doesn’t taste like “regular cheese,” the sauce is gooey enough to fulfill any mac and cheese craving. Meanwhile, slightly crunchy bites of steamed cauliflower break up the dish’s creaminess, and Banza pasta offers 25 grams of vegan protein per serving!

Curried Cauliflower Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

As part of Banza’s #BanzaPlus5 campaign, this easy vegan mac and cheese recipe also only calls for five ingredients besides pasta and water. So, really, there’s no reason to not dive facefirst into this gluten free and dairy free mac and cheese recipe.

The Ingredients for Your Gluten Free Mac and Cheese:

Ready to get your healthy mac and cheese party started? Gather the following ingredients:

Vegan Curry Cheese Sauce:

(This will create around two cups of sauce. Use the extras for nachos, enchiladas, lasagna, curries, etc!) 

2 medium Yukon potatoes, cooked until tender (about 1 cup mashed potatoes)
1/2 a medium zucchini or squash, steamed (peeled if you want to have more yellow-colored cheese sauce) 
3/4 a cup of water (can add more if you want a thinner sauce) 
Shake of ground mustard, to taste
Shake of curry powder, to taste (I recommend adding one shake of each spice, tasting, and adjusting until you get your desired level of spice) 

Curried Cauliflower Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

Other Pasta Ingredients:

Desired servings of Banza pasta or other gluten free and/or vegan pasta 
Handful of rainbow cauliflower 

How to Make Vegan Mac and Cheese:

This gluten free mac and cheese recipe is easy to whip up, especially if you make the curry cheese sauce in advance. To make the sauce, start by cooking your potatoes. You can use leftover potatoes, boil them over the stovetop or stick them in the microwave - whatever works for you! 

While (or after) those are cooking, slice half of a medium zucchini or squash and steam it until tender using your preferred cooking method. If you want a more yellow-looking cheese sauce, peel your zucchini before steaming. (I microwaved my potatoes and zucchini, and didn’t bother peeling the zucchini, ‘cause this grad student ain't got time for anything else!)

Curried Cauliflower Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

If you aren’t using leftover pasta, you can also cook your pasta noodles at this time, following the instructions on your pasta box. Same goes for your steamed cauliflower! 

Once your potatoes and zucchini are cooked through, place them in a high-powered blender with 3/4 cup of water. If you boiled your potatoes or zucchini, feel free to use some of that water in your sauce. Blend until creamy, and then start shaking your spices. I can’t handle a ton of spice, so I used around 1/16 a teaspoon or less of mustard and curry powder. If you’re craving a more heavily spiced sauce, keep shaking! As mentioned in the ingredient list, I recommend shaking some of each spice, tasting, and repeating until satisfied with the flavors. 
After your pasta and veggies are cooked and your sauce is blended, it’s time to bring your healthy mac and cheese recipe together! Place your desired serving of pasta in a bowl or large pan, and add enough cheese sauce to coat all of the noodles. Throw in however much cauliflower you're craving, saving some to sprinkle on top for serving. Then all you have to do is dive in!

Curried Cauliflower Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

There are plenty of ways you can make this vegan mac and cheese recipe your own, especially if you don’t mind using more than five ingredients. Add extra turmeric to your curry cheese sauce for a boost in golden color. Toss some spinach or roasted veggies into your pasta mix for an even bigger serving of vegetables. And if you don’t use a pasta that’s already high in protein like Banza, add your choice of meat, tofu or beans. (I think chickpeas would go especially well with the curry flavors!) 

As for the leftover curry cheese sauce, you can use it in everything from Buddha bowls to enchiladas to quesadillas to nachos. The sauce also freezes well. When you want to use it after freezing, just defrost it (naturally or in the microwave). It will initially look watery and mushy, but all you have to do is reheat it again. 

If you want some sauce for dipping, scoop out your desired portion and microwave it in a bowl on normal power for 30 seconds, and wala! Creamy curry vegan cheese sauce! The defrosted sauce also works perfectly in the slow cooker. Just scoop the defrosted sauce into your slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients (like when making my slow cooker mac and cheese) and the sauce will slowly transform back into creamy goodness.

Curried Cauliflower Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free)

Although this curried cauliflower mac and cheese is an untraditional cousin to the mac and cheese I grew up with, it still checks all the same boxes of: 1. Comforting, 2. Creamy, and 3. Crazily addictive. Plus, a few extra boxes like: 4. Gluten free and dairy free mac and cheese, and 5. Loaded with hidden veggies.

So the next time you’re craving some healthier comfort food this fall, just remember that five ingredients separate you from a bowl of this curried cauliflower vegan mac and cheese! 

*I received free samples of Banza pasta in return for an honest feature on my blog. However, all opinions, recipes and photographs are my own. Thanks for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac!*



What is one comfort food you ate as a kid and still eat (a form of) today? How do you like your mac and cheese? Comment below!

Comments

  1. I don’t think I could ever commit to being full Vegan but I love trying vegan recipes once in a while. I’m a sucker for curry powder so this really sounds great to me!

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  2. This sounds absolutely delicious. Anything with curry and I'm in!

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  3. Love the colorful cauliflower you've used here - looks like a great flavor combo :)

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  4. This looks amazing! And I love Mac and cheese :)

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  5. I LOVE cauliflower! I think this is a great way to incorporate veggies! Also, CHEESE! <3

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  6. Your recipes never fail to impress me and make me SO hungry! This looks so fabulous and I have pinned for later because I cannot wait to make some!

    xo, Taylor || The Millennial Sprinkle (thesprinkle.tayloramead.com)

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  7. I love adding cauliflower to my dishes, it's a great healthy alternative. I have never used this rainbow cauliflower though! I need to find some, it adds such great color. Pinning for dinner next week, perfect for this chilly weather in New England :)

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    1. I hope you find some rainbow cauliflower in your neck of the woods soon! ;)

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  8. This sounds lovely, but erm.. what is rainbow cauliflower? I've never seen that before, looks awesome!

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    1. Look for it in the frozen section or the produce :) Always so colorful!

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  9. This looks yummy! I haven't had mac and cheese in a long time. I might have to make it this weekend for dinner. Thanks for the idea. :)

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  10. That pasta looks really fun! I haven't tried any rung like this recipe before, it looks good 🙂

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  11. Girl, you always have fun recipes. I do love Banza. I have several boxes in my pantry.

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  12. This looks absolutely amazing! I can't wait to treat myself to a bowl. And those chickpea noodles look pretty interesting. Excited to check it out. Thank you for sharing your magic :)

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  13. What made you decide to make the cauliflowers so colourful? They look amazing...

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    1. Thanks Josy! I had some rainbow cauliflower that needed to be used up, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity!

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