Veggie Mac and Cheese

This post is sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company. All opinions are my own.

 A creamy mac and cheese recipe without cheese? But how?! Boy.oh.boy do I have a surprise recipe for you from my secret recipe stash! You’re going to love this version with smoky roasted veggies that make up the creamy sauce!

lactose free mac and cheese

Years ago, and I mean years ago (like 9!), I shared the way I made macaroni and cheese for my kids with veggies. I’d steam carrots in the steamer and then turned them into a creamy sauce and mixed it with the pasta. But my kids were no fools and the flavor was slightly sweet. So, I knew that pureed carrots alone wouldn’t do it.

Over the years, we’ve also reduced the amount of dairy we purchase around the house and turned to other milk alternative beverages for drinking and cooking.

What hasn’t changed around here, however, is my kids’ willingness to eat veggies. They are more open to them but two out of the three kids certainly will not volunteer to eat them. So, I’m still trying to incorporate them in any way I can.

What makes the cheesy sauce so creamy and delicious in this recipe? If you’re thinking butter –nope. That’s not it. Loads of cheese? –no, that’s not it either. Cream? –far from it.

The secret is Quaker Oat Beverage! It’s a lactose-free beverage that gives this mac and cheese the perfect amount of creaminess everyone loves from the traditional favorite recipe.

healthy macaroni and cheese

Quaker’s Oat Beverage is an easy swap in many of our favorite recipes. From iced coffee, baked goods, and this mac and cheese recipe, this is one easy swap that can fit into any lifestyle without feeling like you’re missing out. Each 8oz serving of Oat Beverage is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D, a good source of fiber from oat bran and chicory root extract, it’s a great lactose-free option with 30-50 calories per serving.

pouring oat milk

With so much goodness in each serving, it isn’t easy to live without –especially when you’re doing a plant-based lifestyle. This recipe is perfect to give you that comfort food fix you’ve wanted all along!

How to Make Mac and Cheese without Cheese

How in the world did we end up with a velvety, creamy bowl of delicious mac and cheese without using the classic ingredients? The secret is in the sauce.

This sauce is made with roasted veggies, nutritional yeast, and oat milk!

how to make healthy mac and cheese

Leave it to the oat experts to make a nut-free beverage with a creamy, silky texture I can’t get enough of! I use it in everything from iced coffees, with cookies, and in our favorite savory foods like this recipe!

What I love is that I don’t have to sacrifice taste when swapping-in Oat Beverage for other dairy or plant-based options because it’s available in Original, Original Unsweetened, and Vanilla.

oat milk

Mac and Cheese with Veggies

Now, how exactly do the vegetables make a rich, delicious sauce? The trick is to roast them! Roasting the cauliflower and carrots gives them a smoky flavor. And once pureed and mixed with oat milk and nutritional yeast, it creates a velvety smooth and addictively epic sauce.

Which brings me to the next ingredient nutritional yeast.

Nutritional Yeast Mac and Cheese

You’ll often find this ingredient used as a replacement for regular cheese. It adds a smoked flavor and comes in the form of flakes, granules, and powder- I like to call it delicious “cheese” sprinkles.

True to its name, nutritional yeast also offers nourishing benefits, it’s a complete protein and excellent source of B vitamins so we get bonus points for adding it to mac and cheese!

healthy mac and cheese with veggies

Nutritious Mac and Cheese for Everyone

This mac and cheese is one that everyone in the family-and guests!- will love. It’s packed with veggies while being the creamy, comforting pasta we all want to inhale!

How to Make Nutritious Mac and Cheese Creamier

In regular mac and cheese recipes, milk and butter help give it that creamy sauce. However, in this case, we’re using oat milk and pureed veggies to create a smooth sauce. If you need to thin it out, use a small amount of pasta water about 1/4 cup. Pasta water contains starches from the pasta which helps the sauce to hold together.

Many plant-based recipes on the internet use cashews to create this creamy sauce, but I’d like to make sure I have a nut-free recipe up my alley and therefore, the use of roasted veggies and the oat milk are a winning combo!

The Secret to Perfect Stove Top Mac and Cheese

Another perk about this mac and cheese is it’s made on the stove-top, no baking required! The sauce keeps its melted consistency without drying out and there’s less waiting involved.

healthy veggie mac and cheese

All in all, this is one epic recipe my family loves to eat and I can’t wait for you to try it. Grab a bottle of Quaker’s Oat Beverage from the refrigerated dairy alternative section at your local grocery.

Veggie Mac and Cheese

Turning veggies into a creamy sauce to make everyone’s favorite comfort food -better. A tasty Veggie Mac and Cheese recipe that’s also lactose-free.

  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 4 bowls 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup carrots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup Quaker Original Unsweetened Oat Beverage
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 8 ounces macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place the cauliflower and carrots onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt, and cumin. Toss to coat.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, drain, return into the pot, and set aside.
  4. Once the veggies are cooked, remove from oven and transfer them inside a food processor or blender and add the nutritional yeast and Quaker Original Unsweetened Oat Beverage. Blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the creamy purée on the pasta and warm, over medium-low heat, while stirring to combine. Add a small amount of pasta water at a time until you have the consistency of the sauce you like. Serve warm.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 294
  • Sugar: 6.6g
  • Sodium: 203.5mg
  • Fat: 5.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.8mg
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Protein: 11.3g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg

Keywords: lactose free mac and cheese, veggie mac and cheese

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3 thoughts on “Veggie Mac and Cheese”

  1. Sandra says:

    I made this yesterday for my family. It turned out AMAZING. Now I’m obsessed with this oat milk with iced coffee. It’s legit!

  2. Matt says:

    Another winner recipe from you Laura! I couldn’t believe it at first but this dairy free recipe is awesome.

    1. Laura Fuentes says:

      Thanks Matt for trying another one of my recipes!

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