Is it starting to feel like early summer where you live? It's getting pretty warm here but I'm still craving cozy nights in sweatpants and some comfort food. Vegan red curry mac and cheese is comfort food with a kick! The Thai red curry paste and lime give this creamy vegan mac and cheese a spicy and zesty tang!
It's creamy and rich but not heavy at all! The spices from the Thai red curry and the tangy lime zest and lime juice cuts the creaminess so well, it becomes very easy to go for seconds. And thirds.
You've been fair warned.
Essential ingredients in vegan mac and cheese
Traditional mac and cheese start with a roux made from butter and flour, whole milk, and lots of cheese. Vegan mac and cheese on the other hand can be made in different ways. You could simply substitute the butter for vegan butter for the roux, and nondairy milk and vegan cheese. You could also make a cheese sauce using cashews, root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and nutritional yeast.
Although I really like making my green mac and cheese with romanesco broccoli, I prefer a combination of coconut milk and cashews for this recipe! Thai curries are made using coconut milk, so it only makes sense to use it in the cheese sauce!
I'm using two of my favorite Thai ingredients: Chef's Choice coconut milk and red curry paste!
I've also added nutritional yeast for that nutty flavor that cheese has, as well as a little bit of miso for that salty fermented flavor.
How to make vegan red curry mac and cheese
The first step in making this vegan red curry mac and cheese is to bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt it generously. You want the water to taste like the ocean. Cook your macaroni about 2 minutes shorter than package instructions.
I used gluten-free elbow macaroni by Jovial Foods, but you can use your favorite macaroni or any short cut pasta!
While the pasta is cooking, add the remaining ingredients to a high powered blender and purée until smooth, and set aside.
That's right, this cheese sauce comes together in a blender! It doesn't get any better than that, am I right? Using a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec is essential when making a vegan cheese sauce. You just can't get the sauce as smooth with a regular blender. I use a vacuum blender by Dr. Mercola which I have to be honest, is quite loud but cheaper than a Vitamix or Blendtec, and gets the job done!
Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir. Turn the stove on medium heat and cook for a couple of minutes while stirring constantly, or until the sauce thickens to your liking. You have to keep stirring, otherwise the pasta and sauce sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Now serve this immediately! As with any mac and cheese, vegan or not, it's best eaten right as it's done cooking for ultimate creaminess.
Although this red curry mac and cheese is amazing on its own, there are a few toppings that would kick it up a notch! You could add a little crunch with some roasted peanuts, red pepper flakes for more spice, chopped cilantro if you like them, and my favorite, a wedge of lime for extra zing!
Want more vegan meals? Try my red curry ramen, or arroz valenciana!
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Vegan Red Curry Mac and Cheese
- 10 oz / 283g gluten-free macaroni (you can use regular macaroni, or any other short cut pasta)
- ⅔ cup / 100g raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained (you can also soak it in hot water for 20min)
- ¾ cup / 180g water
- 1 lime, zested and juiced (½ tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons juice)
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 can / 400g Chef's Choice coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons miso
- 2 tablespoons Chef's Choice red curry paste
- roasted peanuts (optional garnish)
- cilantro (optional garnish)
- lime wedges (optional garnish)
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional garnish)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the pasta 2 minutes shorter than package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the remaining ingredients to a high powered blender and purée until smooth. Set aside.
- Drain the pasta and put back in the pot. Pour the sauce in and cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes stirring constantly, or until the sauce thickens to your liking. Serve immediately.
SAVE TO PINTEREST FOR LATER!
Disclosure – Thank you to Chef’s Choice Foods for sponsoring this post! I love both their products and brand values, and I’m so excited to be working with them!
Links included in this post might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product using these links I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you 🙂
Oh, yummy comfort food, and I just bought a box of Banza chickpea pasta that I can use plus I've got red curry paste, miso, cashews, nutritional yeast, all of it! Who knew such a combo was possible. I can see a midnight snack in my future.
This would make a delicious midnight snack 😉 I love Banza chickpea pasta! Jovial brown rice pasta is amazing if you haven't tried it yet!!
looks creamy.. thai food is always special in flavor and taste...
LaRena Fry says
Hey, I tried to click 5 stars but it only gave three. I am sorry. love the curry flavor I have never thought of it before.
No worries Larena! 🙂
Nart at Cooking with Nart says
Red curry mac and cheese, wow, yum! I definitely will try this.
Hope you like it Nart!
Jacqueline Debono says
I love the flavours in Thai red curry and of course I'm a big pasta fan so this combo sounds just perfect! Love how creamy this vegan mac and cheese looks!
Thanks Jacqueline! Means a lot coming from the pasta queen herself!! 😉
Ooh great idea. Awesome to have vegan options for people.
Love this fun, spicy twist to the traditional mac and cheese! Bonus points from the vegan members of my family.
Thanks Patrice!! 🙂
This is a really interesting twist to a normal mac and cheese. I'm sure its flavorful and yummy.
LOVE this recipe, it's so warm and comforting. We do like to add a veggie, whatever we have on hand. Also the first time we made it, we used too much lime juice but realized the limes we had were bigger than normal so we adjusted from there. Thanks for this amazing recipe!!
Hi Trisha! I'm so glad you love this recipe! One of my favorites too😋 So many people are mac and cheese purists so I didn't add any to this post, but when I make it for myself I usually add broccoli or spinach😁 Thank you so much for the lovely comment and rating!!❤️