This Thai Red Curry Mac and Cheese is featuring cashew nuts, coconut milk, and Thai red curry paste. Hey, no nutritional yeast, not that I am missing it. It is a great fusion recipe where the coconut milk makes it extra creamy, while the red curry paste adds a little bit of spiciness. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free comfort food.
When it comes to vegan mac and cheese, there are so many possibilities for skipping the dairy. We have already posted a veggie-loaded nut-free mac and cheese recipe, which we love. But, cashews are another very popular way to make a cheezy sauce. We love to make a vegan nachos dip from cashews. Not yet on the website, but coming…
Why curry mac and cheese?
Well, I was asked to review a cookbook. Yeah! The first of many, I hope. It is such an exciting thing to do. I am excited as I get to try new recipes, and I also feel the excitement of the author as their new baby is reveiwed by many blogger at the same time. But the most exciting thing is that I get to share with you one recipe from the book. And I chose this Thai Red Curry Mac and Cheese recipe.
But which cookbook is it, you ask?
Vegan Mac & Cheese Cookbook by Robin Robertson
I saw the name Robin Robertson first when we started eating plant-based and I was doing some research on plant-based nutrition and diet. I came across Michael Greger MD’s Nutritionfact.org website and then his New York Times best-seller book titled How Not To Die. He shares FREE videos about all the new information on nutrition research. His videos are factual, short and to the point. I am frequently linking to his videos from my recipes. His work and his book are both quintessential if you want to follow a healthy vegan/plant-based diet.
But back to Robin, she is the recipe developer behind the How Not To Die Cookbook. The book contains 100+ healthy, plant-based and easy-to-prepare recipes. So, when I was asked to review Robin’s new book, I was pumped.
In her Vegan Mac and Cheese Cookbook, there are more than 50 delicious, plant-based recipes and – wait for it – all are variations of Mac and Cheese. How awesome is that? I mean who can get bored of mac and cheese? I certainly cannot and now I will certainly not.
What can you find in the cookbook?
The book starts with the history of mac and cheese. Hint: it started sometime in the 1200s. Then she offers detailed tips on all ingredients.
- Which pasta to choose?
- How to make cheezy sauces with different flavours?
- What kind of toppings makes it even tastier? – Uhm, say Yay to cracker crumbs.
- What kind of add-ins can make your vegan mac and cheese special? – I agree with her Sauteed Mushrooms is one of the yummy add-ins we frequently use.
After that the book is divided into 5 chapters:
- Basic Mac and Cheese
- Global Cheesy Macs
- Mac and Veggies
- Meaty Macs
- Fun with Mac & Cheese
Some of the most creative mac and cheese recipes
I noted to myself to try these unique and innovative recipes from the cookbook.
- Greek Spinach Orzo Bake – I am meaning to try my gluten-free orzo pasta and this should be the perfect recipe.
- Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Mac – A dream of any gluten-free foodie is to find perfect pasta-free recipes.
- Asparagus Mac and Hollandaise – I love asparagus so much. She boils the asparagus, but I sure will add our Roasted Asparagus.
- Cheesy Primavera Mac – The ultimate veggie-loaded mac and cheese with 7 different veggies. You can certainly add even more. Head over to Dianne’s blog to get the recipe.
- Chili Mac – I have never thought of adding chili on top of mac and cheese.
- Shepherd’s Mac – Again, what a fun idea to use mac and cheese instead of mashed potatoes to top the Shepherd’s Pie.
- Cheesy Broccoli Mac Soup – We love soups and consider them the best comfort food for fall/winter.
- Mac Uncheese Balls – Mac and cheese formed into a ball, breaded and fried. Yum!
- Indian Vermicelli Pudding – It is a dessert recipe, so count me in by all means.
This ended up quite a list. But there are so many good ones.
How to make curry mac and cheese?
Take a skillet or a pan and add olive oil. Cook chopped onion on medium heat for 5 minutes. Now, stir in the Thai red curry paste (we use this gluten-free, organic, no-weird-ingredient red curry paste), the salt and pepper. After 1 minute add half of the water (1 cup). Stir and remove from heat.
Take your blender. Add soaked cashews, and the other half of the water (1 cup) and blend until smooth. Add the curry paste you just finished and blend again to mix.
When you have your pasta ready. Take a skillet or frying pan. Add the blended mixture and the canned coconut milk and heat to thicken the sauce. When ready, add your pasta and you can serve this delicious Thai red curry mac and cheese. Enjoy!
Add-ins and toppings
Robin recommends to serve it hot, sprinkled with chopped roasted peanuts, fresh basil or cilantro leaves and red pepper flakes (if using), with lime wedges on the side for squeezing.
For an even heartier (and more colorful) dish, add some cooked veggies, such as stir-fried chopped red bell pepper, carrot, broccoli, or snow peas.
Useful tips to make creamy curry mac and cheese
- If you don’t have a high power blender (like Vitamix or Blendtec), you can still make delicious mac and cheese with a food processor or regular blender. The only thing to consider is that you may need to compromise bit on smoothness and creaminess.
- To get the cashews soft, just soak them in hot water for 5-10 minutes. You can do overnight soaking for sure no problem, but if you are in a hurry like most of us, you can boil water in a kettle and soak them quickly.
This Thai Red Curry Mac and Cheese recipe is meat-free, dairy-free and egg-free. It is also suitable for vegan, and vegetarian diets. It can also be WFPB-friendly (whole foods plant-based) if you cook the onion in water or veggie broth.
The sauce itself is gluten-free, but make sure to choose gluten-free pasta if it is important for you like this corn quinoa and rice fusilli or a more protein-packed chickpea pasta. I’ve never tried this gluten-free chia flour pasta but would love to.
More pasta recipes
- Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese
- Vegan Eggplant Meatballs Spaghetti
- Vegan Cabbage Lasagna
- Quick Vegan Spinach Pasta Sauce
- Easy Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Thai Curry Mac and Cheese
Curry Mac and Cheese Sauce
- Chopped roasted peanuts
- Fresh Thai basil or Cilantro
- Red pepper flakes
- Lime wedges
To make the sauce
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil.
- Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the curry paste, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Stir in 1 cup (240 ml) of water and remove the skillet from the heat.
- In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews and remaining 1 cup (240 ml) of water. Blend until completely smooth. Add the curry mixture and blend again until smooth. Set aside.
To make the pasta
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions al dente. Drain well and return it to pot.
- Stir in the curry cheese sauce and coconut milk. Place the pot over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes to heat through and thicken the sauce.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed. Transfer to a large serving dish and serve hot, sprinkled with peanuts, basil or cilantro and red pepper flakes (if using), with lime wedges on the side for squeezing.