A vegan mac ’n’ cheese that is creamy, cheesy and packed with nutty flavors! This healthier version of a comfort food classic is free from nuts and gluten.
Preheat your oven to 170°C. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (if using pumpkin purée skip the parchment paper and just preheat your oven)
Cut your pumpkin in half, using a sharp knife. Remove the top and bottom stems. With a spoon scoop out all of the strings and seeds. Cut into pieces and place them on your lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle the pumpkin with salt and pepper.
Wrap your garlic head in aluminum foil, and place it on your baking sheet (either alone if using pumpkin purée or along with the pumpkin pieces)
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is fork-tender and the garlic is very soft to the touch. When ready, remove from the oven and set aside.
In the meantime, start making pasta. Bring to a boil, a pot of water sprinkled generously with salt. Add your pasta, and cook following the box instructions.
Once pasta is cooked, drain and set aside. You can drizzle some olive oil to prevent them from sticking (optional)
In a food processor, add cooked and peeled pumpkin pieces or pumpkin purée. Peel the roasted garlic and add along tahini, soy milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, mustard, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency by adding more soy milk if the sauce too thick.
Taste and adjust the flavors as needed. Add more salt for saltiness, tahini for a depth of flavors, lemon juice for acidity or nutritional yeast for a nutty/cheesy flavor.
Mix the sauce with the pasta. You can either enjoy this pasta at this stage or add the breadcrumbs toppings and broil.
For the crust, add coconut oil or vegan butter, panko breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a small mixing bowl. With a fork, mix until you get a crumbly texture.
Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb topping and broil on high for 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Do not over bake or it will get dry!
Serve while still hot, garnish with fresh thyme, vegan parm or plain nutritional yeast. If you love spicy food, you can also add sliced jalapeño peppers on top!