Pumpkin and Sage Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese Donuts
Crispy, Buttery Sage tops this thick and creamy pumpkin mac and cheese sauce to create a fun twist on a soul food classic… vegan baked mac and cheese donuts.
Welcome! It’s that time again. Time for another yummy vegan baked mac and cheese recipe. This time we’re getting creative with it. But rest assured this vegan baked mac and cheese recipe can be made as simple as creative as you’d like. If you want to go the easy vegan baked mac and cheese route simply scroll down to the bottom where I share how to make this recipe super easy! If you’re in for the creative thrill keep reading!
Gather Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese Ingredients
First you’ll want to gather all the ingredients needed for the vegan baked mac and cheese recipe. Here’s what we used:
- Banza Noodles (I like to use these as a healthier alternative)
- Puréed Pumpkin
- Just About Food Egg Substitute
- Nutritional Yeast
- Chickpea Flour
- Vegan Butter
- Cashew Milk
- Fresh Sage, Chopped
- Kosher Salt
Once all of your ingredients have been gathered make sure you begin to preheat the oven. If you are still reading this I’m assuming you’re making the vegan baked mac and cheese donuts with me. If that’s the case you will need a donut pan. But like I said, this recipe can easily be made as a traditional vegan mac and cheese recipe in a regular baking pan.
Make the Mac Donuts
To make the mac donuts you’ll want to boil the noodles according to the package direction. As a rule of thumb I always like to cook my noodles al dente. For this recipe specifically you’ll definitely want to make sure the noodles are cooked al dente. Mushy noodles will not get you the best result for this vegan mac and cheese recipe.
Another chef secret when making pasta is I never just boil my pasta in regular water. I always, always add some sort of vegetable broth or something like not-chicken bouillon cube. This adds more flavor to the pasta and the pasta water we are reserving which in turn adds more flavor to our sauce. So, please, for the love of flavor, never just cook your noodles in water. Always add some broth or a bouillon cube to the water. At the very least, season the boiling water with salt and olive oil.
That said, once the noodles have finished boiling be sure to drain but reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the reserved water to a medium saucepan and set aside. This will be the saucepan used to make the pumpkin cheese sauce.
Next add the drained noodles to a large bowl and mix in the two prepared eggs using the Just About Food egg substitute mixture, two heaping tablespoons of puréed pumpkin, two tablespoon nutritional yeast, two tablespoons nutritional yeast and half tablespoon melted butter. Mix until noodles are well coated.
Now spoon mixture into donut pan and press down, ensuring noodles are compactly pressed into each donut compartment. I used my hands for this because you really want to make sure the mixture is compactly pressed into the donut tin. The goal is not to smash the noodles but rather to make them stick together.
Then bake the noodles for 12 – 15 minutes.
Make the Vegan Cheese Sauce
While baking prepare the cheese sauce. Use saucepan with reserved pasta water and add 1 cup pumpkin, 1/2 cup cashew milk, 1 tablespoon vegan butter, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, and salt to a medium sized saucepan. Whisk together and allow to simmer over medium heat for about ten minutes. Once cooked through set aside.
Rinse saucepan and then add 1 tablespoon of butter and warm over medium heat. Then add chopped sage and allow to crisp in butter with a pinch of salt for about 5 – 7 minutes. Careful not to burn the sage. Once crispy and finished cooking allow sage to drain on a paper towel.
Assemble the Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese Donuts
Once mac donuts have finished baking allow to cool. Then gently slide out of donut pan. I was able to do this by pressing a cooling rack upside down over the donuts. Then while pressing the donut pan and the cooling rack together I flipped the donuts over onto the cooling rack.
Now it’s time for the fun part! Top the vegan baked mac and cheese donuts with our creamy pumpkin cheese sauce. Spoon the pumpkin cheese sauce on top of the donuts and then sprinkle with crispy sage and enjoy!
Once you take a bit I think you’ll love the compliment of the crispy, buttery, salty sage with the earthy pumpkin inspired vegan macaroni and cheese sauce. A true treat indeed!
Pumpkin and Sage Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese Donuts
Can I make this as regular vegan baked mac and cheese?
Yes! To make this dish as regular vegan baked mac and cheese simply skip the donut part. Instead boil the noodles and don’t add any of the remaining ingredients listed under the ‘Mac Donuts’ ingredients section. Simply add the boiled noodles to a baking dish. Make the cheese as directed. Stir in the cheese with the noodles and allow to bake in oven on 350* F for 12 – 15 minutes. If you want to get fancy, before adding to the oven I would crush some Ritz Crackers up and top your vegan baked mac and cheese with the crushed crackers, then bake!
Does this taste like vegan baked mac and cheese- soul food?
This vegan baked mac and cheese recipe is meant to be a creative twist on the soul food classic. While this may not be exactly what you’re looking for I do have a vegan baked mad and cheese- soul food recipe you can find in my Veganized Thanksgiving e-book. Check it out here.