Masala Mac and Cheese! Garam masala, cumin, fennel, cayenne, nigella and fenugreek seeds in this Indian Spiced cheese sauce. Vegan Recipe. can be gluten-free
I don’t know why I haven’t made masala mac before. The spices work out so well in the cheese sauce and makes a fabulous mac and cheese. Masala basically means spices or a sauce made with spices.
The cheese sauce with spices and cashews is flavorful and comes together quickly if you have the spices. I use quite some spices for a complex flavor. Use any that you have and the sauce will still be fabulous. I saw the Ethiopian Mac in Kittee’s book and that gave me the idea to make the Indian Masala Mac!
To make this masala mac and cheese nut-free, use soaked sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the sauce. This Mac is going to be a crowd pleaser at the next event for sure. There can never be too many mac and cheese recipes right!
mmm.. mmm .. mmmmmm
More Mac’s from the blog.
- ROASTED TOMATO CHIPOTLE MAC AND CHEESE WITH CAULIFLOWER SAUCE
- NACHO MAC AND CHEESE CASSEROLE
- SPICY MAC N YEASE
Make this today!
Masala Mac and Cheese Vegan Recipe
- 10 to 12 oz (283.5 g) pasta
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) each of cumin seeds coriander seeds, nigella seeds
- 1/8 tsp (0.13 tsp) each of fenugreek seeds fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup (3.5 g) finely chopped red onion
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1/2 inch (0.5 inch) piece of ginger chopped
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) cayenne
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) garam masala
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) cinnamon
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 1/3 cup (43 g) raw cashews
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water use 1 cup water for thinner sauce, the sauce thickens quite a bit
- 3/4 to 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 1/4 cup (305 ml) non dairy milk
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) black pepper
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) onion granules
- Cook the pasta according to instructions.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add all the whole spices/seeds and cook for 2 minutes or until they change color and get fragrant. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent. 3 to 4 minutes. Add cayenne, garam masala and cinnamon. Give it a quick mix. Add tomatoes, cashews, water, salt and lime juice, bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Total 6 to 7 minutes.
- Cool slightly and blend with nutritional yeast and non dairy milk in a high speed blender, until smooth. Return the sauce to the skillet. Add cooked pasta and black pepper, onion granules cover and cook over low-medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes,or until it thickens. At this point I usually add some chopped broccoli or baby greens and fold in.
- Stir, taste and adjust salt, spice and tang. Add prepared mustard for additional tang if needed. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro and paprika. Add a side of grilled Spiced Tofu and a small salad on the side to make a meal.
To sub fenugreek seeds, use 1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves or 1/4 tsp ground mustard.
To make this nut-free, use soaked sunflower or pumpkin seeds in the sauce Nutritional values based on one serving
I’m thinking about adding baked soy curls to this recipe, probably along with the broccoli at the end. What do you think?
Yes add them with the broccoli. You’ll need some extra liquid as soycurls absorb a lot
Any substitute for the nigella seeds, or are they pretty much essential? Thanks in advance!
Use dried onion flakes
I made this for dinner and loved the flavors, but next time I will try using coconut milk to make it creamier.
Super tasty…I’ve been craving it ever since making it!
Vegan Richa Support
wow – it really left a lasting impression!
So delicious I can’t stop eating it!
Vegan Richa Support
that’s great! so addictive – thank you
I would love to make this, but my son has a cashew allergy…is there another nut that would also work well? (He is only allergic to cashews & pistachios)
almond + walnut, or macadamia
A friend recommended this recipe and it did not disappoint! I cannot eat tomatoes, so I mixed in some tamarind concentrate with the water, and it was still delicious. I tossed in some chili flakes because I was out of cayenne. Delicious and satisfyingly spicy!
If I don’t have the individual spices, can I sub in a certain amount of curry powder?
Yes. Garam masala would be a better option that curry powder but it will work. Depending on the brand, sometimes the curry powder blends have more of certain spices, start with 1 tsp and add more later when you taste
hey ! i was just wondering what kind of non dairy milk do you use or would work best
i usually use almond milk. Cashew milk or soy milk will also work.
This looks so good. Do you use soaked cashews or do they soften whilst cooking? I am not sure how good my blender would be at blending them!
The cashews soften during the 7 min cook time with the sauce ingredients so they blend really easily. If you are not sure, you can soak them for half na hour or so before using.
Hi could you emit the yeast from this recipe or sub it with something else?
yes just omit the nutritional yeast.
I made this for dinner tonight and loved it. My husband, who doesn’t care for creamy pasta sauces as a rule, predictably gave it a thumbs down. But… he just came to my room to tell me, “I changed my mind.” I think the spices won him over. Great recipe! Thank you!
Lately I have been making pasta dishes with tomato sauce and using the spice combinations from some of my favorite indian curry dishes. The results are really quite impressive. I throw beans in there too and I find it a welcome change from rice and bean curries.
awesome! i mix up leftover curry sauces in the mac somedays as well.
Hi–I made it this evening and it was really delicious. I had obviously printed the recipe (before you corrected it) with the 4 oz pasta and cashews in 1 cup water, and it was very saucy; but I had one serving and my husband went back for seconds, and we still have some left over (so with 10 or 12 oz pasta it would certainly serve 4). Also, the sauce has thickened up quite a bit.
It was SO good. Two minor changes: I added 1/4 tsp turmeric for color, and only used 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast. Next time I will make it with more pasta but I’m not going to reduce the water.
Awesome! so glad you loved it!
This sounded amazing and we gave it a try tonight. We ended up with about twice as much sauce vs pasta. Even after it cooked down and thickened the pasta was swimming it and looked nothing like this photo. We ended up savings some sauce to mix with more pasta tomorrow. We liked the flavors a lot though.
hmm. not sure what happened. maybe i used more pasta or noted the liquid amount wrong. i’ll check it tomorrow. glad that you loved the sauce:)
I agree — the 4 ounces must be a mistake or typo. I used 400 grams (14 ounces) and that was just about right. Great recipe though. I’ll definitely make it again.
yup, made it again. it must have been 14 oz. my notes say otherwise. Adjusted the recipe a bit to reduce the water, so the sauce is thicker. 12 oz would work perfectly. Thanks for catching that! so glad you like the sauce and flavors!
Hi Jody, it seems i had noted the pasta amount wrong. sorry about the swimming pasta. i changed the recipe to use 10 to 12 oz pasta and reduced water by half. thanks for catching that!
No worries we’ll give it a try again some time with the new ratios. Thanks for updating!
Delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
Wow, I would’ve never thought of this…I don’t like mac & cheese, & I’ve only tasted it a few times in my life, but I would definitely make this!
This sounds great. Quick question, Can it be made oil-free? Thanks!
sure, dry roast the spices until fragrant, then saute with the onion in a little broth.
Delicious! I used to love mac n cheese as a kid, and this vegan recipe looks better!
Thank you Richa! Nice spicy Mac and cheese for the grown ups
Christina @ The Beautiful Balance
These flavors have to be perfect together. This looks incredibly delicious and I happen to have all of the ingredients on hand! Pinning now 🙂
Oh man that looks amazing! I love mac ‘n’ cheese, but adding masala sounds like heaven! Great recipe as always 🙂