This Mac & Cheese is by far the best I’ve made, hence Johnna’s Best Mac & Cheese. I’ve got quite a reputation for making wonderfully creamy macaroni and cheese, magically devoid of dairy. But this one? It’s special. It will blow your mind. Plus it’s not only gluten-free, it’s also dairy-free and grain-free! (There’s also a bonus recipe at the very end of this post, don’t miss it!)
So how did I do this? With vegetables like sweet potatoes or yellow potatoes, carrots and onions. A bit of nutritional yeast. And the pasta? Made with chickpeas! Have you heard about Banza? The folks at Banza sent me a box of complimentary pasta to sample and I’m in love! It’s pasta made in Detroit from chickpeas and only three other ingredients. Double the protein, four times the fiber and half the net carbs as “regular” pasta. Plus it is made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. It’s available in shells, rotini, elbows and penne. I’ve tried all four varieties and can’t possibly pick a favorite. The elbows and the rotini both worked well making this mac & cheese recipe.
The creamy, cheese sauce for this mac & cheese is made in a high speed blender, such as a Blendtec or a VitaMix. If you don’t have either of those, I’ve added special instructions at the bottom of the recipe. It was hard to sell me on one of the high speed blenders way back when I was training to be a certified living foods chef. But after buying one, I can’t imagine living without one. This sauce cooks, yes cooks, in the blender. It gets steaming hot in the blender in less time than it takes to boil water and cook the pasta. Such an easy weeknight dish!
Alright, let’s get right to the recipe. Here’s Johnna’s Best Mac & Cheese. (Don’t forget, there’s a special bonus recipe at the bottom of this post…)
And here it is, the special bonus recipe! Quick and easy…
You’ll need the following:
One box of Banza Rotini
One batch Pinch of Yum’s Magic Green Sauce
Two generous handfuls of cherry or grape tomatoes, roasted
Two generous handfuls of fresh spinach
1/2 container of dairy-free Kite Hill ricotta (available at Whole Foods)
Boil pasta per directions. Drain. Return pasta to pan and toss with spinach. The spinach will wilt. Start to mix in Magic Green Sauce, a couple tablespoons at a time until the pasta is nicely coated. Stir in roasted tomatoes. Split into bowls for serving, top with crumbles of Kite Hill ricotta.
You’ll have Magic Green Sauce left over. I’m obsessed with it, thanks for my friend Sarah from Celiac in the City. It’s great on roasted vegetables, excellent as a dip with raw veggies, perfect as a baked potato topping, fantastic brushed on grilled tofu. Let me know how you enjoy it!
Looking for more Mac & Cheese goodness? Here are a few more of my recipes:
Pumpkin Mac & Cheese (gluten-free with a dairy-free option)
Pumpkin Cider Mac & Cheese (vegan, super creamy!)
Smoked Cheddar Mac & Cheese with Crunchy Potato Chip Crust (gluten-free, dairy-free)
Disclosure: As mentioned earlier in the post, the nice folks at Banza sent a few boxes of their pasta to me. No other compensation was received and I was not asked to write about their product. Every box they sent was quickly gobbled up and we’ve purchased more at our local Sprouts store. I’m sharing my opinion only, not sponsored content.