Vegan recipes Veganuary 2022

Easy wholemeal cauliflower cheese pasta: Veganuary 2022

Easy wholemeal cauliflower cheese pasta on a board with pumpkin seeds and violife cheese

Prep time 
10 minutes

Cooking time
12 minutes

Serves
3

Our daughter is having a hard time with sleeping at the moment, and we feel grotty! We invented this cauliflower cheese pasta in a fit of enthusiasm for eating comforting food, and using the ingredients we have in the house.

Reasons we love this cauliflower cheese pasta

We love this cauliflower cheese pasta because

  • It uses store cupboard and seasonal or freezer ingredients, but tastes very creamy and treat-like. The oat milk and the cashew nuts work together to make a really delicious heavy creamy sauce.
  • It is seasonal and currently helps limit food waste: it’s a bumper season for cauliflowers in the UK, with reports of cauliflower gluts hitting the shelves across supermarkets and independent suppliers.
  • It is a very easy weeknight meal for us

You’ll notice I’ve used blended cashew nuts and oat milk for the cauliflower cheese pasta, over a traditional béchamel sauce, which would use flour. If you haven’t used cashew nuts in this way before, I’d encourage you to give it a go! It’s really easy, and taste-wise, cashew nuts blend very smooth, and add a sweetness which dairy-free dishes often lack. Texture-wise, the blended cashews nuts do something magical when heated – rather than getting thinner like dairy cream, they thicken because the starches in the cashew nuts swell and gelatinise.

Nutrition-wise, this cauliflower cheese pasta is full of protein, vegetables, and good fats. Cashew nuts add a couple of boosts to the dish, including protein and healthy fats. I’ve included approximate basic nutrition information at the bottom of the page, if that’s of interest or relevance to you. If it’s not, do go ahead and ignore this section.

I’d love to hear how you go and/or see your creations if you do make this recipe – let me know in the comments or tag me @wholemealmum or #wholemealmum, so I can see!


Ingredients for easy cauliflower cheese pasta

Ingredients

  • 330ml oat milk
  • 500g cauliflower, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp Marigold vegan bouillon
  • 250g wholemeal pasta
  • 1/3 cup of cashew nuts (approx 50g)

Method

  1. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces, and boil in water for approx 5 minutes. Drain when a knife goes through the thickest part of a piece. 
  2. Meanwhile, make the creamy white sauce. Blend the oat milk, Marigold powder, mustard, cashew nuts and black pepper in a high speed blender for approx 60 seconds.
  3. Heat the white sauce In a pan over very low heat, whisking frequently until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a soup spoon. 
  4. Mix the cooked cauliflower through the white sauce to make cauliflower cheese.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. 
  6. When the pasta is cooked, stir it through the creamy cauliflower cheese.
  7. Add toppings to the cauliflower cheese pasta according to your own personal tastes. I often use a drizzle of hemp oil, some pumpkin seeds, some nutritional yeast and / or some cheese.

Nutrition

Given for whole dish / per serving 

  • Energy: 1463 kcal / 488kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 209 kcal / 69.7g
  • Protein: 57.9g / 19.3g
  • Fat: 36.4g / 12.1g

Easy wholemeal cauliflower cheese pasta

Our daughter isn’t sleeping too well at the moment, and in a fit of enthusiasm for eating comforting food and using what we had in the house, we invented this cauliflower cheese pasta.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine british, Italian
Servings 3
Calories 488 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 330 ml oat milk
  • 500 g cauliflower, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp Marigold vegan bouillon
  • 250 g wholemeal pasta
  • 50 g cashew nuts

Instructions
 

  • Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces, and boil in water for approx 5 minutes. Drain when a knife goes through the thickest part of a piece.
  • Meanwhile, make the creamy white sauce. Blend the oat milk, stock, mustard, cashew nuts and black pepper in a high speed blender for approx 60 seconds.
  • Heat the white sauce In a pan over very low heat, whisking frequently until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a soup spoon.
  • Mix the cooked cauliflower through the white sauce to make cauliflower cheese.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  • When the pasta is cooked, stir the pasta through the creamy cauliflower cheese.
  • Add toppings to the cauliflower cheese pasta according to your own personal tastes. I often use a drizzle of hemp oil, some pumpkin seeds, some nutritional yeast and / or some cheese.
Keyword cauliflower, cauliflower cheese, vegan

Notes

Can I freeze this cauliflower cheese pasta?

Yes and no. This dish will not freeze if you are using frozen cauliflower, as this would involve refreezing the cauliflower. If you are using fresh cauliflower, the cauliflower cheese components of the dish freeze well, the pasta does not. We freeze individual servings, in tubs. I recommend defrosting the cauliflower cheese slowly in the fridge.

Can I make this cauliflower cheese pasta ahead?

Yes. We often make and assemble the whole dish of cauliflower cheese pasta in advance, and leave it in the fridge. Individual servings of the cauliflower cheese pasta can then be heated.

Alternatively, you can make the cauliflower cheese ahead of time, and then just cook the pasta and stir the cauliflower cheese through it before serving.

I don’t have the ingredients. What can I swap or substitute?

Cauliflower: swap for the same quantity of broccoli, or diced carrot or butternut squash
Cashew nuts: swap for 250ml oat cream
Oat milk: should not be substituted or swapped in this recipe. The oat milk is important to achieve the thickness of the sauce, which may not be the same if a different milk is used. Also, heat may split other milks e.g., soya milk, making the whole dish curdled.

What else could I use as a topping on this cauliflower cheese pasta, or what could I serve as a side dish?

Let your imagination run riot! We love to top this cauliflower cheese pasta, or serve it with side dishes according to what we need that day:

Additional proteins: a cup full of frozen peas, pumpkin seeds, or a tablespoon of ground almonds.
Additional carbohydrates: garlic bread or top with breadcrumbs.
Additional fats: a drizzle of rapeseed oil, hemp oil, or Alpo alternative to single cream.
Additional seasonings: chilli flakes, salt, coarsely ground black pepper, fresh basil leaves, nutritional yeast, cheese (I use Violife Epic Mature).

I would like to bake my cauliflower cheese pasta in the oven. How do I do this?

This cauliflower cheese pasta is a hob top dish, and timings given in the current recipe reflect this. If you would prefer your dish oven baked, the process would be identical, but you would need to bake the whole quantity in an ovenproof dish for approx 20 minutes at approx 170°C fan / 190°C non-fan.


wholemealmum

Mother of a baby girl, born in July 2021. Finding my way with it all. Recipes, parenting, and walking.

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