Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Basic Vegan Shells and Cheese

vegan shells mac and cheese

One of the things Gary really missed since going dairy free was his mac and cheese. Although I’ve made it once before with tofu, he still missed his blue box mac and cheese. I’ve never been a mac and cheese person, and I’ve probably had a taste of the blue box version when he made it once before.

I had heard about Daiya while ago, long before Oprah talked about it, but never tried it. Gary was a little hesitant because he didn’t like how some vegan cheeses added certain products he didn’t like (even though he thought it was great before). As usual when I first showed it to him, I was all excited, but he brushed it aside, and said he’ll take a look.

Fast forward months (or a year+) later, after I told him Oprah talked about it on her show, he decided to look at the ingredients. His normal routine is to look up every ingredient to see what it is, and how it’s made. He really read up on it, and the fact that it’s made with non-GMO products made it a winner. After reviewing, he decided it was time to go to Whole Foods and pick it up!

We picked up both the cheddar style and the mozzarella style. I told him I was going to make shells and cheese, since he missed it so much. I found a recipe from Alton Brown that I was going to adapt. I ended up working late, and when I told him I was on my way home to make it, he couldn’t wait and ended up making it himself. I came home to the obvious pungent smell of cheese. He had already eaten. As I ate mine, he grabbed another bowl. Needless to say, this was a big hit with him, and he thought it tastes almost exactly like the blue box version!

I called this a basic mac and cheese since there are definitely ways to jazz this up with veggies and meat. If you’re dairy free or vegan, definitely try this out!

vegan shells mac and cheese 2

Basic Vegan Shells and Cheese
a Gary original, inspired by Alton Brown

 printable recipe

1/2 lb pasta shells
1 cup original soy milk
1 (8 oz) package Daiya Cheddar Shreds
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot of salted water, boil pasta per package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, add milk and cheese into a separate pot. At low heat, bring to a boil stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Mix cheese mixture and pasta until well combined.

Serves 3-4


  1. Please forgive my ignorance. I have been looking for a vegan recipe for dinner with a friend's vegan wife and thought this would be great. However, doesn't pasta have eggs in the dough? I'm not positive but I want to be able to tell her it is definitely ok.

  2. Ok awesome. Thanks, I really don't want to serve her something wrong by accident!

  3. Oh my goodness! I am so stinking excited to have finally found cheese that won't make stomach hurt! This so great! I think I need to try some! Thanks for sharing this...I'm so stinking excited!
    Do you know if they make the cheese in brick form?

  4. Hi Sara, I haven't seen them in brick form, only shredded in bags.

  5. Okay, so I tried the cheese. I made nachos with it by melting it on tortilla chips. I'm not sure how it compare to other cheeses, but it had a different taste to it. I'm not sure if I really like it! Do you have any ideas on how to help it taste better?? I really need help! I'm lactose intolerant...really badly and I would love to be able to have cheese again:0)

  6. maybe add some nutritional yeast? I'm not sure, since my husband is really the one that eats it more. He doesn't seem to mind the taste of it.

    There are other brands such as Follow Your Heart (mentioned in this post) that makes a brick version of vegan cheese that you might like.


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