Meat-free Meals: Mushroom Mac and Cheese Recipe
Many of us are now making a conscious effort to incorporate more meat-free meals in our weekly menu planning. Isn’t it great when we find really delicious and satisfying vegetarian or vegan recipes to help us do this?
One of my favourite meat-free meals has to be a mac and cheese. Comforting, satisfying and tasty- it really is a warming and filling treat. There are many varieties of this classic and this is one which I love. With the addition of mushrooms, it has a rich, deep flavour. It can be made in advance, then popped in the oven for a relaxing meal. Follow the substitutions to make a vegan version.
This is a reasonably priced dish to make and the ingredients are readily available at most supermarkets. Hitting on supermarket food reductions can make it even more thrifty. I bought the ingredients for this meal in Jack’s Supermarket whilst visiting family in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire. If you haven’t heard of Jack’s, it is a chain of budget stores named after Tesco founder Jack Cohen. It was opened with the family focused vision of selling great tasting food at really affordable prices. Jack’s prides itself on supporting and stocking British produce, boasting eight out of ten products being British. They have a vegan section in store and have their own bakery on site. Jack’s is a great place to buy ingredients for a recipe as it really is brilliant value.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 300g macaroni or penne pasta
- 250g chestnut mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 200g cheddar cheese & 30g parmesan cheese grated (option to substitute to vegan cheese)
- Olive oil ( 2 tablespoons plus a little to cook the mushrooms)
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 500ml milk- I use oat or almond milk
- Black pepper and salt- season to taste
1.Set your oven to 180c. Finely chop 250g of chestnut mushrooms, saving 2 whole mushrooms for the topping. 2.Add a splash of olive oil to large pan over a medium heat. When heated, grate 2 cloves of garlic into the oil, 1/2 tsp of dried thyme and cook for a minute.
3.Add the mushrooms to the oil, along with a generous grind of black pepper. Cook out all of the moisture from the mushrooms then remove from the heat and set aside.
4.Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add 300g pasta and cook for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
5.Now make your roux. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium size pan. Mix in 2 tablespoons of plain flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add your milk whisking as you add- I like to use a whisk for this to make a nice smooth sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens before adding the Dijon mustard, 150g of cheddar cheese and the cooked mushrooms.
6.Add the pasta to your sauce and mix well. Pour into an ovenproof dish and grate the remaining cheddar cheese and the parmesan over the top of the pasta. Thinly slice your two mushrooms and place them on top of your bake. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling on top.
Serve with a crisp, green salad and some tasty garlic bread- our recipe below. Perhaps even with some herby halloumi fries?
For the garlic bread:
- Baguette (half of a large or small)
- 40g Butter
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 25g Parmesan cheese
1.Make vertical slices in the baguette at regular intervals but do not cut all the way through.
2.Mix all the ingredients together and then spoon the butter mixture into the cuts along the baguette pushing it down as you go along.
3.Wrap in foil and bake in the oven at 180c for 15-20 minutes. Open the foil for 2 minutes and contain to bake to crisp the garlic bread.
See more of our recipes for meat-free meals here.
Jack’s Supermarket invited me to review their produce and I have been happy to recommend them based on their quality and company philosophy. As always, all opinions are my own.