This vegan Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a healthier twist on a classic comfort food made with a vegetable-stuffed cheesy sauce.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 10 1/4" cast iron skillet (or similar sized baking dish) and set aside.
Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Stir in macaroni and boil until al dente, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and strain pasta through a colander. Set aside.
In a smaller pot, bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Add sweet potatoes and carrots. Boil for 10 minutes, until vegetables are easily pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and strain out the water. Set aside to let cool.
In a small cast iron skillet heat cooking oil. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until translucent and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.
Using a high-powered blender make your cheese sauce. Add milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes, mustard, lemon juice, and salt to the blender and blend until smooth. Add sweet potato, carrots, onions, and garlic and blend again. The sauce should be completely smooth and easily pourable. If it needs thinning, add a little more milk 1 tbsp at a time.
Combine the sauce with noodles then spread evenly in the prepared cast iron skillet.
Mix together the ingredients for the crumb topping and evenly spread over mac and cheese, patting down as necessary.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until bread topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
If you don't have a high-powered blender, you can soak cashews for 4-6 hours and then boil them for 5 minutes to get them soft before blending them with the remaining sauce ingredients.