With a brick and mortar in Silver Lake, a cloud kitchen in West L.A. and a flagship location to open on La Brea Ave. this summer, the folks behind Honeybee Burger have been busy. The plant-based fast-food burger joint has a mission to help save the planet by making plant-based food more desirable and accessible. Founder and local dad Adam Weiss started investing in the plant-based restaurant scene with Café Gratitude almost a decade ago. Now he has his own plant-based restaurant, Honeybee, that serves up kid (and adult!) comfort food like burgers, shakes, FROTS (combination French fries and tots) and mac n cheese. Adam shares Honeybee’s 100% plant-based cheesy mac recipe so you can try it at home.
Vegan Cheesy Mac from Honeybee Burger
1 pound vegan pasta, ideally small elbows or small macaroni
2 or 3 medium sizes russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice from a small lemon
5 tbsp canola oil
5 fl oz oat milk (or any dairy free milk)
6 ½ tbsp nutritional yeast
2 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 ½ tsp garlic powder
2 ½ tsp onion powder
1 cup water (from the vegetable boil)
Mac and cheese is everyone’s favorite indulgence, whether as a side, or as a main course, covered with the protein of your choice!
At Honeybee, everything we do is plant-based, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste, flavor, or satisfaction when enjoying our Cheesy Mac!
Best of all? Our recipe is made with vegetables and gets its “cheesy” tang from nutritional yeast, one of the miracle products we vegan restaurants love to use! (You can try Braggs, but nutritional yeast is made by many companies).
You’ll need to start with a vegan pasta (they are getting better and better; remember that traditional pasta will typically have eggs in it). We like the small macaroni shape by Barilla, but little elbows work well also! Note that many vegan pastas are gluten-free or made of non-wheat, which we do not recommend for this recipe (they do not tend to stand up well under restaurant pressure).
This recipe makes about 4-5 pounds of mac – which sounds like a lot, but is the perfect amount for bringing to a barbecue or dinner party. If you have leftovers, you’ll want to keep some of the “cheese” sauce on hand for rewarming the leftovers.
If you want to take the mac to the next level, you can add crumbled Impossible Meat or Beyond Meat to the top of the mac or toss it with the finished mac. (Both Impossible and Beyond Meat are available in grocery stores as “ground meat”, and you’ll want to season and brown as you would ground beef, though keep in mind these plant-based “meats” can over-cook quickly. We suggest following the directions on the packaging).
Now to the cooking!
- Peel potatoes and carrots. This recipe calls for 2 medium size russet potatoes, and about 3 medium size (7-inch) carrots.
- Chop all vegetables into chunks and rinse before boiling.
- Place raw carrots and potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover the vegetables and boil for 20 minutes or until soft (smashable with a pressed fork; you’re going to puree them into the sauce). Save one cup of the water after removing the vegetables for use in the sauce.
- Place all seasonings and wet ingredients, plus the cup of water from the veggie pot into a blender and blend until well mixed.
- Once the sauce is incorporated, add in the softened carrots and potatoes. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated and the sauce is uniform. Use medium setting; 3-5 minutes or until smooth. Taste for salt level.
- Let the sauce sit while you cook the pasta.
- Place your vegan pasta into boiling water for 7 to 8 minutes or until al dente (no need to salt the water). Do not overcook, as you’ll want the texture to be firm (vegan pasta is best al dente).
- Remove the pasta, strain, and place in an empty pot. Do not rinse the pasta.
- Add sauce to pasta and stir until fully coated. Note: save some sauce (1 cup) for reheating the pasta leftovers.
- Serve immediately. Makes 12 6-ounce servings. If you’re going to add the browned “meat”, this would be the time to do it. We like it as a topping, though it is just as delicious mixed in.
Pro-tip: When we reheat the mac to order, we add some sauce to the mac (you’ll want to warm the sauce first – either in the microwave or on the stove top – so it pours smoothly). This will add the needed moisture and creaminess to the leftovers that the mac has when it is freshly cooked.