If I haven’t made it obvious enough already, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. I mean a day centered around being with your family, wearing yoga pants, and stuffing yourself with food… Come on!!! I love it. I love it!
Every other year on Thanksgiving weekend, for as long as I can remember, my entire family road trips to San Luis Obispo, CA to spend the day with my Aunt & Uncle (and 2 handsome cousins) who live there. They have a big house with so many pull out couches, sleeping bags, air mattresses, and even a Murphy bed so the whole family basically camps out. It’s a true getaway.
Everyone cooks and drinks all day long and we all feast in the evening followed by lots of Persian tea and the best nights sleep – until my dad wakes the whole house up at 6am on Black Friday.
Since my family keeps kosher, aside from the Turkey, everything on the table ends up being vegan by default. I know, lucky me!!
This year, since I’ve embraced my cooking skills, I couldn’t show up empty handed. Here’s what I’m taking with. I can’t wait!!
I just want to note, this recipe would totally work with cashews instead of macadamia nuts but I only had Mac nuts on hand. In the spirit of transparency; grocery stores scare me the week before thanksgiving so I literally made this with only the things I had in the house already. I think that makes it even more special. Feel free to modify!
Pumpkin Mac n Cheese Casserole
2 boxes Banza chickpea pasta
1 can pumpkin purée
2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts
2+ cups almond milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp pink Himalayan salt
Cracked Black Pepper
Pinch or two of Ground Nutmeg
Fresh Thyme & Sage (garnish)
Topping: pulse these in a food processor a few times to make a crumble (not a powder)
Salt & Pepper
1. Soak your macadamia nuts in warm water for at least an hour. The longer you can soak the better.
2. While your pasta is boiling on the stove (follow box directions) Start making your sauce.
3. In a food processor add seasonings, pumpkin purée, almond milk, drained macadamia nuts, & nutritional yeast. Blend blend blend for almost 10 minutes. Keep blending until it’s very smooth. Tasting throughout to see if it needs more seasoning. Add as needed.
4. Once your pasta is cooked, drain and transfer to a well oiled disposable aluminum baking dish.
5. Pour all your sauce right on top. It will look like a lot of sauce but don’t worry it will cook down in the oven. Stir around to make sure all your pasta is coated.
6. Coat generously with your pecan/almond topping. Then refrigerate until Thanksgiving.
7. When you are ready to serve, bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes until your coating is golden brown.
Serves 8-12 (or 2 if you’re me and my hubby)
I hope your family enjoys this as much as I know mine will!
Have a very Veganly wonderful Thanksgiving!