Vegan Swiss Macaroni and Cheese with Potatoes and Applesauce

How ingenious can you actually be if you come up with the glorious idea of creating a dish that contains not only pasta but also potatoes? As much as we, as members of the "carbs club", would like to take credit for this idea, we also love to give Swiss shepherds a big hand, because 'Älplermagronen' is a classic dish of Swiss cuisine.

The term 'Älpler' refers to Alpine dairymen, or shepherds, who herd other farmers' cows to process their milk, while 'magronen' is a reference to Italian macaroni. So, in principle, 'Älplermagronen' is a fusion dish almost made in heaven! It's as if someone watched over our dreams because it's not only potatoes and pasta we're talking about, but also a creamy sauce, cheese, and onions. And as if that wasn't enough, they serve sweet applesauce with it – can it get any better than that? I hardly think so. What was a filling dish that was definitely needed by those shepherds to do all the hard work is... well, writing a food blog can be kind of hard work too, doesn't it?

What's no hard work at all is the recipe itself. After you've prepared and chopped all the needed ingredients, the first step is to cook the potatoes and pasta. Different from their usual cooking methods, they are now cooked in just enough liquid to be completely absorbed, so there's no draining needed. If you notice that the liquid has already boiled dry, add a little more water. Since potatoes and pasta have different cooking times, we'll first add potatoes to a mixture of plant-based milk, plant-based cream, and water. After that, follow the package directions of your pasta to make sure that they will be al dente. In the last step, we stir in vegan shredded cheese, which should melt without any problems - no matter which kind of shredded cheese you have on hand. While potatoes and pasta cook, you can fry smoked tofu and onions, which will top your 'Älplermagronen' when being served. The smoked tofu, with its saltiness and crunchy texture, is able to cut through this otherwise quite heavy dish.

Well, what are you still waiting for?

Vegan Swiss Macaroni and Cheese with Potatoes and Applesauce

4 servings
40 minutes

Ingredients

For the potato pasta mix:

  • 400 g (14 oz) waxy potatoes
  • 300 g (10.5 oz) macaroni
  • 250 ml (1 cup) plant-based milk
  • 200 ml (0.75 cup) plant-based heavy cream
  • 300 ml (1.25 cups) water
  • 150 g (5.5 oz) vegan shredded cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutmeg

For the smoked tofu:

  • 200 g (7 oz) smoked tofu
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the onions:

  • 2 onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • salt
  • pepper

For serving:

  • applesauce

Instructions

  1. Peel potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Finely dice smoked tofu. Peel, halve, and thinly slice onions. Peel and thinly slice garlic cloves as well.

  2. Add plant-based milk, plant-based heavy cream, and water to a large pot, then season generously with salt. Add the potato chunks and bring to a boil. Be aware that the potatoes will only need approx. 10-15 minutes of cooking time until they are done. So take a look at the package instructions for your pasta and make sure to add them to the pot only a few minutes later to make sure that both potatoes and pasta are done at the same time. For us, it meant to let the potatoes boil for approx. 8 minutes, then add the macaroni and let both simmer for another 7-8 minutes.

  3. In the meantime, heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and sear smoked tofu for approx. 3-4 minutes, or until browned. Add soy sauce and keep frying until the smoked tofu is crispy. Remove from the pan.

  4. Heat some more vegetable oil to the frying pan and fry onions until translucent. Add garlic, season with salt and pepper, then keep frying over medium-low heat until it’s time for serving. They should be rather golden brown or a tiny bit browned at that point.

  5. As soon as potatoes and pasta are done, add vegan shredded cheese to the pot and stir to combine, until the vegan cheese is melted. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. For serving, top the potato and pasta mix with crispy smoked tofu and fried onions and garlic. Serve with applesauce on the side.

Zucker ↦ Jagdwurst Donut
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