Gluten-Free & Vegan Cheesy Baked Pesto Mac With Walnut Parm

Sometimes, when you grow up, you find yourself in your kitchen at noon wearing fuzzy frog pajamas, fluffy slippers with your hair a mess.

You need mac and cheese now (or in 25 minutes after you make it), and can’t decide if you want pesto or cheese sauce.

You say screw it and make both. At once.

True story (I also have fuzzy penguin pajamas, for the record).

Make this dish, and it will make you happy. It's also gluten free, soy free and vegan. Woot!

Cheesy Pesto Sauce


  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups water plus 1 cup water, divided
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 10-15 turns freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 box quinoa pasta

Walnut Parm


  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. When they are done cooking, place them in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Place the potato, carrot, onion and 1 1/2 cups of the water in a shallow pan.

Turn heat to medium / low and cover the pan.

Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the veggies are soft.

Pre-heat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.

In a blender place the veggies, along with the walnuts, nutritional yeast, basil, garlic, olive oil, turmeric, sea salt and pepper. Blend until creamy and smooth.

Make the walnut parm by placing all of the walnut parm ingredients into a food processor and process until crumbly.

Place the pasta in a large bowl and mix in the sauce. Transfer to an 8x8 inch baking dish, top with 1/4 cup walnut parm and bake for 10 - 15 minutes.

If you enjoyed this recipe, I have many more you'll fall for.

I also wrote a pretty awesome cookbook called Bold Vegan - Food of South East Asia. It will bring street food from the 10 countries that make up South East Asia right into your kitchen!

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

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