Vegetarian friendly Apple Mac & Cheese

Megan Todd


While sifting through my monthly subscription of Food Network Cooking magazine, I came across a recipe titled 'Apple-Sausage Mac-N-Cheese,' though the recipe seemed it would be perfect for my family.... I have my vegetarian who is also allergic to dairy, so some modifications were necessary to see if this would be a kids LOVE mac n cheese, so it was a must to come up with an alternative. And it was a hit. I'm posting this recipe using natural cheese in the ingrediants, but you can substitute dairy free products such as daiya brand cheese (a dairy free cheese)! Have fun with it!

★★★★★ 1 vote
30 Min
35 Min


4 Tbsp
butter, unsalted, plus some for dish
kosher salt
1 lb
medium pasta shells, or a fun pasta of your choice
1 medium
onion, diced
1 Tbsp
mustard powder ( i omit due to allergy)
1/4 tsp
cayenne pepper
1/4 c
all purpose flour
3 c
apple juice
1 lb
montery jack cheese, shredded (can use daiya brand)
1/2 lb
extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups total) (can use daiya brand)
1/2 c
sour cream, lite (or non-daity)
1 large
granny smith apple, or more to add to your liking
sleeve ritz crackers, or butter crackers, get creative here :)
1 lb
meat of your choice to make a main dish! original recipe called for apple-sausage, sliced. i've used turkey kielbasi, but you can add whatever you like if you so choose!


1Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta as directed, al dente. Drain and set aside. ( I add a small amount of EVOO, & mix through to keep pasta from clumping together).
Prepare baking dish, cover inside dish with melted butter or pam spray, butter flavored.
2Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add chopped apples, mustard powder, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt to cook, stirring until apples are half cooked. About 3 minutes.
3Stir in the flour and cook, stirring until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the apple juice and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened slightly. About 8 more minutes.
4Slowly stir in about 3/4 EACH of the cheeses into the sauce until smooth. **note, daiya cheese will take a little longer to melt. 2-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
If adding meat, cook separately.... then add at this point to the sauce. Stir in the pasta and the sour cream.
5Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and the remaining cheese. Cover & bake until bubbly, 25 -30 minutes, uncover & bake additional 10 minutes. Remove From oven & allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta, Pasta Sides
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tags: For Kids, Healthy