People’s Mac and Cheeze

The recipe comes from the deli at the Ocean Beach People’s Food Co-op in San Diego, California (my home town). My family has shopped at People’s for decades.

The recipe was published in the local newspaper years ago, and the sauce is still a favorite for everything from dipping raw veggies to serving with artichokes to using on both raw and cooked pizza.

Want to make it gluten-free? No problem. Use rice macaroni and either omit the topping or use gluten-free bread.

8 Servings


  • 1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (this can be replaced with water to cut the fat content)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric

The Rest

  • 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 1/2 slices toasted bread, buttered with Earth Balance, then processed into crumbs (if you like a crunch topping)

To Make the Sauce

In a blender or food processor, puree all the sauce ingredients until completely smooth. (I find that the food processor doesn’t make it smooth enough. I use a high speed blender such as a Blendtec or VitaMix.)

To make the Mac & Cheeze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the macaroni until it is al dente, then drain.

Combine sauce with pasta and pour into a baking dish. You can add a bit of water or nondairy milk if it’s not “juicy” enough. Cover and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove cover, add bread crumbs to top, and bake uncovered for 5 minutes more.

Use rice macaroni and omit the breadcrumbs to make this dish gluten-free.

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