Crusty Baked Vegan Alfredo w/ Caramelized Shallots & Kale by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

when i was little my mom attended college full time.  she went back to school after having my brother and i to change careers and fulfill her desire of becoming a psychologist. i know it couldn't have been easy with two little ones at home, especially during the week when my dad was at work.  dinners were generally comprised of a prepared meal my mom had picked up, or some concoction of food my dad was going to make.  but the few nights my mom had time to cook, she would occasionally make us her grandmother's macaroni and cheese recipe.  like all good mac n cheeses, it started with a roux.  from there, plenty of good-quality cheddar cheese was melted into the pot to make the creamiest, dreamiest mac n cheese which she finished with a dash of nutmeg.  if there's a flavor i specifically remember from childhood meals, it's this one.  it reminds me of warmth, love, and most importantly - ultimate coziness.    

so when i was testing recipes for my book, my goal was to make a plant-based version of my mom's mac n cheese for an alfredo dish i wanted to include.  after a bunch of recipe bummers i made finally nailed the right ratio of chickpea flour to water to soaked cashews for the velvety and silky texture, and cheesy flavor i had always cherished.  frank and i love the recipe so much that it's become a dinner staple, especially as the weather has gotten colder. we usually dig in to one big bowl of it, with a fork for each of us, all cozied up on the couch with blanket.  (that's how we get down winter-style.)  but for the past few weeks i had been seeing a bunch of baked mac n cheeses on pinterest that were literally making me drool every time i saw them.  initially i was scared to try a plant-based version, as i thought the sauce would get too dry, but i bit the bullet and gave it a shot.  

i ended up doubled my original alfredo recipe, caramelizing some onions, sautéed some kale, threw some breadcrumbs on top, and baked it until it was slightly crisp and browned.  and, guys, it was crazy good!  hence, the recipe you see here today :)  there are a few steps in making it, but ultimately it's a super easy recipe.  and i've saved you a step by sautéing the shallots and kale in the same pot that the pasta bakes in.  i used KitchenAid®'s oven-safe saucepan to sauté and bake, and it was a dream!  it has an inductive bottom that makes for even cooking, which, for somebody who's lived in apartments with funky stoves/ovens for a while now, these are the only pots and pans that have provided even cooking and i couldn't recommend them more!  all in all, this is a really snuggly dish, a hug in the form of food, essentially :)

wishing you cozy times! xo

this post was created in partnership with KitchenAid® Cookware.  all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.  thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that keep dolly and oatmeal going! 

crusty baked vegan alfredo w/ caramelized shallots & kale | gf

| makes 6 servings |

  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces brown rice pasta (i like tinkyada fussili)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 medium sized shallots
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs (i like aleia's)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

alfredo sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 cups filtered water


  1. preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente (see notes).  drain and rinse under cold water to stop the pasta from cooking. set aside.
  3. while the pasta is cooking, make the shallots, kale, and breadcrumb topping.  in an large oven-safe saucepan with 2-inch sides (alternatively, you can use a casserole pan or any large oven-friendly dish with sides), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium.  once the oil is hot, add the shallots and cook, stirring every now and then until the shallots are soft and caramelized, about 8 minutes.  add the kale and saute until soft and wilted, about 4 minutes.  remove from the heat and set aside. combine the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, a few pinches of salt, a couple grinds of pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  set aside. 
  4. make the alfredo sauce.  place the cashews, oil, nutrtional yeast, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste in the container of a high-speed blender and set aside.
  5. in a small pot, whisk together the water and chickpea flour until completely combined.  place the pot over medium-low heat and continue to whisk every now and then until the mixture is thick and shiny , about 6-8 minutes. remove the mixture from the heat and carefully pour it into your blender.  blend on high for 1 minute, until completely smooth and creamy.  taste and adjust any seasonings, if needed. 
  6. run the pasta under water to loosen it.  add the pasta and hot alfredo sauce to the saucepan with the shallots and kale, gently toss until everything is mixed and covered in sauce.  evenly sprinkle the surface with the breadcrumb mixture and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the browned and crusty on top.  serve hot and garnish with parsley (optional). 

notes: because the pasta is cooking in the oven for an additional 18-20 minutes, you want to undercook it.  i would say to cook it about 2-3 minutes under what you normally do to prevent the pasta from being mushy.

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cauliflower pasta w/ olives & za'atar

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fennel-roasted carrot + shallot salad w/ shaved apples by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

we're sitting here in the midst of a (non) blizzard, hunkering down in this super snowy, windy, and frigid weather.  we got up this morning to take our little pup, quint out for a walk, needless to say he wasn't happy.  we're not sure he's really into snow, as he runs away from us when we attempt to put his little black turtleneck sweater on, and when we try to squeeze his dainty feet into snow shoes he hates it even more.  it's become a 10-15 minute process, depending on if it's both me and frank or just one of us, all for a 2 minute "walk" consisting of quint trotting in circles and finding the nearest vertical object to relieve himself on.  we come back inside and the timid dog he was outside quickly disappears into a bold, playful pup zipping around the apartment, sometimes hopping on all fours, and poking us with his tiny snout encouraging us to play with him.  most times you can find frank on the floor with him playing as if he were a dog as well, and as i'm sure you can imagine, quint is always totally delighted by that.   we're constantly so amazed at how such a little guy can have such a tremendous personality - he's totally filled with life, and brings us so much love and light each day! this week, just under a year ago we picked him up at the shelter, all 7 3/4 pounds of him, so me and frank are reflecting a bit on how special he is, while also wondering what our lives were like before him :)

while quint isn't a fan of veggies (he actually eats around them), he is a big lover of apples - i often mash a couple slices up for him, which he loves to crunch on.  most meals i have to be careful of setting them at a height he can reach, but salads never worry me - i know he'd rather occupy his time doing other things like playing with his reflection or chasing his tail.  this carrot-centric salad is super simple, but also super tasty, with crushed fennel, sweet caramelized shallots, crunchy apple, and a respectable amount of blood orange juice to top.  it was inspired by a salad over at vinegar hill house, and it's one of those little dishes that continues to have flavor, texture and depth in each bite, while also being really simple to put together and enjoy. plus, it's a salad served on the warmer side of spectrum, for these chilly days when thinking of eating something cold is just a no-go. 

love + warmth, xo!

fennel-roasted carrot + shallot salad w/ shaved apple

this is the perfect salad to serve warm or at room temp.  also, feel free to use larger carrots as opposed to the baby ones indicated below, just make sure to adjust cook time if need be. and i could also imagine this dish benefitting from more crunch, perhaps roughly chopped hazelnuts or roasted pistachios

| serves 2 |

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 bunches organic baby carrots, scrubbed and sliced in half (or 1 bunch large carrots, sliced in half and then in quarters)
  • 2 small shallots (or 1 large), ends trimmed and sliced with half-inch thickness 
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to finish
  • sea salt + fresh ground pepper
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, cored and shaved thin (using a mandolin or a sharp knife)
  • handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • juice from half of 1 blood orange
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, to top


  • preheat oven to 375°.  line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  set aside
  • heat a small pan over medium-low heat, add fennel seeds; shake pan back and forth a few times so they don't burn or stick.  toast seeds for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and slightly brown.  remove from heat and place in a mortar; once cooled, grind with pestle.  set aside
  • in a large bowl, combine sliced carrots, shallots, crushed fennel, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. turn out onto prepared baking sheet and roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and tender.  set aside and let cool slightly
  • in a serving bowl, combine the roasted carrots and shallots with shaved apples, toss in the chopped parsley, drizzle with olive oil, blood orange juice, and toasted sesames; taste and adjust seasoning.  serve warm or at room temperature