This cheesy, nutty, creamy, and delicious vegan baked mac and cheese is a must-try. Topped with a luscious breadcrumb topping and baked till golden brown and crisp. It’s quite fulfilling and comforting.

 Check out these other comfort dishes, Instant Pot Vegan Chili Mac And Cheese,  Red-Skin Mashed Potatoes, and Black Bean Butternut Squash Stew.

Everyone needs a delicious mac and cheese recipe, so today, I’m sharing with you a creamy, nutty, and deliciously flavorful vegan baked mac and cheese recipe to wow your guests and family. Serve as a main course or a side dish. Or start eating straight from the pan!

This is the most delicious comfort food I’ve ever had! It’s incredibly cheesy and tastes so much like the real thing that you might not even notice it’s vegan. Seriously!

This vegan mac and cheese dish is incredibly cheesy (as I said before). So, if you live somewhere where vegan cheese is difficult to obtain, don’t worry; this recipe is especially for you.

Creamy Vegan Baked Mac and cheese in casserole pan

Why You’ll love this Crispy Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese?

Heavenly comfort food. Although Mac & cheese is always considered a comfort food bliss (cheesy + creamy), the addition of a crispy and buttery topping makes it even better. Each bite is bursting at the seams with flavor, indulgence, and nostalgia.

The contrast in texture. Although I adore mac and cheese, I dislike how uniform the texture is. Sure, I’ll eat a bowl of it, but after a time, the one-note texture might become boring. Therefore, this breadcrumb topping is created, which is crispy and has a nice contrast. The crunchiness and rich creaminess go so well together that you won’t want to finish eating this dish.

Easy to prepare. It’s really simple to make this cheese sauce. The longest part of my previous recipe, “Vegan Sweet Potato mac and cheese,” is waiting patiently for the sweet potato to boil, but this sauce prep work requires less than 5 min (you just need to soak cashew). After that, process with the remaining ingredients until smooth, then mix it with boiled elbow macaroni, finish it with breadcrumb topping, and bake it.

Can be made ahead of time. It’s true! You may prepare all three components of the recipe in advance — the cheese sauce, the macaroni, and the topping. Store for the serving day (can be kept up to a week), then assemble, bake, and serve. The leftovers can also be refrigerated for a few days and are extremely excellent — though you don’t get the same crispiness as the first day, as the topping loses some crispness after being refrigerated.

I must say…

 

“This classic vegan mac and cheese recipe has everything you ever desire in a mac and cheese.”

How to Make Vegan Baked Mac And Cheese?

The ingredient list isn’t going to be very simple; however, it’s also not going to be very extensive. You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious dairy-free vegan mac and cheese:

ingredients for vegan baked mac and cheese on a grey background=

Ingredients

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt

For Macaroni and Topping

  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 slices of bread, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups vegan cheese
creamy vegan mac and cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13 casserole pan by spraying with oil and set aside.
  2. Soak cashews in water for an hour or boil in water for 5 minutes. If you are using a high-speed blender, then you don’t need to soak them.
  3. Drain cashews and add to your blender bowl with water, coconut milk, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add cornstarch, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, red bell pepper, and sea salt. Process until creamy. If your sauce is gritty, then you can repeat the blend until it is creamy.
  5. Boil pasta according to package directions.
  6. In the meantime, add the breadcrumbs to a food processor or blender and process until crumbly. Next, transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter.
  7. Once the pasta is boiled, drain and add the vegan cheese sauce and stir to coat.
  8. Scoop out mac and cheese into the prepared casserole pan. Top with the breadcrumbs mixture followed by vegan cheese.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  10. Remove from the oven, cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
transferring mac and cheese to casserole pan

Chef’s Notes

  • You may use any plant-based milk, but I recommend coconut milk if it’s for a special occasion. It’s very creamy and elevates this dish to new heights. If you don’t like coconut milk due to allergies or can’t use it, use your favorite vegan milk instead, preferably a full-fat version.
  • I used elbow macaroni for this recipe. However, the type of pasta and shape you use is again entirely up to you.
  • Various substitutes are available for this recipe. If you don’t have fresh garlic or onions, powdered versions can be substituted. That’s what I did when I ran out of groceries, and it’s still delicious. I’ve also made it using carrots, but I reduced the amount of paprika and added a touch of turmeric for flavor.
  • Feel free to season the breadcrumbs with garlic powder or some herbs.
  • The cashews are the one ingredient I’d highly recommend. It gives your vegan baked mac & cheese a fantastic creamy flavor and smooths out the sauce. If cashews are unavailable, you may substitute tofu, soaked almonds (without the skins), or sunflower seeds. You won’t get the same taste, but you will get a similar base. Simply adjust the seasonings to suit the base you’re using.
  • Refrigerate the leftovers of this vegan mac and cheese in an airtight container for approximately 3-5 days.
  • Simply reheat it in the microwave, but make sure to add a splash of non-dairy milk and cover it with a paper towel to keep it from drying out.

Other Vegan Mac And Cheese Recipes

  1. Vegan Mac And Cheese
  2. Nut-Free Mac And Cheese
  3. Vegan Sweet Potato Mac And Cheese
  4. Cajun Mac And Cheese
  5. Cauliflower Mac And Cheese
overlay baked mac and cheese recipe in casserole pan

Have fun, buddies! Please feel free to comment below if you try these Vegan Baked Mac & Cheese and let me know how they turned out! Many thanks.

If you enjoyed this post about Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.

Categories

Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 342 kcal / 1430 kJ
  • Fat: 13.7 g
  • Protein: 11.8 g
  • Carbs: 45.2 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 40 min
  • Ready in: 50 min
  • For: 8 Servings

Ingredients

For Cheese Sauce

You Will Also Need

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13 casserole pan by spraying with oil and set aside.

For The Vegan Cheese Sauce

  1. Soak cashews in water for an hour or boil in water for 5 minutes. If you are using a high-speed blender, then you don't need to soak them.
  2. Drain cashews and add to your blender bowl with water, coconut milk, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add cornstarch, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, red bell pepper, and sea salt. Process until creamy. If your sauce is gritty, then you can repeat the blend until it is creamy.
  4. Boil pasta according to package directions.
  5. In the meantime, add the breadcrumbs to a food processor or blender and process until crumbly. Next, transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter.
  6. Once the pasta is boiled, drain and add the vegan cheese sauce and stir to coat.
  7. Scoop out mac and cheese into the prepared casserole pan. Top with the breadcrumbs mixture followed by vegan cheese shreds.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  9. Remove from the oven, cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.