Vegan Mac and Cheese

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Vegan Mac And Cheese is incredibly delicious, this recipe is the only one you will need. When you are hungry and looking for the perfect comfort dish, my creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese is just the answer! Made from gluten-free vegan pasta smothered in a creamy, velvety homemade cashew cheese sauce.

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Look no further, this is by far the best vegan mac and cheese recipe, it is so reminiscent of my mom’s mac and cheese recipe. This vegan macaroni and cheese recipe is so creamy and flavorful. It is delicious served with Cauliflower Nuggets and Vegan Coleslaw.  

It is the only recipe you will ever need. I have been making it for many years and I have served it to thousands of people and it has always been a huge hit. When you are hungry and looking for the perfect comfort dish, this creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese is just the answer!

photos updated: July 22, 2020. Last updated June 26, 2017

vegan mac and cheese in a white bowl with a spoonful on a white background

 

I have tried lots of macaroni and cheese recipes over the years and I have been disappointed in most, they are either too tangy, too bland, too dry or totally miss the mark in flavor! My Vegan Mac And Cheese recipe

  • Cheesy – Combination of nutritional yeast or noni juice and coconut milk give this macaroni cheese a cheesy flavor.
  • Velvety– Cashews and coconut milk makes it velvety.
  • Creamy– Cashews and coconut milk shine here.
  • Buttery– Coconut milk helps to give a buttery flavor.

Overlay image of vegan mac and cheese in a white bowl garnished with chopped red bell pepper on a white background with a white napkin Overlay image of ingredients for vegan mac and cheese in with bowls macaroni, red bell pepper, cashew, yeast flakes

How To Make Vegan Mac And Cheese?

To make this easy vegan Mac and Cheese recipe, prepare pasta according to package directions, meanwhile, blend cashew cheese sauce. Mix with drained pasta, additional ingredients. You can serve as is or bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Note: If you decide to make vegan baked mac and cheese, you will need to make some extra sauce or add extra water/broth so it doesn’t dry out.

I have added optional ingredients that take this already delicious Vegan Mac and Cheese out of this world. Make the Mac and Cheese as instructed in the directions below, then stir in vegan cheese shreds (Daiya or Follow Your Heart brands), mayo (Just Mayo brand), and butter (Earth Balance brand) or cream cheese (So Delicious brand), so yummy! Best served to skeptics and they will be blown away!

Overlay image of vegan mac and cheese in a white bowl garnished with chopped red bell pepper on a white background with a white napkin

Tips For Making The Best Vegan Mac And Cheese

1. If you are in countries where nutritional yeast flakes are not readily available (or you are allergic to it/dislike it) then substitute for the equal amount of noni juice and you will get that cheesy taste. ‘This is what dreams are made of!’ 

2. All vegan and gluten-free pasta are created equal because some gluten-free kinds of pasta are not firm enough or taste favorable when cooked. 

I recommend that you try a few different brands to see which you prefer. I have had great results with Barilla Pasta. 

Overlay vegan mac and cheese with gold spoon in a white bowl on a white background garnished with chopped bell peppers

Here Are Some Other Delicious Pasta Recipes For You To Try!

Finished vegan mac and cheese served on two black plates with a gold fork on the one in front on a white background

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Categories

Categories: ,
Course:
Cuisines: ,

Nutrition

(

Per serving

)
Energy: 305 kcal / 1275 kJ
Fat: 13 g
Protein: 9 g
Carbs: 41 g

Cooking Time

Preparation: 10 min
Cooking: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
For: 6 servings

Ingredients

Additional optional ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Drain cashews and discard water. In a high-speed blender process cashews, water, coconut milk, nutritional yeast flakes, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, cayenne until smooth and creamy. Add additional optional ingredients for an extra special mac and cheese.
  3. Pour sauce over pasta and stir to fully coat, add extra salt if needed. Cook on low until thickened.
  4. Serve immediately or transfer to a greased baking dish and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
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.

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169 Comments
  1. Marcy
    October 20, 2017

    My wonderful neighbor (who is an excellent cook) made this for my family tonight. It was absolutely delicious! I have tried other vegan mac and cheese recipes and will stick with this one as our new mac and cheese dish. Very creamy and tasty! Thank you Michelle for developing a tasty vegan recipe; I will have to thank my friend for introducing me to your website.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 20, 2017

      Marcy, thank you so much for your kind words, I’m so happy you loved my recipe. You have such a wonderful neighbor!

  2. Kathy Patalsky
    October 20, 2017

    This looks amazing!!!! So creamy. Want!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 20, 2017

      Thank you Kathy, hope you try it!

  3. Rhonda Guinto
    October 20, 2017

    Normally don’t write recipe reviews but this one was so delicious! Thank you for sharing Michelle!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 20, 2017

      Wow Rhonda, I’m so happy you love it, thank you so much for your feedback!

  4. Taryn
    September 13, 2017

    I made a batch of the…ate 3/4. I wish I could saw I had regret and shame. I have neither. It was so good! And so easy to make! I added pepper, onion powder and some smoked paprika, but everything else the same! SO delicious! Thank you for sharing :)

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 13, 2017

      Hello Taryn, so happy you had no regrets, love your variations sounds yummy!

  5. Anne
    September 12, 2017

    Giving up dairy has been a challenge but I have made this twice and don’t miss the fatty cheese. It’s delicious!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 12, 2017

      Wow Anne, so happy that my recipe is helping you to give up dairy. Thank you for your feedback!

  6. Missy
    September 6, 2017

    I was craving vegan Mac and cheese and stumbled on this recipe. I’m I made it last week and It was sooo BOMB!! Thank you

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 6, 2017

      So happy you loved it, Missy!

  7. Becca
    September 3, 2017

    We made this recipe last night for dinner with friends and we LOVED it! My boyfriend and I are vegan; our friends are not. They skeptically and politely tried the macaroni and ended up going back for seconds! It was a hit :) This will now be a staple in our meal plans!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 3, 2017

      Wow, Becca, thank you for your feedback, so happy your friends loved it. This made my day!

  8. Mandi
    August 28, 2017

    Hi! This recipe is absolutely delicious! I shared it with many friends bc I’m so excited to finally find a super yummy vegan Mac! Question, in thinking for entertaining how would you make it ahead? Could it sit in the fridge overnight and then maybe bake to warm the next day? Or warm in a crockpot? Thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 28, 2017

      I’m so happy you loved it Mandi and shared it with your friends! Somehow I prefer to reheat it on the stove top (adding a little water) because it tends to clump together and dry out when baked. The crockpot method sounds like the better option. Hope it works out.

  9. Heidi
    August 24, 2017

    Could you use almond milk instead of coconut milk?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 24, 2017

      Sure, use unsweetened almond milk! Enjoy.

    • Jes
      November 1, 2017

      How was it with the almond milk?

  10. Brooks Jones
    August 14, 2017

    Made it last night and it turned out great! I didn’t have red pepper, so I used some leftover baby carrots instead. YUM :)

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 14, 2017

      So happy you loved it, Brooks. Cooked carrots make a great substitute.

  11. Tami
    August 12, 2017

    Was a bit grainy for me, but I may not have pulses it enough with my food processor! However, I loved it and am very happy with this recipe! Am new to the vegan world and have been expiramenting with different recipes, and this will definitely be a go to on my list!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 12, 2017

      Hello Tami, glad you love it. Yes definitely need to process for longer until creamy. I especially love to make the sauce with my high-speed blender. When I used a regular blender I would process the sauce for at least 3 times or until the sauce was creamy.

  12. Lesley
    August 10, 2017

    Just made this! I added kale and steamed broccoli. Sooooooo bomb! Thank you!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 11, 2017

      Thank you, Lesley, I’m so happy you loved it. Oh wow, love the idea of adding kale and steamed broccoli!

  13. Nicole
    August 2, 2017

    I’m allergic to coconut. Is there an alternative for this?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 2, 2017

      Nicole, just omit the coconut and it will be fine.

    • Keli
      November 22, 2017

      Try using unsweetened almond milk instead

  14. kelsie
    July 25, 2017

    What is the purpose of the cashews and will the recipe work without them?? Thank you!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 25, 2017

      Cashew gives the sauce a rich, creamy and smooth texture. You can substitute with blanched almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cooked butternut squash, cooked potatoes.

  15. Diana
    July 25, 2017

    Wow!! Just made this and it was amazing! Just the cheesy, creamy flavor I was craving! I put the sauce over medium shells and added peas. Delicious!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 25, 2017

      Diana thank you for your feedback, I’m so happy you are satisfied with my recipe, adding peas sounds delicious!

  16. Silvija
    July 20, 2017

    Im going to search nutritional yeast tomorrow, definitely will try your recipe!

    • Shannyn
      November 11, 2017

      Silvija, I found it at Kroger. I went to six stores and they all looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for it and then tried to sell me yeast for bread dough. It was by the spices at Kroger.

  17. Melissa
    July 9, 2017

    Does this recipe call for coconut milk in the can? If so, full fat or lite?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 9, 2017

      It calls for full-fat coconut milk in the can. I will edit recipe!

      • Melissa
        August 18, 2017

        Love this, btw! I’m making it right now and I’ve made it several times. Add Trader Joe’s vegan chili and you have yourself a wonderful chili mac! Thank you for the recipe!

        • Michelle Blackwood
          August 18, 2017

          Thank you, Melissa, for your feedback, I will have to try it with Trader Joe’s vegan chili. Sounds so delicious!

  18. Mary
    July 7, 2017

    I made this tonight and added carrots and broccoli. The sauce was very good. I used black bean elbow pasta. Thanks for the recipe! Just found your site but I love it.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 7, 2017

      Mary love your version with the veggies. Sounds delicious!

  19. Marisa Franca
    July 3, 2017

    I can’t believe how creamy and cheesy it looks. I don’t normally make vegan recipes but this one is certainly tempting. I can’t resist anything that looks and taste creamy. YUM!

  20. Molly Kumar
    July 3, 2017

    This looks so delicious and I’ve not eaten a vegan mac-n-cheese till now. I’ve infact not at all tasted vegan cheese but your recipe is so tempting that I’ll have to try soon.

  21. Daniela Anderson
    July 2, 2017

    What a fantastic vegan treat, mac and cheese can only be pure comfort, and this is dairy-free too! Pasta is always a big hit in my family, I bet my little one would like this dish!

  22. Eileen Kelly
    July 1, 2017

    I am just loving this mac and cheese! Just recently started using nutritional yeast and I love it! I do not miss regular cheese. Can’t wait to try this tasty dish!

  23. Veena Azmanov
    July 1, 2017

    Oh we love pasta and I crave for Mac and Cheese so this looks like a perfect healthier option for me. Can’t wait to try.

  24. Stephanie@ApplesforCJ
    July 1, 2017

    This looks absolutely amazing! Mac & Cheese is my weakness and I love this healthy version. Looks so creamy and I would love a big bowl of this. Can’t wait to try this soon.

  25. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    July 1, 2017

    I do have some nutritional yeast…that I have used in popcorn seasoning. I will have to give it a try in a recipe and see how it goes. I am a cheese lover….so this would be new for me.

  26. Noel Lizotte
    July 1, 2017

    Who doesn’t love mac & cheese?! This is a great option for folks who have cravings but want to avoid certain ingredients. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  27. Adriana Lopez Martn
    July 1, 2017

    Nice mac n cheese, my grandson loves this dish if it was for him he would eat mac n cheese everyday =) thanks for sharing!

  28. valmg @ From Val's Kitchen
    June 30, 2017

    I also love pasta, in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Basically, if I were Superman then pasta might be one of my forms of kryptonite.

  29. Sarah
    June 30, 2017

    I am so impressed by how creamy this looks knowing that it’s vegan! I love nutritional yeast on popcorn and have sprinkled it on pasta before, but combined with everything else here this mac and cheese looks heavenly! I will definitely be trying this recipe.

  30. Sandi G
    June 28, 2017

    I have never seen a vegan mac n cheese recipe look so tempting. Great job!

    • Dunori
      June 29, 2017

      I second that… also never knew noni juice could replace nutritional yeast… quite creative once again!

      • Michelle Blackwood
        June 30, 2017

        Thank you, I did that especially for my clients who live abroad and can’t get access to nutritional yeast flakes. It tastes exceptionally good with noni juice!

        • Tamara
          July 20, 2017

          Is there a particular brand of noni juice that you recommend?