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

gLook 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!

The Best Vegan Mac And Cheese

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.

Vegan mac and cheese ingredients on a grey background

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!

Vegan Mac And Cheese stirring in pot

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. 

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

Vegan Mac and Cheese

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Categories

Categories: ,
Course:
Cuisines: ,

Nutrition

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

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.

Notes

Vegan Mac and Cheese

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. Stacey
    April 15, 2018

    This looks perfectly creamy and tasty, I know family would enjoy it!

  2. Nicole | Culinary Cool
    April 15, 2018

    I’ve recently adopted a more plant-based diet, and I think this would be a great addition to my meal plan.

  3. Heather
    April 15, 2018

    This looks amazing .. if you served this to anyone and didnt tell them is was vegan, no on would be the wiser. I love that you use lemon juice and cayenne to bring out those flavors and I had no idea coconut and cashews were so versatile. Great recipe!!

  4. Lynette
    April 15, 2018

    Passing this recipe along to my sister who has a dairy free child. This looks absolutely creamy and not at all vegan – which is just the kind of recipes she loves to make.

  5. Meredith
    April 14, 2018

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this mac and cheese!!! I love that you are using cashews instead of dairy!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 14, 2018

      Thank you Meredith, hope you enjoy :)

  6. Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen
    April 14, 2018

    We can get nutritional yeast pretty easily here, but I’m really curious about noni juice now – I had never heard of it before this post! Your mac and cheese looks absolutely delicious :)

  7. Sara
    April 13, 2018

    This looks like a great dish! I know my family would love it!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 13, 2018

      Thank you Sara, hope you try it.

  8. Michelle
    April 13, 2018

    Wow, this looks amazing. I can’t believe its vegan and gluten free. I can’t wait to try this healthy and comforting meal.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 13, 2018

      Thank you Michelle, I hope you enjoy it.

  9. Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago
    April 12, 2018

    I love mac & cheese and have been getting really into vegan cheese lately so definitely want to try this one!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 12, 2018

      Thank you Kathryn, hope you enjoy

  10. Anna
    April 10, 2018

    Just looking at these pictures makes me hungry! Your mac and cheese looks so creamy and so tasty! Perfect comfort food right there!

  11. Dominique | Perchance to Cook
    April 10, 2018

    Cashews and nutritional yeast for the win!! I would never have guessed that this mac and cheese was vegan based on the photos. This looks creamy and delish!!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 10, 2018

      Thank you Dominique, I hope you try it.

  12. Rhonda
    January 19, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It has become a family favorite and my husband cannot stop raving about this dish. I have made this at least 10 times so far and have always followed the recipe with no need to add or omit anything.

  13. Alyssa
    January 11, 2018

    Made this today…OMG!! Love, love, love. Made a few modifications by adding broccoli in with the pasta and used the reserved pasta water to make the cheese spread. My cheese didn’t come out as yellow as the photo but it was still delicious.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 11, 2018

      Alyssa, I’m so happy you loved it, yes broccoli makes it so much healthier such a great idea, thank you so much for your feedback!

  14. Meaghan B.
    January 10, 2018

    5 STARS ALL THE WAY! Absolutely LOVE it! It is definitely the best vegan mac n “cheese” I’ve tried! Thank you for sharing!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 10, 2018

      Wow, I enjoy comments like yours Meaghan at the end of the day. Make me look forward to getting into the kitchen tomorrow, thank you very much!

  15. Melissa
    January 4, 2018

    This was amazing! I have been searching for a good mac and cheese recipe since I gave up cheese. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 4, 2018

      Melissa I’m so happy you enjoyed it, thank you very much for your feedback I really appreciate it.

  16. Katy
    January 3, 2018

    I really wanted to love this recipe and was so excited that I doubled it. With all of the positive reviews, I’m sure it was probably my fault that it didn’t turn out well. First, I used lentil noodles – terrible mistake – and second, I think my red bell pepper was too big. Other than that, I can’t figure out why mine doesn’t look like the pictures or taste as great as everyone describes. I couldn’t even bring myself to eat the leftovers. Looks like I’ll be sticking to Daiya’s boxed mac and cheese.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 3, 2018

      Hello Katy, I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. Two things I have learned over the years when trying a recipe for the first time never double and never go use an ingredient that will bring totally different results. Lentil pasta and black bean pasta have a weird and unique taste. Lentil pasta tastes like lentils and black bean pasta is even worst. Definitely not for making macaroni and cheese that is convincing. Here are some honest reviews on how horrible lentil past tastes http://bit.ly/2EPMDMw

  17. Collette Reynolds
    December 30, 2017

    I’ve made many of your dishes and they’ve all been absolutely delicious! You are my go-to vegan recipe page! Anyways, I grew up in Jamaica and I’m familiar with noni; it’s absolutely horrible! How exactly does this taste in the recipe? Is it somehow cheesy? I avoid nutritional yeast as it’s not the healthiest.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 30, 2017

      Thank you, Collette, so happy you love my recipes and I actually prefer the taste of noni in this dish than yeast flakes. Yes, yeast flakes are deactivated yeast and so is the yeast that is used to make bread, that’s why it is best to let the freshly baked bread sit for at least 24 hours before consuming. For people struggling with candida issues, yeast flakes should be a no-no. I would suggest to make the recipe and just leave it out, it will taste great. I recently posted a video on my facebook page about noni and they were eating the freshly picked noni and I was wondering if there was a sweet variety, lol

  18. Emily
    November 26, 2017

    I can not do cashews, could I supplement with aquafaba, almonds, or even chick peas?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 26, 2017

      Emily, I have used blanched almonds, almonds flour but I have not tried aquafaba nor chickpeas

  19. Tori
    November 22, 2017

    I made this for an office party today and everyone seemed to really enjoy it so I’d call that a success. Then turkey juice fell into it and it was no longer vegan lol. Luckily my vegan coworker got her portion before that happened.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 22, 2017

      Thank you Tori for your feedback, lol so happy your vegan coworker got hers before the turkey juice fell on it!

  20. Kat
    November 19, 2017

    Is it 305 calories per serving? I just made it today btw and my bf and I LOVED it!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 19, 2017

      Wow Kat,I’m so happy you and your bf loved it.Thank you for the information I ran it and all the recipes I have done through this calculator, the pasta will vary based on the one used, but I will have to revisit it again https://www.verywell.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4129594.

      • Kat
        November 19, 2017

        Cool! Thank you! I’ll check out the analyzer!

  21. Michelle Blackwood
    November 19, 2017

    CourtP, congratulations on your journey. I do find I get smoother sauces when done in a high-speed blender than my food processor. Also if you baked it, you do need to add extra water because it dries a bit but sounds more like the food processor is at fault here.

  22. LittleBitQ
    November 18, 2017

    I literally just made this and fully enjoyed my bowlful; it had the perfect flavor! The only problem I noticed as I started to heat it through and then most obviously as it cooled is the very sticky consistency. Did I do something wrong, or how might ingredients/amounts be adjusted to lessen this? Also, most important question – can this be stored and reheated, and if so, what would be the best way? Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  23. Réka
    November 18, 2017

    I saw the recipe last night, and I had to recreate it right away! I recently went dairy free (health issues), and I’m at the point where I really miss cheese. I used roasted cashews, because I didn’t have access to raw ones, and I added some cooked potato instead of the bell pepper, because I was looking for that gooey texture of melted cheese. Aside from these alterations, I went by the recipe. And let me tell you… I actually enjoy it a lot more than real Mac and Cheese. Although it doesn’t exactly taste like cheese, the texture is absolutely perfect, it’s super delicious, and I know that it’s good for me. Thank you so much for the recipe, I’ll be making it often!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 18, 2017

      Thank you Reka for your feedback, I absolutely love your variation with the cooked potato and I’m happy you enjoyed it more than the real Mac and Cheese! All the best on your dairy-free journey!

  24. skwoo
    November 18, 2017

    make a printable version

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 18, 2017

      I know, my web developer has that planned for 2018

  25. Jill
    November 13, 2017

    I am super excited about trying this recipe. Quick question about the red pepper. Should it be raw or cooked prior to blending it? The picture has me hooked and the reviews are excellent.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 13, 2017

      Hello Jill, the red pepper should be raw and doesn’t need cooking at all.

  26. Sadie
    November 12, 2017

    This recipe is hands down my favorite “vegan alternative” recipe. You are an absolute magician! Nobody could believe it wasn’t actual mac and cheese, and everyone went in for seconds. I added turmeric like a previous commenter suggested, doubled the lemon, and used almond milk in place of coconut milk. I put it in the oven for 30 minutes and think next time I would double the sauce because it did bake off quite a bit. Seriously, thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I can’t wait to try your other works of art.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 12, 2017

      Hello Sadie, I’m so happy for your feedback and I love how everyone one had seconds! I love your variations, I need to make a note to double the sauce if one decides to bake it, thank you!

      • Lauren
        November 14, 2017

        Hi! I just printed this out for a recipe for my family for Thanksgiving (most have gone vegan with the exception of my husband and I) I am curious why the need to bake if it is already creamy and cooked when mixing with the pasta? Thanks!! :-)

        • Michelle Blackwood
          November 14, 2017

          Lauren, hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, no you don’t need to bake it at all. Some people actually prefer it baked though.

  27. Patty
    November 12, 2017

    Hi! I have a question: I soaked about 2-2.5 cups of cashews last week with the intention of soaking it overnight to make a recipe. But I didn’t make the recipe. The cashews are in a mason jar with a lid in the refrigerator. Can they soak in the refrigerator for a week? Do they go bad? I want to make this recipe today :) Thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 12, 2017

      Oh my, you have soaked them far too long and they must have fermented. Personally, I wouldn’t take the chance I would toss them. My health and that of my families is worth more than cashews. Too many variables involved, it might smell good, you cannot tell what is going on a microscopic level, I don’t know the integrity of the nuts before you soaked them, once water touches them, they have begun to grow stuff! Next time, an hour or two is great for cashews since they aren’t really raw in the truest sense because they have been steamed and roasted.

      • Lauren Mercurio
        November 13, 2017

        I’m heading to work and want to make this tonight,if I put the soaking cashews in the fridge for the day will they be ok?

        • Michelle Blackwood
          November 13, 2017

          Lauren, it will be fine! Have a wonderful day!

  28. Ocean
    November 7, 2017

    Hi, what is the lemon juice for?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 7, 2017

      Hello Ocean, to give it a slightly sharp taste like cheddar cheese, add more if you want it to be sharper!

  29. Toka
    November 4, 2017

    I love this recipe. Taste’s great. I added a little bit of Tumerick to give it that cheesy color.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 4, 2017

      Awesome Toka, so happy you love it and that’s a great idea to add turmeric for color!

  30. willow
    November 3, 2017

    hi michelle could use cashew milk instead of raw cashew instead?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 3, 2017

      Willow you can but you need to add some kind of flour about 1-2 tablespoons to use as a thickener, either blend it or whisk the flour in the cashew milk and then cook on the stove with the other ingredients!

      • Love
        November 7, 2017

        Hi— do you get the same taste with the cashew milk in place of soaked cashews?

        • Michelle Blackwood
          November 7, 2017

          Love, I have not tried cashew milk but I bet it will taste just as great. Make sure it’s unsweetened and add cornstarch as a thickener!

          • Candy
            December 3, 2017

            If I use cashew milk instead of the cashews, how much milk should I use? Thanks.

          • Michelle Blackwood
            December 3, 2017

            Candy, I haven’t tried it with cashew milk as yet, Once it is unsweetened it will be fine. You might have to add some kind of starch to thicken it though. I would love to know how it turns out for you and the amount you use.

      • Marie
        November 14, 2017

        Hi can I use corn starch instead of flour?

        • Michelle Blackwood
          November 14, 2017

          Marie, it should definitely work. I Just haven’t tested it myself.