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Vegan Mac and Cheese: the best-ever comfort dish recipe for a vegan macaroni and cheese

Total time: 10 Min + Soaking time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 3 people
By Cookist

Whether you follow a vegan diet or are simply looking for some meat and dairy-free meal options to add to your weekly meals, this easy vegan mac and cheese is amazing. It's made of a savory, cheesy flavor thanks to nutritional yeast (or vegan cheese substitute, if you prefer), and a wonderful creamy texture courtesy of cashews.

Each bite of vegan macaroni and cheese is just as satisfying as classic mac and cheese. The best part? It's so easy to make – it only takes about 5 minutes! Way less effort and time compared to regular mac and cheese, and just as delicious? Sign us up!

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients

To make vegan mac and cheese sauce, you'll need a few ingredients, many of which you probably already have.

Cashews or macadamias nuts and margarine are used to give the sauce its creaminess.

Carrot helps thicken it, while nutritional yeast gives the sauce a cheesy flavor.

To add extra flavor, add a dash of salt, nutmeg, and onion powder.

A teaspoon of vinegar adds a slight tang which balances out the flavor.

Any type of pasta that can catch the sauce will work great for your vegan mac and cheese. Try macaroni, shells, rigatoni, or penne. Not in the mood for pasta? Swap it out for cooked veggies, rice, or quinoa.

How to Make Vegan Mac and Cheese

While it takes virtually no time at all to make the vegan "cheese" sauce, you will want to give yourself a couple of hours for the first step. To start, soak the nuts in a bowl for at least 2 hours up to overnight. After they've soaked, pour off the water. Put the nuts, carrot, yeast, vinegar, water, margarine, salt, onion powder, and nutmeg in a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the sauce into a pot and heat through, making sure to stir occasionally. If you're adding vegan cheese, now is the time to add it. Stir it in and heat the sauce until the vegan cheese has melted. Serve your vegan cheese sauce over pasta, and enjoy!


Can You Make Vegan Mac and Cheese Without Nutritional Yeast?

Absolutely! If you don't want to use nutritional yeast, use a vegan cheese substitute in its place.

Tips for Making the Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

If you're allergic to nuts, use beans as a substitute.

Either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work in this recipe.

For extra flavor, add a dash of cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, white pepper, hot sauce, or garlic to your vegan mac and cheese.

To make gluten-free vegan mac and cheese, use gluten-free pasta. You can also swap out the pasta and pour your vegan cheese sauce over some roasted or steamed veggies or rice.

If your sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little plant-based milk. Nut milk, soy milk, rice, or oat milk will all work.

Add any vegetables you like to this recipe. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers make fantastic additions.

For an even tastier dish, try baking your vegan mac and cheese. Assemble the sauce and cook and drain the pasta to al dente. Bake it in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned at the top.

Serve your vegan mac and cheese with your favorite vegan side dishes like roasted or steamed vegetables, cauliflower steak, stir-fried broccoli, homemade garlic bread, roasted peppers, or a side salad.


How to Store Vegan Mac and Cheese

Let the mac and cheese cool down slightly, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can You Freeze Vegan Mac and Cheese?

Unlike regular mac and cheese, you can definitely freeze vegan mac and cheese. It'll stay fresh for up to 3 months.

More Vegan Recipes You'll Like


raw cashews or macadamias
1/2 cup
medium carrot, steamed or roasted
Nutritional yeast
1/4 cup
White vinegar
1 tsp
1/2 cup, plus extra
margarine or oil
2 tsp
1 tsp
Onion powder
1/4 tsp
Ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp
cooked pasta
180 g


Soak the nuts in a bowl for at least 2 hours up to overnight, then pour off the water.

Place nuts, carrot, yeast, vinegar, water, margarine, salt, onion powder, and nutmeg in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into a pot and heat through. If using vegan cheese, add it to the sauce and stir until melted.

Serve over pasta, and enjoy.


If desired, you can leave out the margarine or oil.

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