The BEST Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe ever! No one would know this mac and cheese is dairy free, it tastes quite similar if not better than the original. Best of all, it’s quick and easy to make and you only need 8 ingredients!
What makes this the BEST Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe?
My favorite thing about this vegan mac and cheese is how easy and quick it is to throw together. It’s ready in the same time it would take for you to make a box of regular mac and cheese! Really.
But most importantly, it tastes incredible! I wouldn’t care how easy it was to make if it didn’t taste right.
This Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe is incredibly creamy, thanks to soaked cashews (don’t worry, you only have to soak them for 5 minutes in hot water!). I didn’t include too many spices, because my kids don’t like that in their mac and cheese. Just cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, a tiny bit of garlic powder and turmeric (for color).
Stovetop or Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese
I couldn’t decide which version to post, so I decided to simply include an option for the baked mac and cheese version. They are both awesome. For everyday, quick meals or kid’s lunches, I prefer the stovetop version. For a fancier meal or holiday, I like to bake it.
To bake, simply top the pasta with optional vegan cheese shreds and breadcrumb topping. Bake at 325 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, just not too long or the sauce will dry out.
Add some vegetables, if desired
I love adding veggies to my vegan mac and cheese. My kid’s favorite way to eat it is with green peas mixed in.
I love adding a ton of cooked kale or roasted broccoli to my vegan mac and cheese recipe. Such a delicious way to eat your greens!
If you make this recipe, let me know how it goes! Rate it & leave a comment below. Enjoy!
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Adapted from Detoxinista.
The BEST Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe ever! No one would know this mac and cheese is dairy free, it tastes quite similar if not better than the original. Best of all, it's quick and easy to make and you only need 8 ingredients!
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked)
- 1 cup water
- 1 large lemon, squeezed for juice (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 16 ounces elbow pasta (use gluten free if needed, or whole grain)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons softened earth balance vegan butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- OPTIONAL: 1 cup vegan cheese shreds
Soften your cashews by covering them in boiling water for 5 minutes. I do this by heating up water in my tea kettle, and then pouring the boiling water over the cashews in a large glass measuring cup.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions, but do not overcook. If baking, cook 1 minute less than usual.
While the pasta is cooking, add the soaked cashews, 1 cup water, lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast, turmeric and garlic powder to a high powered blender and blend until very smooth.
When the pasta is done, drain it, rinse with cold water and return it to the pot. Stir in the cheese sauce, and serve.
While the pasta cooks, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
Make the breadcrumb topping by combining the breadcrumbs, earth balance and salt with a spoon or your hands. When the pasta is done cooking, drain, rinse, stir in the cheese sauce and then transfer to the casserole dish.
Sprinkle the vegan cheese shreds on top (if using), then the breadcrumb topping. Bake for 15-20 minutes, not too long or the cheese sauce will dry out. Remove and serve!
- The cheese sauce freezes well, so feel free to make extra sauce and freeze some for a super quick meal or kid's lunch option.
- I also like to add a vegetable to my vegan mac and cheese. Try thawed peas, roasted or steamed broccoli or cooked kale.
- Nutritional information is for stovetop version, without the breadcrumb topping.