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Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
The Ultimate Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese, a family favorite and easy to make! Creamy, cheesy and topped with a buttery panko breadcrumb topping.
bowl of vegan baked mac and cheese

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces elbow noodles

Cheese Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Breadcrumb Topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a large casserole dish (I used a 9 x 13 inch dish).
  • Soak cashews: 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.
  • Make the cheese sauce: Drain the cashews and add them to a high powered blender along with 2 cups of fresh water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic clove, onion powder and salt. Blend until very smooth, and set aside. It will appear a bit watery, but that is right as it thickens while it bakes.
  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions, but one minute less. The noodles will continue to cook in the oven, so do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
  • Make the breadcrumb topping: In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, melted vegan butter and paprika.
  • Add the drained pasta to the casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce on top of the noodles and stir to combine. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top and bake, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes until warm and golden brown.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Gluten free: Use gluten free elbow noodles, and gluten free breadcrumbs OR instead top with Vegan Parmesan.
  2. Nut free: I don't know how to make this recipe totally nut free, but you might be able to substitute raw slivered almonds for the cashews. Sunflower seeds may work.
  3. Make ahead: To make this a day or two ahead of time, make as directed but do not bake. Cover with foil and refrigerate. When ready to bake, uncover and bake for 30 minutes or until hot. It's better when made right away though!
  4. Add some veggies: frozen thawed peas, steamed broccoli, kale or spinach would all be great added in to this mac and cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 515kcal, Carbohydrates: 65g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 763mg, Potassium: 425mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 397IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 4mg