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bowl of vegan baked mac and cheese
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5 from 22 votes

Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese

The Ultimate Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese, a family favorite and easy to make! Creamy, cheesy and topped with a buttery panko breadcrumb topping.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 515kcal
Author: Nora Taylor


  • 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


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a large casserole dish (I used a 9 x 13 inch dish).
  • Soak cashews: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for 5 minutes.
  • Make the cheese sauce: Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Add them to a 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!


  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.


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