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Vegan Mac and Cheese

Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese on a white plate

This is the Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe you’ve been looking for! Whether you’re vegan by choice or by necessity, it’s likely mac and cheese is a dish you crave from time to time.

The ooey gooey cheese and pasta is a combination almost everyone loves. With this vegan option, you can enjoy vegan mac and cheese made from cashews and vegan mozzarella. It’s easier than you think to make and has a yummy breadcrumb topping.

Vegan dinners can be just as exciting as non-vegan meals! I’m here to prove it with this Vegan Katsu Curry recipe and this super delicious Vegan Cannelloni, too. Need a dessert everyone can enjoy? Try this Vegan Vanilla Pudding.

Why You’ll Love Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • It’s super easy to make. Plus, it only requires a few ingredients.
  • It’s dairy-free and plant-based, so it’s a great option for vegans, but it’s also ideal for people that have an intolerance to dairy.
  • It’s rich, creamy, and flavorful, just like traditional mac and cheese.
  • It’s a healthier version of mac and cheese because of the use of cashews and nutritional yeast.

What is Vegan Cheese?

Vegan cheese is a cheese-like food product derived from plant-based ingredients. It’s usually made from soy, nuts, or vegetable oils.

In many ways, it’s just like regular cheese, but it tends not to melt as well. It is sometimes viewed as a healthier alternative to natural cheese because it has a much lower fat content.

Helpful Equipment To Make Vegan Mac and Cheese

Here are the tools you’ll need to make this recipe:

Recipe Ingredients

  • 12 oz elbow pasta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella shreds (I used So Delicious)
  • 1 cup vegan panko breadcrumbs (I used Kikkoman)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black crushed pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Vegan non-stick spray (I used avocado oil)
ingredient list for Vegan Mac and Cheese

How To Make Vegan Mac and Cheese

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Cook the pasta according to the instructions, then rinse it off with cold water and let it drain.

Place your cashews in a large bowl. Pour boiling water from your kettle over the top and soak them for about 5 minutes in the hot water. Then drain well, discard the water, and transfer the cashews to a food processor.

In the food processor with the cashews, add the vegan cheese, nutritional yeast, seasoning, lemon juice, and water and process for about 3-5 minutes, or until completely smooth.

Grab a large bowl and mix the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce, until well combined.

Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray (I used avocado oil) and transfer the mac and cheese to the dish.

Sprinkle with the panko breadcrumbs to make sure the top is all covered. Then spray some nonstick spray over the panko breadcrumbs.

Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and broil the top for an additional 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve while hot and enjoy!

Prep Time

It takes 20 minutes to prep this Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe.

Mixed ingredients for Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

All About Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese is a hearty dinner or side dish that uses plant-based ingredients instead of dairy products to mimic the creamy and cheesy flavor of traditional mac and cheese.

This recipe uses cashews and vegan cheese blended together to make a rich and creamy sauce.

Nutritional yeast is added too, and give this recipe a cheesy flavor, while spices like garlic powder, smoked paprika, and turmeric provide an extra kick of flavor.

Recipe Variations

Any ingredient substitutions/additions, etc 

What can you eat with this dish eg: toast with soup or chicken tenders with a salad etc 

Tips & Tricks and Recipe Notes

  • Make sure you use fresh cashews. Old cashews that are dried out won’t process as well and won’t have as fresh a flavor.
  • This recipe works best with a high-speed blender or food processor to blend the cashews and water until smooth.
  • If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit more water until it reaches your desired consistency, or something that better resembles mac and cheese sauce.
  • You can slightly undercook your pasta if you like it a bit more on the chewy side, since it will cook a bit more in the oven.
  • You can easily make this gluten free by substituting gluten-free pasta and breadcrumbs.

What Can I Serve with Mac and Cheese?

If you need some vegan dishes to compliment this yummy mac and cheese, here are a few options:

  • Roasted vegetables – Roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts would be especially good with this.
  • Salad – Try a tangy dressing to bring out the flavors of the mac and cheese.
  • This Vegan Ham.
  • Garlic bread – Thick and crunchy garlic bread is never a bad idea.
  • Vegan chili – Yum!
  • This Tofu Ricotta
Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

How to Store Vegan Mac and Cheese

If you have leftovers, you can put them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’ll stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.

You can also freeze Vegan Mac and Cheese. Just put it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the freezer for 4-6 hours before reheating.

How to Reheat Vegan Mac and Cheese:

To reheat vegan mac and cheese, place it in the oven in foil or in an oven-safe dish covered in foil at 350°F (180°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

FAQs

What is nutritional yeast? Do I need to use it?

Nutritional yeast is different than active rising yeast. It’s deactivated, and is used in many vegan recipes because of its cheesy, nutty flavor. You don’t have to use it, but it does provide some of the cheesy flavor that makes this recipe delicious.

What is vegan mac and cheese made of?

Vegan mac and cheese is made of a blend of ground cashews and vegan cheese with seasonings to create a sauce, then mixed with pasta and baked in the oven.

Does vegan mac and cheese taste good?

Yes, vegan mac and cheese tastes good! The blend of cashews, nutritional yeast, vegan mozzarella, and seasonings does a great job of mimicking a real cheese sauce.

Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

Conclusion

For vegans and non-vegans alike, this Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe is sure to please everyone at the table.

It’s a delicious and healthier alternative to traditional mac and cheese, and it’s very easy to make! You don’t even have to use the stove! Give it a try today!

Print
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Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese on a white plate

Vegan Mac and Cheese


  • Author: Sam
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This is the Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe you’ve been looking for! Whether you’re vegan by choice or by necessity, it’s likely mac and cheese is a dish you crave from time to time.

The ooey gooey cheese and pasta is a combination almost everyone loves. With this vegan option, you can enjoy vegan mac and cheese made from cashews and vegan mozzarella. It’s easier than you think to make and has a yummy breadcrumb topping.

Vegan dinners can be just as exciting as non-vegan meals! I’m here to prove it with this Vegan Katsu Curry recipe and this super delicious Vegan Cannelloni, too. Need a dessert everyone can enjoy? Try this Vegan Vanilla Pudding.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 12 oz elbow pasta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella shreds (I used So Delicious)
  • 1 cup vegan panko breadcrumbs (I used Kikkoman)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black crushed pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Vegan non-stick spray (I used avocado oil)

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Cook the pasta according to the instructions. Then rinse off with cold water and let it drain.
  3. Soak the cashews for about 5 minutes in hot water. I simply just cooked some water with a kettle and let them soak on the counter. Then discard the water and transfer the cashew to a food processor.
  4. In the food processor with the cashews, add the cheese, nutritional yeast, seasoning, lemon juice and water and process for about 3-5 minutes, or until completely smooth.
  5. Grab a large bowl and mix the cooked pasta with the cheese sauce, until well combined.
  6. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray (I used avocado oil) and transfer the mac and cheese to the dish.
  7. Sprinkle with the panko breadcrumbs to make sure the top is all covered. Then spray some nonstick spray over the panko breadcrumbs.
  8. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and broil the top for an additional 2-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Serve while hot, enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 7
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: International

Keywords: pasta recipe

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