How To Make Vegan Mac & Cheese

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Mac And Cheese Recipe Tips

How To Make The Best Vegan Mac n Cheese Tasty

You can bulk up the mac and cheese by stirring steamed or roasted veggies in at the end. I especially love adding chopped steamed broccoli.

Or give the pasta a protein boost by adding crumbled tempeh, baked tofu or seitan, or your favorite protein of choice.

Finally, if youre crazy like me and want to drown your pasta in a gallon of cheese sauce, feel free to make a double batch!

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Above watch the vegan macaroni and cheese recipe video

Vegan Mac And Cheese Recipe

What I love about this vegan Mac and Cheese recipe is that its just as fast to prepare as the version that comes in a box with neon-orange food coloring.

While your pasta is cooking, you simply blend the creamy vegan cashew sauce in a blender until smooth. When the pasta is done, stir in the sauce and serve! It doesnt get much easier or faster than that. If you have an Instant Pot and would prefer to use that, you should also try my Instant Pot Vegan Mac n Cheese.

Make It Ahead Of Time

This recipe can absolutely be made a day or two ahead of time, however I do suggest adding 1 cup more milk to the vegan cheese sauce to account for the liquid that will get absorbed as it sits in the fridge. Simply make everything and then add mac and cheese to a 9×13 inch pan and cover with foil. Store in the fridge. Once ready, you can bake the mac and cheese covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until reheated.

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What Goes With Vegan Mac And Cheese

If youre thinking of what to eat with vegan mac and cheese then theres some great sides that go perfectly with this!

If youre thinking in terms of comfort food then our vegan garlic bread or vegan cornbread is a perfect addition.

Some vegan coleslaw or a delicious vegan kale salad or black bean and corn salad would also go very well. If youre looking for an appetizer then something like our vegan tomato soup or vegan tomato basil soup would fit the bill perfectly.

The Best Vegan Macaroni And Cheese

Best Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten

Growing up, my mother was usually the one who cooked for us, preparing elaborate and wholesome meals from scratch, with plenty of vegetables.

But every now and then, my dad would take over the kitchen. One of my absolute favorite lunches hed make us was boxed Kraft macaroni & cheese, which I called cheese soup because hed always add extra milk so there was twice as much cheese sauce.

Although I havent eaten the boxed Kraft version in years, I still love my mac and cheese with a ton of extra cheese sauce.

Serve me a bowl of homemade macaroni drenched in so much creamy cheese sauce that you cant even tell theres pasta in the bowl, and you will never hear me complain!

Also be sure to try this Vegan Chocolate Cake

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How To Serve Vegan Cheese Sauce

This isnt the kind of cheese sauce youre going to use on a pizza.

Have you had a white sauce before? Its exactly like that, just flavored to be cheesy!

Its what you want when you want a cheesy version of a white sauce to use in your lasagna! Its also great as a pasta sauce or served over vegetables.

It also makes a great sauce for a vegan mac and cheese.

If you want a cheese sauce to drizzle on your pizza, then youre looking for a cashew cheese sauce! Or you can even grate up some hard sliceable cashew cheese and melt it on your pizza!

So Much Buttery Flavor

It has a wonderful buttery flavor and everyone who has tried it agrees that it tastes like real butter. It really does.

And comparing the flavor to other vegan buttery spreads on the market, it compares very favorably. Its just damn good I must say.

The buttery flavor comes about from the vegan buttermilk apple cider vinegar mixed in with unsweetened soy milk or almond milk, I tested both and both worked great and a little nutritional yeast.

Refined coconut oil is very neutral in flavor yet perfect in texture, so it enables this vegan butter to take on the other flavors added to it.

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What To Serve With Mac And Cheese

Mac and cheese is a side dish that is loved by just about everyone! Here are a few of our favorite pairings on TSV that go well with this creamy pasta dish.

  • Yield:Serves 6 81x
  • Category:Entree, Pasta
  • 16 oz. package pasta of choice
  • paprika, garnish
  • two pieces of bread or 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoonolive oil
  • 2 cupsraw cashews, soaked
  • 2 cupswater
  • ¼ ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • juice of ½ large lemonor 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoonwhite miso or 2 teaspoons dijon or 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoonscornstarch or arrowroot , optional
  • 1 teaspoonsea salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

How About That Texture


It does get very hard in the fridge, so its a lot like a traditional butter in that sense, if you want to spread it on bread or cream it up with sugar for baking, its best to let it soften slightly out the fridge first.

Spreading on toast is of course fine as is and it doesnt need to soften first.

Youll also find the texture of it tends towards crumbly when its still hard straight from the fridge, but this doesnt have any impact on the result once spread. And to avoid this, let it soften a bit first.

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What Vegan Boxed Mac And Cheese Brands Did We Try

Despite trying out 10 different brands, we know that there are even more out there. We just didnt find them local to us. The brands that we did find and try are:

  • Modern Table Vegan Mac Classic Cheddar Style
  • Banza Plant Based Mac with Chickpea Pasta Shells and Vegan Cheddar
  • Annies Organic Vegan Mac Cheddar Flavor
  • Annies Organic Deluxe Vegan Rich and Creamy Shells & Vegan Cheddar
  • Annies Organic Vegan Mac Gluten Free Cheddar Flavor
  • Annies Organic Vegan Mac Shell Pasta Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Creamy Sauce
  • Uptons Naturals Deluxe Cheesy Mac
  • Howl Mac & Chef Deluxe Classic Cashew
  • Daiya Deluxe Cheesy Mac Cheddar Style
  • Pastabilities Vegan Organic Mac N Cheese

I will be upfront that we had tried a few of these before. Specifically, one of the Annies and we believe the Daiya but couldnt recall.

However, we had never tried any of them side by side with other brands which we believe is really important when it comes to taste testing.

Easy 1 Pot Vegan Mac And Cheese

Creamy, velvety, saucy vegan mac and cheese.

This mac and cheese recipe is perfect if you want a vegan meal you can prepare quickly and easily . The method is a combination of boxed mac and cheese and homemade mac and cheese. Boil and drain your noodles and then toss them back in the pot you cooked them in. After that, stir in some vegan butter, non-dairy milk, vegan cheese shreds and seasonings. Stir gently until the sauce thickens and the cheese melts. Easy!

The vegan cheese sauce thickens briskly and without any real thickener. The trick is simple! Dont rinse your pasta after draining it because the excess starch thickens the cheese sauce exactly the right amount.

For a classic taste and method, were going to add in our favourite vegan cheese shreds. For this recipe, I used Follow Your Heart dairy-free mozzarella shreds because it has a clean, “real cheese” flavour and it melts into a luscious sauce. As a result, theres no roux-base, no soaking and blending cashews, and no pre-cooking cauliflower, potatoes, or carrots.

White vinegar adds a clean sharpness and tang so its essential to a cheese sauce that won’t taste flat.

You may notice that theres no turmeric in this recipe. If you want that orange colour, choose cheddar shreds instead of mozzarella. I find the addition of turmeric doesnt look or taste quite right. The orange colour has a greenish hue and the flavour doesnt add cheesiness or compliment the dish.

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How To Make Vegan Mac & Cheese

This recipe is really easy to prepare and comes together quickly.

I highly recommend boiling your macaroni noodles as you make the cheese sauce. That way you can have everything ready to go in the time it takes to boil your noodles!

Once you sauce is ready and your noodles are cooke, drain and rinse the noodles before adding them to your cheese sauce and stirring everything well to combine.

That’s it!

You now have some delicious, creamy vegan mac & cheese that I know the whole family will enjoy!

What Kind Of Pasta Works Best

How To Make the Ultimate Vegan Mac and Cheese

Pretty much any noodles will work here, and whole wheat or gluten free pasta is fine to use as well. Im partial to tube noodles because they trap more vegan cheese!

For the photos, I really wanted the recognizable Kraft pasta shape but couldnt find it anywhere. So I ended up buying boxed vegan mac and cheese and used my own sauce recipe instead of their packet.

The cheese sauce can be used with much more than just pasta.

If youre on a keto or low carb diet or simply dont feel like boiling noodles one night, feel free to use the sauce as a cheese dip or pour it over steamed veggies, cauliflower rice, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, or even spaghetti squash.

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Watch How To Make Vegan Mac And Cheese

Recipe adapted from my vegan queso.

Make it gluten free: Simply use your favorite gluten-free noodles.

*On broccoli: You can omit the broccoli altogether, or replace it with finely chopped kale or peas . If you omit it, you might not need to use all of the sauce.

**Raw cashew notes: Most recipes like this suggest soaking the cashews for 4 hours in advance to make them easier to blend and to digest. I honestly never soak mine since I have a powerful Vitamix that blends them right up. The cashews in this recipe are cooked in hot liquid, so theyre softer and even easier to blend. However, if you dont have a great blender or if youre concerned about the digestibility factor, go ahead and soak them in advance.

How To Make Vegan Cheese Sauce

You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.

There are just 3 basic ingredients oil, flour and plant-based milk to make your basic white sauce.

To that you add some salt, black pepper, dijon mustard, great for adding a cheesy flavor dont even ask me why but really it works, and some nutritional yeast.

And that might be as far as you need to go to get your perfect cheese sauce flavor! If you want to intensify the flavors a bit more, you can add in some optional onion powder and garlic powder too.

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What Is Vegan Cheese

Plant-based milks dont have the properties of dairy milk, so you cant just swap almond milk in a dairy cheese process and have it turn out. Most dairy cheese is cultured, meaning beneficial bacteria is added to it to change its flavor and texture. All but one of the DIY vegan cheeses gathered here aren’t cultured theyre entry-level recipes you can try without getting too specialized or investing a lot of time.

What Ingredients Do You Need For Vegan Mac And Cheese

How to Make Delicious Vegan Macaroni & Cheese | Brown Vegan

This isnt going to be one of those super simple ingredient lists however, we dont think that its super expansive either. The ingredients that you will need for this delicious dairy free macaroni and cheese is:

  • macaroni noodles
  • vegan shredded cheddar cheese
  • seasoned panko breadcrumbs

So 14 total ingredients. Which, in our opinion, isnt that bad! Lets get to the recipe.

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So How Do You Make Cheesy Pasta Without Cheese The Answer Is Cashews And Nutritional Yeast

I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but hear me out. The creamy, dreamy texture of this vegan cheese comes from soaked cashews, while nutritional yeast gives this cheese sauce all the cheesy goodness of the traditional version.

  • Nutritional yeast: We love Bobs Red Mill Nutritional Yeast. Its what gives this sauce its cheesy flavor and its packed full of vitamins and minerals!
  • Raw cashews: The cashews will give this sauce that dreamy creaminess that usually comes from cheese and milk. Simply soak the cashews to soften them up and theyll blend right up into a thick and creamy sauce.
  • Dairy free milk: We used almond milk, but any neutral flavored nondairy milk would work! Cashew milk or pea milk would be great, but Id steer clear of
  • The perfect blend of spices: We used garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, and paprika to give this vegan mac and cheese the kind of deep flavor profile that you would get from using a blend of cheeses.

It has that home cooked, stovetop mac and cheese taste without any dairy cheese.

Pro Tip: You could also easily make this vegan macaroni and cheese gluten free by subbing gluten free pasta and breadcrumbs!

What Is This Vegan Mac And Cheese Made Of

Heres our very short ingredient list:

  • Noodles
  • Some spices for flavor and color like onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, and paprika
  • Non-dairy milk of choice I like soy milk or oat milk
  • Vegan butter to make it extra luxe

All the dry stuff is going to make an Easy Mac-style cheeze powder which looks like this:


A creamy, luscious sauce that coats every nook and cranny of your macaroni noodles and brings you to the mountaintop of the macaroni and cheese experience with minimal time, minimal effort, and maximal delight.

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Vegan Mac And Cheese With Cauliflower

Cauliflower is such a healthy and versatile vegetable. Its perfect for creamy sauces!

This is the most cheese-like vegan mac and cheese Ive ever made! It uses a combination of cauliflower, cashews, and tapioca starch. It doesnt use a lot of cashews, so its still relatively low in calories.

And the best thing is that the sauce almost stretches like real cheese!!

Doesnt this cauliflower mac and cheese by Florian from Contentedness Cooking look extremely rich and creamy?! Its a great example of using cauliflower as a base for vegan cheese sauce.

Florian paired it with cashews, tahini sesame paste, and mustard sauce for more flavor and creaminess.

The Best Vegan Cheese For Mac And Cheese: Miyokos Farmhouse Cheddar

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese is the best vegan mac and ...

I tried MANY different kinds of vegan cheese, and the winner was Miyokos. It didnt have that overly buttery taste and weird smell that the other cheeses had. It wasnt as pretty and realistic looking as the other cheeses, though. I found it in Target, so that was another plus. I love the way this cheese melted down and didnt have an aftertaste. It did require some stirring, though! Ill continue to try a different cheese, but for right now, Miyokos is giving me the BEST authentic cheese flavor!! Second Runner Up: Violife. My kids preferred Violife. I love this cheeses look, but it had a slight smell and an artificial butter taste. My son came into the kitchen and asked was I making biscuits, lol. Ive also made it with Miyokos Farmhouse Cheddar and just a handful of Violife mozzarella cheese and that was also good. Miyokos also has a smoked cheddar and mozzarella that was out of stock during my testing, but I LOVE smoked cheese in mac and cheese and cant wait to try it!

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Comfort Food Everyone Can Enjoy

When we think of comfort food, it is hard not to think about mac and cheese. But, many of us with dietary restrictions or allergies feel like we cant enjoy this dish anymore. That is totally not true! This vegan recipe uses the power of plant-based ingredients to make absolutely delicious and cheesy mac and cheese. There are a few simple tricks behind it.

Cashews are a powerful ingredient in this recipe. These tree nuts add structure and density, just like a typical cheese sauce would. When combined with the sweet carrots, you create the classic yellow-orange mac and cheese color.

But, we cannot forget that cheesy flavor! Nutritional yeast steals the show here. This flavorful ingredient provides the cheese-like flavor without the cheese. Crazy right? A couple of tablespoons of this stuff can really fool you.

Nutritional yeast is a really cool condiment. It is solely dried deactivated yeast that is potent in vitamins and minerals. Despite its flavor-enhancing qualities, nutritional yeast is very low in sodium. This just adds to its list of nutritional benefits!

This recipe can easily be made gluten free as well. All you need to do is sub macaroni pasta with any short gluten free pasta. I love brown rice pasta in this dish. Whatever pasta you choose, just make sure to follow the cooking directions carefully each gluten free pasta has its own method.

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