We might be biased, but this super creamy, vegan mac and cheese is hands down the best vegan mac and cheese recipe you’ll ever make. Made with a seriously delicious vegan cashew cheese sauce with nutritional yeast, this stovetop vegan mac and cheese is pretty much the best thing we’ve ever made.
The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese
You guys. Say hello to possibly my favorite savory recipe of all time: this Mind-blowing Vegan Mac and Cheese.
Before you pass this off as some vegan alternative to the “real deal,” let me just say I love cheese. 1-year aged Manchego. Humboldt Fog. Triple cream brie. Espresso Bellavitano. Vermont Creamery Goat.
I mean…I love cheese ok?! And yet, I still LOVE THIS VEGAN MAC AND CHE ESE.
So let’s break it down.
What is Vegan Mac and Cheese Anyway?
Vegan mac and cheese is essentially the same thing as regular mac and cheese, so…pasta with a cheese sauce, duh. BUT it isn’t made with cheese. That being said, it still tastes like macaroni and cheese. And as long as it tastes good, we don’t care what you make it with.
We’re spilling the beans on how to make cheese sans cheese and hint…it’s cashews.
How Do You Make Vegan Mac and Cheese?
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 Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast. It’s what gives this sauce it’s cheesy flavor and it’s 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 they’ll 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 I’d 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.
You could also easily make this vegan macaroni and cheese gluten free by subbing gluten free pasta and breadcrumbs!
What is Nutritional Yeast?
What makes this mac and cheese so special is the nutritional yeast. My absolute favorite is Bob’s Red Mill’s Nutritional Yeast, because the flavor is unbeatable. It mimics the taste of real cheese more than any other nutritional yeast I’ve tried, and the umami flavor is really pronounced, meaning even though it’s technically vegan, it has a deep, rich flavor.
And if you’re into this vegan mac and cheese, you’ll love this vegan queso too!
This mac is the creamiest, dreamiest pasta ever. And this cheese-lover is, well, obsessed.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil for the pasta. Carefully scoop out a cup of water and pour it into a smaller bowl over your cashews. Soak cashews for 15 minutes in water until soft.
Cook pasta for 7 minutes, until al dente. You don’t want your pasta to be fully cooked, as it will continue to cook when you bake it later on. Drain pasta and set aside.
In a small bowl stir together all the spices and salt.
Drain cashews and transfer to a blender or food processor. Add in the spices, nutritional yeast and 2 cups of the almond milk. Blend on high speed until creamy. Add in remaining cup of almond milk and blend again. Mixture will be thin, but this is correct!
Toss pasta with vegan cheese sauce, then pour mixture into a baking pan (we used an 8″x11″ oval baking pan). Set aside.
To make the breadcrumb topping, heat the vegan butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in panko breadcrumbs and thyme and cook until fragrant and lightly golden. Sprinkle over macaroni.
Cook for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before devouring!!!!!!
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Keywords: best vegan mac and cheese, easy vegan mac and cheese, gluten free vegan mac and cheese, healthy mac and cheese
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. All text and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make Broma possible!