Mind-Blowing Vegan Mac and Cheese

Dinner Ideas
June 5, 2021
Dinner Ideas
June 5, 2021

Mind-Blowing Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Total time: 30 min

We might be biased, but this super creamy, vegan mac and cheese is hands down the best vegan mac and

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Mind-Blowing Vegan Mac and Cheese

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.

An epic Vegan Mac and Cheese that will have even the most discerning meat eaters will go crazy for! Made with a creamy cashew cheese sauce. 

The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

You guys. Say hello to possibly my favorite savory recipe of all time: tMind-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 CHEESE.

So whether you’re vegan or a cheese fiend like me, you’re going to devour this vegan mac and cheese.

An epic Vegan Mac and Cheese that will have even the most discerning meat eaters will go crazy for! Made with a creamy cashew cheese sauce. 

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 AKA the ultimate comfort food. 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.

An epic Vegan Mac and Cheese that will have even the most discerning meat eaters will go crazy for! Made with a creamy cashew cheese sauce. 

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 coconut or soy milk which tend to have a bit of an after taste. Make sure you are using an unsweetened version without any vanilla or other flavorings as this will lead to a funky after taste.
  • 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. Top it off with some toasted bread crumbs and fresh thyme and you are in for a real treat!

Pro Tip: You could also easily make this vegan macaroni and cheese gluten free by subbing gluten free pasta (we love brown rice pasta!) and breadcrumbs!

An epic Vegan Mac and Cheese that will have even the most discerning meat eaters will go crazy for! Made with a creamy cashew cheese sauce. 

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!

An epic Vegan Mac and Cheese that will have even the most discerning meat eaters will go crazy for! Made with a creamy cashew cheese sauce. 

Our tips for the best vegan mac and cheese

This vegan mac and cheese is a pretty straight forward recipe to make, but these few tips will guarantee you perfect macaroni and cheese every time

  • Use a high powered blender: The key to that creamy, cheesy texture is really blending your cashews up until they are super smooth and creamy. We have a Vitamix, but any high powered blender will get the job done.
  • Soak your cashews until they are super soft: The smoooshier your cashews are, the easier it will be to blend them up into your cheese-free cheese sauce!
  • Cook your pasta al dente: The pasta will continue to cook in the oven so you’ll want to make sure it’s underdone to prevent it from getting too mushy!

An epic Vegan Mac and Cheese that will have even the most discerning meat eaters will go crazy for! Made with a creamy cashew cheese sauce. 

What to serve this vegan mac and cheese with

While this vegan mac and cheese is plenty filling and nutritious on its own, I also love serving it with a big salad and roasted broccoli or another veggie to really complete the meal. I also sometimes makes this with chickpea or lentil pasta to pack it with protein that will leave you feeling super full and satisfied!

This mac is the creamiest, dreamiest pasta ever. And this cheese-lover is, well, obsessed.

I’m pretty sure you will be too.

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Mind-blowing Vegan Mac and Cheese

4.9 from 22 reviews

This is the best vegan mac and cheese you’ll ever eat. Creamy, dreamy and delicious this easy vegan mac and cheese will please cheese eaters and vegans alike!

This is the best vegan mac and cheese you’ll ever eat. Creamy, dreamy and delicious this easy vegan mac and cheese will please cheese eaters and vegans alike!

  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan
Units:
Scale:
  • Author: Sarah | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 16 oz large elbow noodles
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In a small bowl stir together all the spices and salt.
  5. 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!
  6. Toss pasta with vegan cheese sauce, then pour mixture into a baking pan (we used an 8″x11″ oval baking pan). Set aside.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

Introducing the dreamiest, cheesiest, most delicious vegan mac and cheese you'll ever have

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Recipe rating

  1. I really appreciated the flavor of the cheese sauce but found that two cups of cashews gave me a sauce that was much too thick. I’m going to test it over the next week or so with half that many cashews to see if I don’t get a better sauce.

  2. Yummy! I made this with only 2 cups of oat milk and it came out pretty lumpy but idc because the flavors were so good. I added extra cayenne and I used yellow mustard.
    In the oven, I topped it with Daiya shredded cheddar. When I serve myself some portions, I’ll top my servings with fried onions since I don’t have breadcrumbs. Thank u!!!

  3. We are doing this recipe for a second time for a special Christmas meal—it’s perfect! The edit I made was to swap some alt milk for pasta water for that starchy consistency since I never time it right to use it on the cashews lol. Love it!

    • Hi Trudy! Yes you absolutely can make it in advance! I usually like to make the sauce and then refrigerate or freeze that until I’m ready to serve it. Then I’ll either defrost or heat up the sauce, cook the pasta and assemble as directed. This way keeps it the freshest! But, you can also make as directed and place in your pan and then refrigerate or freeze beforethe baking step. I just usually find that the pasta gets a little smooshier from soaking in the cheese sauce, but it’s still quite tasty!

  4. Well, I made this recipe for Thanksgiving. It came out very well! The pan was emptied pretty quickly. Thanks!