Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

Indulging in comfort food doesn't have to be unhealthy. This vegan mac and cheese delight is an innovative take on the classic macaroni and cheese. It's deliciously creamy, yet completely dairy-free, and is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings while adhering to your dietary preferences. The addition of broccoli adds a crunch and nutrition boost, making it a balanced meal.

Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe
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Photos of Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

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The lesser-known ingredients in this recipe are nutritional yeast and avocado oil. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast rich in B-vitamins and gives a cheesy flavor in vegan recipes. You can find it in the health food section of a supermarket or online. Avocado oil, rich in healthy fats, can be found with other cooking oils in the supermarket.

Ingredients for Vegan Mac and Cheese Delight

Whole grain macaroni elbows: It's the main ingredient for this recipe, chosen for its extra nutritional value compared to regular pasta.

Broccoli florets: Adds a dose of vegetables and a crunch to the dish.

Avocado oil: A healthier oil option, used for sautéing the onions.

Yellow onion: Adds a savory depth to the sauce.

Russet potato: Gives a creamy texture to the vegan cheese sauce.

Garlic cloves: To infuse more flavors.

Garlic powder: For an extra kick of garlic.

Onion powder: Adds to the overall flavor profile.

Mustard powder: Gives a subtle tang to the sauce.

Sea salt: To bring out all the flavors.

Red pepper flakes: Adds a hint of spice.

Cashews: They are soaked and blended to create the creamy base of the sauce.

Water: Used to simmer the ingredients.

Nutritional yeast: Gives the sauce a cheesy flavor.

Apple cider vinegar: Balances the flavors with its acidity.

One reader, Brigit Derosa says:

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This vegan mac and cheese delight is a game-changer! The creamy, flavorful sauce is so satisfying, and the addition of broccoli adds a nice crunch. It's a guilt-free comfort food that's perfect for a cozy night in. I'm impressed by how delicious and healthy it is!

Brigit Derosa

Key Techniques for Crafting Delicious Vegan Mac and Cheese

How to cook the pasta and broccoli: Boil a large pot of salted water and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Add the broccoli to the pot for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, then drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

How to make the cheese sauce: In a saucepan, sauté the onion until tender, then add the grated potato, garlic, spices, and red pepper flakes. Add cashews and water, simmer for 5-8 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add nutritional yeast and vinegar, then blend until smooth. Adjust the consistency and seasoning as needed.

How to combine the sauce with the pasta: Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and broccoli in the serving bowl, then stir until well combined. Serve and enjoy!

How To Make Vegan Mac and Cheese

Equally creamy and tasty, this vegan mac and cheese makes for a delectable meal! It’s made creamier with potatoes and cashews for that rich pasta favorite.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • 8ozwhole grain macaroni elbows
  • 1broccoli florets head,cut into small bites, optional
  • tbspavocado oil,or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1small yellow onion,chopped
  • cuprusset potato,(4 oz), peeled and grated
  • 3garlic cloves,pressed or minced
  • ½tspgarlic powder
  • ½tsponion powder
  • ½tspdry mustard powder
  • ½tspfine sea salt,more to taste
  • Frontier Co-op red pepper flakes,(small pinch)
  • cupcashews,raw
  • 1cupwater,more as necessary
  • ¼cupFrontier Co-op nutritional yeast
  • 2tspapple cider vinegar,or distilled white vinegar, or more to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Cook according to package directions.

  2. If using broccoli, stir it into the pot when just 2 to 3 more minutes remain. Drain, and transfer the contents to a large serving bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium-to-large saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is tender and turning translucent.

  4. Add the grated potato, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute to enhance their flavors.

  5. Add the cashews and water, and stir to combine. Let the mixture come to a simmer.

  6. Continue simmering for about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently and reducing heat as necessary to avoid a rapid boil, until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through.

  7. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender. Add the nutritional yeast and 2 teaspoons vinegar.

  8. Blend for about 2 minutes until the mixture is completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. If the mixture won’t blend easily or if a thinner consistency is preferred, add water in ¼-cup increments, blending after each one.

  9. Taste, and blend in additional salt to taste. If it needs a little more zip, add the remaining teaspoon of vinegar. Blend again.

  10. Pour the sauce into the bowl of pasta. Stir until well combined.

  11. Serve and enjoy!


  • Calories: 502.48kcal
  • Fat: 17.13g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.63g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 9.42g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.93g
  • Carbohydrates: 70.00g
  • Fiber: 8.75g
  • Sugar: 5.66g
  • Protein: 22.41g
  • Sodium: 321.18mg
  • Calcium: 57.95mg
  • Potassium: 680.17mg
  • Iron: 3.91mg
  • Vitamin A: 11.71µg
  • Vitamin C: 39.09mg

Expert Technique Tips for Perfecting Vegan Mac and Cheese Delight

When blending the cashews, potato, and nutritional yeast mixture, ensure your blender is powerful enough to create a smooth consistency. If your blender struggles, you may need to blend the mixture in smaller batches. This will ensure your vegan cheese sauce is creamy and without lumps. Additionally, soaking the cashews in water for a few hours before blending can make them softer and easier to blend, resulting in a smoother sauce.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Vegan Mac and Cheese Delight

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and measure out ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonders: Choose recipes that require minimal dishes and steps to save time on cleanup.

Batch cooking: Make a larger quantity of the recipe and freeze individual portions for quick and convenient future meals.

Efficient multitasking: While one component is cooking, use the time to prepare other elements of the dish to maximize efficiency.

Kitchen organization: Keep your kitchen well-organized to easily locate ingredients and cooking tools, saving time and reducing stress.

Invest in time-saving tools: Use kitchen gadgets such as food processors, immersion blenders, and slow cookers to simplify meal preparation.

Substitute Ingredients For Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

  • whole grain macaroni elbows - Substitute with gluten-free macaroni elbows: This substitution is suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

  • avocado oil - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can provide a similar richness and flavor to the dish.

  • russet potato - Substitute with sweet potato: Sweet potatoes can add a slightly sweeter flavor and additional nutrients to the dish.

  • cashews - Substitute with blanched almonds: Blanched almonds can provide a similar creamy texture and nutty flavor to the sauce.

  • nutritional yeast - Substitute with miso paste: Miso paste can add a savory, umami flavor to the dish, similar to nutritional yeast.

  • apple cider vinegar - Substitute with lemon juice: Lemon juice can provide a similar tangy acidity to the dish.

Perfect Presentation Ideas for Your Vegan Mac and Cheese

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the vegan mac and cheese delight, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use clean lines and minimalistic plating to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the dish.

  2. Incorporate garnishes: Add a pop of color and flavor by incorporating fresh herbs as a garnish. Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley or chives on top of the mac and cheese to add a touch of freshness and visual interest.

  3. Utilize contrasting textures: Create a harmonious balance of textures by incorporating a crunchy element. Consider adding a delicate sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs or crispy shallots on top of the dish to provide a delightful contrast to the creamy mac and cheese.

  4. Opt for elegant serving vessels: Choose sophisticated serving dishes or ramekins to present the mac and cheese delight. This adds a touch of refinement and elevates the overall dining experience.

  5. Focus on precision: Pay attention to the placement of each component on the plate. Aim for precise and deliberate placement to showcase attention to detail and culinary finesse.

  6. Consider the use of edible flowers: Introduce a touch of elegance by incorporating delicate and edible flowers as a tasteful garnish. Choose edible flowers such as nasturtiums or pansies to add a visually stunning element to the presentation.

  7. Emphasize the color contrast: Highlight the vibrant green of the broccoli against the golden hues of the mac and cheese. Arrange the components thoughtfully to emphasize the beautiful color contrast and create an eye-catching presentation.

  8. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Elevate the presentation by incorporating an artistic drizzle of avocado oil or a light dusting of paprika for a visually striking finishing touch.

  9. Mindful portioning: Pay attention to portion sizes and aim for a balanced presentation. Consider using portioning rings for precise and uniform plating to showcase attention to detail.

  10. Create a focal point: Arrange the mac and cheese delight in a visually appealing manner, ensuring that the dish has a clear focal point that draws the eye and captivates the senses.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Vegan Mac and Cheese Delight

  • Large pot: A large pot is essential for boiling the macaroni elbows and broccoli.

  • Saucepan: A medium-to-large saucepan is used to cook the onion, potato, and other ingredients for the cheese sauce.

  • Blender: A blender is used to blend the cooked potato and cashew mixture into a smooth and creamy cheese sauce.

Storing and Freezing Your Vegan Mac and Cheese Creation

  • Allow the vegan mac and cheese to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 4 days.
  • If you want to freeze the vegan mac and cheese, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
  • When freezing, it's a good idea to divide the mac and cheese into individual portions. This way, you can easily reheat only what you need without having to thaw the entire batch.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy reference.
  • Frozen vegan mac and cheese will maintain its best quality for up to 3 months. After that, it will still be safe to eat but may experience some changes in texture and flavor.
  • To reheat frozen mac and cheese, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Once thawed, reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until it's heated through and creamy.
  • If the reheated mac and cheese seems a bit dry, you can add a splash of plant-based milk or vegetable broth to help restore its creamy consistency.

The Best Ways to Reheat Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • To reheat leftover vegan mac and cheese delight, the best method is to use the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the mac and cheese in an oven-safe dish. Cover the dish with foil to prevent the top from drying out and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Another great option is to use the microwave. Place the leftover vegan mac and cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and add a splash of plant-based milk or water to help keep it moist. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until heated through.
  • For a crispy top, you can also reheat the vegan mac and cheese in a skillet on the stovetop. Add a small amount of vegan butter or olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the mac and cheese and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and slightly crispy on the edges.
  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat your vegan mac and cheese and get a crispy top. Place the leftover mac and cheese in the air fryer basket and cook at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and crispy on top.
  • Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to stir the vegan mac and cheese well before serving to ensure that it is evenly heated and creamy. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add a splash of plant-based milk or water to help thin it out and restore its creamy texture.

Fascinating Facts About Vegan Mac and Cheese

The vegan mac and cheese delight recipe is a great source of plant-based protein and essential nutrients. It offers a delicious way to incorporate vegetables and whole grains into your diet, making it a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Budget-Friendly: Is Homemade Vegan Mac and Cheese Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this vegan mac and cheese delight recipe is quite high. The use of affordable ingredients like whole grain macaroni, broccoli, potatoes, and cashews makes it budget-friendly. The recipe yields a large portion, making it suitable for a family of four. The approximate cost for this meal is around $10, making it a cost-effective option for households. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is This Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe Healthy?

This vegan mac and cheese recipe is a healthier alternative to traditional mac and cheese. It incorporates whole grain pasta, broccoli, and a sauce made from wholesome ingredients like potatoes, cashews, and nutritional yeast. The recipe is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and it's free from dairy and processed ingredients.

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Reduce the amount of cashews to lower the overall fat content
  • Increase the proportion of broccoli or add other vegetables like carrots or spinach to boost the nutrient density
  • Use a lower-sodium vegetable broth instead of water to add flavor without relying on salt
  • Experiment with different types of whole grain pasta, such as quinoa or lentil-based varieties, to increase the protein content

To make this recipe even more nutritious, consider the following suggestions:

  • Add a tablespoon of white miso paste to the sauce for a probiotic boost and umami flavor
  • Sprinkle some hemp seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds on top for added protein and healthy fats
  • Serve the mac and cheese with a side salad or steamed vegetables to balance out the meal
  • Use a portion of the cooking water from the pasta to thin out the sauce, as it contains beneficial starch that can improve the texture and digestibility of the dish

Editor's Opinion: Thoughts on This Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

The vegan mac and cheese delight recipe is a delightful and wholesome twist on a classic comfort food. The combination of whole grain macaroni, creamy cashew-based sauce, and nutritious broccoli creates a satisfying and flavorful dish. The use of nutritional yeast and spices adds depth and complexity to the sauce, while the addition of apple cider vinegar provides a subtle tanginess. This recipe offers a perfect balance of textures and flavors, making it a delicious and nutritious option for both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Enhance Your Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Roasted Asparagus: Toss asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of sea salt, then roast until tender and slightly crispy.
Mango Avocado Salad: Combine ripe mango, creamy avocado, red onion, and cilantro for a refreshing and colorful salad to serve alongside the mac and cheese delight.
Coconut Curry Lentil Soup: Simmer red lentils, coconut milk, and a blend of curry spices for a comforting and flavorful soup to pair with the creamy mac and cheese.

Delicious Alternatives to Vegan Mac and Cheese Delight

Savory Mushroom Risotto: This creamy and flavorful risotto is the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in. The earthy mushrooms and creamy rice will leave you feeling satisfied and content.
Zesty Lemon Chicken Piccata: This tangy and savory chicken dish is bursting with flavor. The combination of zesty lemon and tender chicken will make your taste buds sing with delight.
Refreshing Watermelon Gazpacho: This chilled soup is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. The combination of sweet watermelon and savory vegetables creates a refreshing and satisfying dish.

Perfect Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Vegan Mac and Cheese Delight

Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these delectable stuffed mushrooms, filled with a savory mixture of herbs, breadcrumbs, and vegan cheese. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Crispy Spring Rolls: These crispy spring rolls are filled with a colorful array of fresh vegetables and served with a zesty dipping sauce. A light and refreshing appetizer that will leave your guests wanting more.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a decadent, velvety smooth chocolate mousse that will satisfy your sweet tooth. The rich, creamy texture and intense chocolate flavor will leave you craving for more. Pair it with fresh berries or a dollop of whipped coconut cream for an extra touch of luxury.
Berry Parfait: Create a stunning and refreshing berry parfait that is as beautiful as it is delicious. Layer juicy mixed berries with creamy coconut yogurt and crunchy granola for a delightful combination of flavors and textures. This elegant dessert is perfect for entertaining or simply treating yourself to a guilt-free sweet treat.

Why trust this Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe:

This recipe is a vegan twist on a classic comfort food, offering a healthier alternative without compromising on flavor. The use of nutritional yeast and cashews creates a creamy and indulgent texture, while the addition of broccoli adds a nutritious boost. The combination of russet potato and avocado oil provides a rich and satisfying base. The inclusion of garlic and onion infuses the dish with aromatic depth. With a balanced blend of spices and a meticulous cooking process, this recipe promises a delightful and wholesome mac and cheese experience.

Want to discuss this delicious vegan mac and cheese recipe further? Head over to our Recipe Sharing forum section and join the conversation!
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use a different type of pasta if you prefer. Feel free to experiment with your favorite pasta shapes and varieties to find the perfect match for this delicious vegan mac and cheese delight.
Can I substitute the cashews with a different type of nut?
Absolutely! If you have a nut allergy or prefer a different flavor, you can substitute the cashews with almonds, sunflower seeds, or even silken tofu for a creamy texture. Each substitution will bring its own unique taste to the dish.
How long will the vegan mac and cheese delight stay fresh in the refrigerator?
This vegan mac and cheese delight can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of plant-based milk to restore its creamy texture.
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free pasta. Just ensure that all the ingredients, including the mustard powder and nutritional yeast, are certified gluten-free to accommodate dietary preferences or restrictions.
Is there a way to make this dish nut-free?
Absolutely! You can make this dish nut-free by omitting the cashews and using a combination of cooked white beans or silken tofu to achieve a creamy texture. This modification will still result in a delicious and satisfying vegan mac and cheese delight.

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