Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on November 23, 2010

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Today on Twitter I asked you, what recipe would you like to see today: Mac ‘n cheese or sugar cookies?

About 60-70% said mac ‘n cheese, so here it is!

Sugar cookies are coming on up. :)

I also have a fun blog feature to tell you about. From now until the end of the holiday season, I will be featuring one holiday cookie recipe per week. If you have any favourite Christmas cookies or other cookies that you’d like me to make, leave a comment and let me know!

This week I have had a huge, huge, huge craving for mac ‘n cheese.

All it took was seeing a picture on a website and it was all I could think about.

Each time I was eating something else, my mind would wander to mac ‘n cheese, secretly hoping and wishing that my food would magically transform.

That creamy, delicious, savoury, comforting goodness.

Experience tells me that my craving would not go away until I satisfied it.

This week, I got to work testing out a few vegan mac ‘n cheese recipes. One was a dud, one was pretty good, and this one that I am sharing today is all kinds of awesome.

This is an intensely creamy and decadent baked mac ‘n cheese. It has a lot of flavour and 4 vegetables hiding inside, but no one will ever be the wiser!

When I taste recipes like this I know that I can eat a vegan diet forever and not feel like I am missing out on anything.

That is a great feeling!

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Baked Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese (revised)

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If you enjoy baked crispy pastas with an Alfredo-like creamy interior, this one is for you! You won’t believe it is completely free of any animal products and sneaks in 4 vegetables to boot! It makes the perfect lunch or dinner on a chilly day.

Please note that I revised this recipe (doubled the sauce) on Dec. 2, 2010.

Inspired by VegNews.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium potato, peeled and chopped (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 large carrot, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 small onion, peeled and chopped (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
  • 1.5 cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • ~300-340 grams dry/uncooked Macaroni or other pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance or butter
  • Fresh or dried parsley, to garnish (optional)
  • Paprika, to garnish

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Grab a small casserole dish and set aside. In a medium sized pot, add the chopped potatoes, carrots, and onion and fill with water until just covered. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low-medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, process 1 slice of bread until crumbs form in a food processor. Add in 1 tbsp of Earth Balance (or butter) and process until incorporated. Place in a small bowl and set aside.

Now assemble your cheese sauce ingredients (cashews, almond milk, garlic, lemon, salt, yeast, pepper, mustard) and add just the cashews to food processor. Process until a fine crumb forms similar to corn meal. Now add in the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients and process until smooth.

Once the veggies are cooked, drain and add to cheese sauce mixture in food processor. Process until smooth.

Add your pasta to a medium sized pot and fill with water until the pasta is covered by about 1 inch or so. Bring to a boil and reduce to low, cooking for about 7 more minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large bowl, mix together your cheese sauce and drained + rinsed pasta. Scoop into your casserole dish and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Now garnish with paprika and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350F. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley if you’d like.

Serves approx 4-6.

Note: This is a heavy and drier mac ‘n cheese. If you want it less dry, you might want to add some Earth Balance/butter or additional milk.

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First up, peel and chop those glorious veggies! Who knew mac ‘n cheese could have veggies hiding in there?

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Now boil your veggies and cook until tender.

Take a slice of bread and process with 1 tbsp of Earth Balance (or butter).

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Nibble.

Set aside and hide from yourself because bread + butter is goooooood.

Gather up your cheese sauce ingredients:

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Process together:

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I tasted it and decided it would be awesome with 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast and another garlic clove. You don’t need the yeast to make this dish, but it made it a bit cheesier tasting! You can pick up some nutritional yeast at bulk food stores.

Once cooked, drain and rinse veggies with cold water.

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Add veggies to cheese sauce and process:

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The carrots give it a nice cheese-like colour!

Now cook your pasta. I used whole wheat Rotini for a kick of fibre (7 grams of fibre per serving!).

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Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 8 minutes.

In a large bowl add your drained pasta and mix with the cheese sauce…it will be insanely thick and creamy!!!

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Oh dear me.

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A few spoonfuls did not make it into the casserole dish. ;)

Now pour into casserole dish.

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Mmmmmm.

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Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

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Garnish with paprika.

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Now bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

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The result is a crispy exterior with a creamy and rich interior. The cheesy taste reminds me a lot of an Alfredo sauce.

Cool for 10 minutes before serving. If you succeed at this, let me know how you did it! ;)

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Dig in!

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Enjoy your completely vegan mac ‘n cheese that is not only delicious, but is filled with healthy fats, veggies, fibre, and pure comfort on a chilly day. :)

I have made a vegan mac ‘n cheese before, but I prefer this one as my last attempt was a bit heavy on the nutritional yeast and I like that this one incorporates veggies.

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Now that my glycogen stores are full, I think I am going to go have a kick butt run outside in this beautiful sunshine. You know what they say, ‘eat pasta, run fasta!’

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Have you had any cravings this week? What are they for?

My three cravings this week have been: Chocolate, mac ‘n cheese, and salads. I have satisfied all, but the salad part. Oops.

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

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Deb April 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Looks great, can’t wait to try it! This week I craved cinnamon rolls and came up with my own pretty good version of Dave’s Sin Dog (if you haven’t tried it, you must! Or make your own.) Roll whole wheat dough as thin as you can into a rectangle. Spread with dried fruit paste (microwave and blend a little water with some dates, raisins and prunes), chopped nuts, seeds, ground flax seed and cinnamon. Roll up tightly, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake on a cookie sheet. I made mine in the shape of a ring for Easter… Oh, and though it’s fun to fulfill our cravings in a healthy way, don’t forget: “Salad is the main dish!”

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Amie Simmons May 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm

This is incredible! You are such a talented chef. My newly vegan husband loved it and my 2 year old said it was better than her favorite box Mac n cheese. You’re converting my whole family!!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 30, 2012 at 8:30 am

:) That is so great to hear Amie!

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Amie Simmons May 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I was also wondering if you thought I could make batches of the cheese sauce before hand and freeze?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Im not sure to be honest. I would suggest reading through the end of the comments and see if someone else has tried it out!

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Lauren June 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Just made this and it is AMAZING!!! I literally cannot stop eating it….I’m waiting for my cheese loving family members to try it and get a non-Vegan response. Would love to incorporate different veggies next time, squash seems like a fan favorite any others to recommend?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

what about carrots or potatoes?

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Birgitte August 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Made it this evening for my very anti-vegan parents, who loved it! Thank you so much for the recipe! :D

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Sam September 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Hi! Just wondering, do you think this would work with sweet potato?

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Julie November 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

How long will the sauce keep in the fridge?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 16, 2012 at 11:37 am

Hi Julie, It should keep for 2-3 days?

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Desiree November 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm

How many servings is this recipe?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Hi Desiree, it should serve 4-6.

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Stephanie March 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Oh my gosh, this dish is ridiculously amazing!!! I made it for my meat loving boyfriend last week and I’m pretty sure he ate about half of the dish. I know I am late on the commenting for this, but I am new to your site and have so many wonderful things bookmarked that I am so excited to try:)

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Indranie Dabideen September 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

Made this last night, awesome, the sauce is excellent, unfortunately some did not make it to the casserole; did add more milk to make it lighter and swapped the bread and butter for panko and olive oil. Also added cauliflower florets to the pasta at the end so it got steamed before adding the cheese sauce. Love vegetables so really no need to hide it. Will definitely make this again, my Mom who eats diary loves it and did not realize it was vegan until I said so.

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Indranie Dabideen September 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

Opps, I mean dairy not diary, lol

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Dee October 30, 2013 at 6:52 am

This was THE BEST mac and cheese recipe!! It was easy to make and the directions were perfect. I added a bit of extra almond milk as you suggested, and it made enough extra creamy “cheese” sauce that I plan on using it for some other (pms inspired) vegan treat. This site is the best resource I know for really amazing vegan recipes. You’re the bomb!

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dawn January 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Do you use flaked or powdered nutritional yeast in your recipes…I’m new to this way of cooking / eating…loving all these recipes!!

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Knute February 12, 2014 at 1:24 am

Love mac and cheese. Also like red beans and rice. Sometimes I merge the two, swapping brown rice for the pasta and throwing the beans in with the cheese. It’s like giving your mouth a big hug…

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Brittany February 21, 2014 at 10:59 am

I made this the other night, just the way you have the recipe here.. and it was AMAZING. I have been pesco vegan for a little over a year now, and I am more proud of this mac n’ cheese than anything else I have tried to cook. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! It has given me more hope in my vegan cooking journey. <3

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 22, 2014 at 9:44 am

I’m so happy to hear that Brittany!

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Amy March 24, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Both my husband and I LOVE this mac & cheese. I made a bit of extra sauce this time, do you have any suggestions for what else I could use it for? Thanks! Amy

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Michael March 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Hi Amy. I love this recipe too and always make extra sauce. When the sauce is very thick, I use it in lasagna and when it’s medium to thin, I use it mixed with a tomato sauce over pasta. It works well as an alfredo sauce with fettuccine noodles and can be used to do cheesy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc).

I’m sure you could probably also use it in casseroles calling for cheese such as a hashbrown casserole. It’s a very versatile sauce!

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Janet March 26, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Thanks for this recipe! I have been starting to research how to stop cooking with dairy recently. Not because I’ve chosen the vegan lifestyle, but because my 4 month old was diagnosed with Galactosemia (so bye-bye all dairy and processed foods!) and my 7 year old autistic daughter can’t live without her mac & cheese. I just can’t make different meals for each child, I’ll go crazy! And seriously, who don’t love the hidden veggies! Can’t wait to try this!

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Janet March 26, 2014 at 2:22 pm

That was supposed to say *without dairy

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Allie April 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Thank you for this recipe!!!!! It just made it, and I think there was a little too much lemon so I would have probably put 1 tbsp less. Otherwise it was delicious!!! Ate more than my stomach would normally be capable of holding. Thanks again!!

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Kelly June 26, 2014 at 4:45 pm

This is honestly one of my favorite dishes to make. Time and again I prepare it for myself when I need a nutritious and tasty meal for dinners. Its not so much cheesy, but it is without a doubt my favorite mac and cheese recipe to use. Its going to be in my recipe rotation for a very long time.

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Meg June 28, 2014 at 9:23 am

Do you have to soak the cashews first?

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Jess October 26, 2014 at 5:28 am

OMG, just had this for dinner and it is amazing, and quite seriously one of the best things I have ever eaten. And it’s SO easy to make, too: mine turned out perfectly, and I’m really klutzy when it comes to cooking.

This is most delicious and wonderful and I am forever in your debt– thankyou SO much for sharing your creation, it’s beautiful!

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Stevi December 2, 2014 at 2:06 am

Wow! I am allergic to milk, soy, and eggs, and I just wanted some mac n cheese. This was awesome! I topped it with roasted pumpkin seeds and crispy pancetta (we aren’t vegetarians), even my mom loved it and she can be picky when it comes to my allergy friendly foods.

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Katherine December 11, 2014 at 10:44 pm

“You know what we should’ve done? Made more.” – my vegan cheese-hating partner

(We tossed in a jalapeño and some tuna.)

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Courtney Shank January 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm

OHSHEGLOWS!!! I just found your website! I have tried and LOVED your broccoli cheese soup (Ill leave a comment on that recipe!) And made this Mac & Cheese last night. It was absolutely delish! My kids even gobbled it up and had seconds! The only comment that isn’t a WHOOHOO is I felt the lemon flavor was overpowering. I will not use 6T next time, maybe 3T.
I love hiding veggies in food -boiling and pureeing is the way to go!
Thank you for wonderful dairy free recipes! and I look forward to making more of your creations!

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Lynda June 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Sry truth can hurt

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Paige December 6, 2015 at 2:17 pm

I have served this amazing recipe for football Sunday, dinner guests, and, just me! I prefer it much more to butternut squash MnC’s that can tend to be sweet. Yum additions–> chopped kale and cherry tomatoes stirred in before baking. :) thanks Angela!

Paige

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Jessie February 24, 2016 at 9:46 am

Holy smokes this mac n cheese is GOOOOOOOOOOOD. I just made this last night and I’m currently eating the left overs for breakfast. I had my mom try this after I made it last night and she was in love. She doesn’t even like regular mac n cheese let alone vegan/’fake mac n cheese. Thank you so much for this recipe! I decided to try it because this was the one recipe that I had all of the ingredients on hand for :) So glad I did! I made mine with small shell pasta and didn’t blend the cashews separately from everything else because I never read directions. Haha it still turned out perfect.

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Angela Liddon February 25, 2016 at 6:53 pm

Hi Jessie, I’m so happy to hear you loved the recipe. :) Thanks for trying it!

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Sara April 4, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Angela, I’m such a fan of yours and all your recipes! I think that 3 tsp of salt is a mistake though. I added it all and it ruined my dish. Just wanted to let you know

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Katie April 5, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Fantastic recipe!!! I have recently just cut out animal products from my families diet. My six year old daughter loved this Mac n’ cheese dish and did not even notice there was no cheese! Also it makes a lot and we have left overs for tomorrow! Thank you for posting ?

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Angela Liddon April 5, 2016 at 6:46 pm

I’m so glad to hear it was a hit with your family, Katie! :)

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marina June 12, 2016 at 7:37 pm

I just made this for the first time last night and, I have to say, since my husband became dairy free many years ago I have tried many mac’n’cheese recipes and this is by far the best of them all. Many thanks for sharing this recipe.

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Kathleen December 12, 2016 at 6:43 pm

Hi Angela! I am excited to try this out today but wondering about calories and the fat content from the cashews? For sure this is way healthier than the usual mac and cheese but wondering about calories and nutrition breakdown. Thanks so much!! Absolutely love your books!
Kathleen

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Claire April 1, 2017 at 1:37 am

I’ve made this twice already, and twice it turned out really delicious. I used homemade cashew nut milk and added half a cup more. My husband and I are plant-based, and we love that we can still indulge ‘cleanly’ with a good mac n’ cheese. Thank you for the recipe. This dish going to be a staple!

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Angela Liddon April 3, 2017 at 11:03 am

I’m so pleased you enjoyed the recipe, Claire! :) Thanks for taking the time to leave me this lovely message letting me know.

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Payal September 7, 2017 at 8:58 pm

I accidentally used fine sea salt instead of kosher so its too salty. ANyway to fix this? Should I just add more veggies?

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Angela Liddon September 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Hey Payal, Oh I’m sorry to hear that! I love your suggestion of adding more veggies. They should help balance out the flavours a bit.

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Veronica May 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm

I’ve been ctaving avacados like crazy and strawberries dipped in this mix: coconut oil, almond butter no salt not sugar kind, raw honey and sometimes sea salt!!! These two things are all i want to eat!

I forced myself to make something else so fell back on an old favorite and let me tell you I make good choices! I didn’t go the baked route but cheese sauce over gluten free rice noodles.

So good i’m making it again tonight!

Angela you are my hero. I went through lots of experiments and awful meals before my boyfriend picked your book out. He picked it because every meal recipe had pictures!! What a find. All these years later your still in my kitchen and i rave about you to anyone interested!

You changed and saved my life! Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 13, 2018 at 7:10 am

Hey Veronica, Aww thank you so much for your kind words…your support means the world to me!!

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