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A bowl of Vegan Mac and Cheese with cashew cheese sauce is in a bowl

Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

Homemade Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe with creamy cashew sauce: This dairy-free, soy-free, potato-free, gluten-free mac ‘n cheese recipe is a game-changer.Quick and easy to make on the stovetop for a great weeknight meal.
Course Vegan
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 511kcal


  • 1/3 cup coconut or olive oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 10 ounces 3 cups cauliflower florets, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups raw cashews chopped
  • 1 pound 16 ounces brown rice or regular elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs lightly toasted - Optional
  • 3-4 tablespoons Italian Parsley chopped - Optional


  • Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in nutritional yeast, dry mustard, tomato paste, garlic, turmeric, and 2 teaspoons of salt*. Cook, stirring constantly for a minute.
  • Stir in the almond milk, scraping up any browned bits and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the cauliflower and cashews; reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, partially covered, until cauliflower is soft enough that it falls apart when poked with a fork, 20 minutes or so.
  • Working in two batches, process the cauliflower mixture in a blender (or a food processor) until smooth.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packaging instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
  • Pour the cauliflower sauce into now-empty pot and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.
  • Add in the drained macaroni and vinegar and cook, stirring constantly, until warmed through and the sauce is slightly thickened, 3 minutes.
  • If needed, use the reserved liquid to adjust consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If preferred, sprinkle each bowl with toasted panko breadcrumbs and chopped parsley.
  • Serve.


* If you are like me, you might think that 2 teaspoons salt is way too much. However, it is not and it is an important part of the “cheese” flavor and after the sauce is mixed in with pasta everything balances out.


  • Oil - Use refined coconut oil to avoid a coconut flavor in the sauce. If you don’t have any on hand, use olive oil instead.
  • Cashews - It is possible to create a nut-free vegan cheese sauce if need be. Substitute them for boiled potatoes or leave them out altogether.
  • Gluten-Free - Remove the panko bread crumbs and use brown rice or quinoa pasta for a gluten-free version.
  • Spice - Add a little kick with a sprinkle of chili flakes on each serving.
  • Nutritional Yeast - If you’re running low on this cheesy seasoning, use 3 tablespoons of white or yellow miso paste.
  • Paleo Version - If you are looking for a paleo version of this no cheese mac and cheese recipe, substitute pasta for zucchini noodles.


Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 272mg | Iron: 4mg