Easy and quick to make, this Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters! It’s made with just 8 whole ingredients – no processed vegan cheeses here. This recipe comes together quickly for an easy dinner and is easily made gluten-free.
- 1½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water to soften for 4–8 hours
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 1¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- Pinch of paprika
- 1½–1¾ cups filtered water
- 12 oz. cooked elbow or macaroni noodles, gluten-free if needed, see Notes
- Heat a pan to medium heat. Add a little bit of oil or water to the pan and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the minced garlic cloves and cook for another minute, until fragrant. Take off the heat and let cool slightly.
- Drain and rinse the cashews. Add to the blender, along with the onions, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tapioca, paprika, sea salt, and water. Blend until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Pour over cooked noodles of choice and stir, reserving about ¼ of the cheese sauce to pour on top. Spread the noodles in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or similarly-sized casserole dish, and then pour the rest of the cheese sauce over the top.
- Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, and then broil for a few minutes to brown the top. Keep a close eye on it to finish it to your liking.
- Serve immediately. We love it as a main dish with a side salad.
For the pasta, I used Jovial’s Brown Rice Elbows and find they hold up really well here. Chickpea and bean-based pastas also work really well, but be a bit gentler while you’re stirring, since they tend to break more easily than brown-rice based pasta.
Keywords: dinner, vegan dinner, mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, gluten-free