Vegan Mac and Cheese Without Cashews

Want mac and cheese but follow a vegan or nut free diet? Try this absolutely delicious vegan mac and cheese without cashews.

close up of vegan mac and cheese in a casserole dish with spoons

This comfort-food meal is a delicious and easy mac and cheese recipe that’s completely plant based, gluten free, and nut free! Featuring dairy-free Cheddar, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast, this vegan mac and cheese is bursting with flavor.

Yes, you can make vegan mac and cheese without cashews!

While cashews are a common ingredient in vegan mac and cheese, it’s possible to make the homestyle dish nut free and still maintain that creamy texture that everyone craves in mac and cheese.

Enjoy vegan mac and cheese as a main dish, or whip it up as a side to enjoy with just about any meal. This is sure to be your new favorite healthier comfort food!

top down view of ingredients in bowls to make a vegan mac and cheese including gluten free macaroni, nutritional yeast, vegan butter, mustard, spices.

Ingredients

To make vegan mac and cheese without cashews, you’ll need pasta, ingredients for the “cheese” sauce, spices, and toppings.

When you think about mac and cheese, you probably don’t think of it as nutritious. But this vegan mac and cheese provides fiber from the quinoa pasta, not to mention that you’ll get protein from the pasta and nutritional yeast.

Now, here’s a list of what you should have on hand to make it:

Pasta: I used quinoa macaroni, which is a gluten-free and fiber-rich option for making mac and cheese. You can use any type of pasta that you like—this recipe will work with both gluten-free and regular pasta.

Vegan butter, flour, and vegetable broth: You’ll need these ingredients to make the base of the sauce! Note that I kept all the ingredients gluten free and used gluten-free all-purpose flour.

If you don’t follow a gluten-free diet, you can feel free to substitute all-purpose flour. Then go with a low-sodium vegetable broth to keep the dish heart healthy.

Coconut milk, dairy-free Cheddar, and nutritional yeast: These are the ingredients you’ll need to get that creamy and cheesy flavor in the sauce. You’ll get protein from the nutritional yeast.

Breadcrumbs: You’ll add these to the dish as a crunchy topping at the end.

Seasonings: Flavor up vegan mac and cheese with black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, and Dijon mustard. You’ll add a little turmeric at the end, which brings that bright orange color to the mac and cheese.

top down view of mac and cheese in a casserole dish with a spoon inside

Step-by-step instructions

First, get the oven ready for baking by preheating it to 400° Fahrenheit. Then,in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the vegan butter.

saucepan with vegan butter melting on it

Then, add in the flour.

flour added to saucepan with melted butter

Reduce the heat, and mix until well combined.

butter and flour mixture simmering in a saucepan

Next, mix in the vegetable broth,

vegetable broth poured into a saucepan

coconut milk,

coconut milk poured into a saucepan with a roux

and dairy-free Cheddar.

dairy free cheese added to a saucepan

Bring the ingredients to a boil, and stir frequently until the mixture thickens.

cheese sauce simmering in a saucepan

Remove the sauce from the heat, and then mix in nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.

nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper added to vegan cheese mixture in a saucepan

Stir until everything is well combined.

vegan cheese sauce well mixed in a saucepan

Now it’s time to bake the mac and cheese! Add in cooked pasta to the pan.

gluten free pasta added to vegan cheese sauce in a saucepan

Then, coat a 9×13 baking pan with spray oil. Add in the pasta-and-cheese mixture. Gently stir to combine.

mac and cheese added to a casserole dish

Top with breadcrumbs

bread crumbs being sprinkled over casserole dish filled with mac and cheese

and turmeric.

turmeric sprinkled on top of mac and cheese mixture

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Enjoy!

top down view of baked mac and cheese with a golden crispy crust

Recipe FAQ

What is vegan mac and cheese made of?

There are so many different ingredients that you can use to make vegan mac and cheese.

The dish is commonly made using soaked cashews or almonds as the base of the “cheese” sauce. However, you can make it both dairy free and nut free by using dairy-free cheese, butter, and cream.

Nutritional yeast is another common ingredient often  used to make vegan mac and cheese, as it has a cheesy flavor that’s completely plant-based.

Coconut milk is another common plant-based ingredient for the dish. Some recipes also use vegetables like sweet potatoes or butternut squash to make the sauce.

Can you use almonds instead of cashews for vegan cheese?

Yes, you can use almonds as a substitute for cashews when making mac and cheese.

The texture won’t be quite the same, as almonds don’t result in as smooth of a texture as cashews do. Note that this vegan mac and cheese recipe is nut free and does not use cashews or almonds.

How do you store vegan mac and cheese?

You can store vegan mac and cheese the same way you would store regular mac and cheese. It will last in the fridge for 5-6 days, just make sure to keep it in an airtight container. If you want to keep it for longer, you can store it in the freezer for 2-3 months.

What goes well with vegan mac and cheese?

Vegan mac and cheese tastes great on its own! You can pair it with veggies to make a more balanced meal. Try pairing it with any type of vegetable, like broccoli, cauliflower, peas, or carrots.

Or, enjoy it with a side salad. You can also use vegan mac and cheese as a side dish with just about anything!

close up of mac and cheese with a crispy topping in a casserole dish with spoons

More vegan dinner recipes

Did you love this vegan mac and cheese without cashews? Here are more comforting vegan meals to add to your dinner menu:

I absolutely love making vegan mac and cheese. Whether you don’t like cashews, don’t have them on hand, or you’re allergic to them, it’s entirely possible to make the tasty comfort food without them.

This recipe is so delicious and a fun way to experiment with new vegan ingredients.

close up of vegan mac and cheese without cashews in a small ramekin
close up of vegan mac and cheese in a casserole dish with spoons

Vegan Mac and Cheese Without Cashews

Want mac and cheese but follow a vegan or nut free diet? Try this absolutely delicious vegan mac and cheese without cashews.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 503 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb quinoa macaroni cooked according to package directions
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • 6 tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cans lite coconut milk
  • 8 oz dairy-free Cheddar
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast powder
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • tsp  garlic powder
  • tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • ¾ tsp gluten-free bread crumbs
  • tsp turmeric

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add in flour; reduce heat and mix until well combined.
  • Mix in vegetable broth, coconut milk, and Cheddar. Bring to a boil, and stir frequently until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Mix in nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Gently stir in cooked pasta.
  • Coat a 9×13 baking pan with spray oil. Add in pasta and cheese mixture. Top with bread crumbs and turmeric. Bake about 20 minutes, until top begins to brown.

Nutrition

Calories: 503kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 9gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 569mgPotassium: 139mgFiber: 3gSugar: 0.4gVitamin A: 571IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Casserole, macaroni and cheese
Did you make this recipe?Mention @amydgorin and tag #plantbasedwithamy
Want mac and cheese but follow a vegan or nut free diet? Try this absolutely delicious vegan mac and cheese without cashews.
Breakfast / Brunch | Dairy Free | Dinner | Fast / Easy | Gluten Free | Lunch | No Added Sugar | Oven / Toaster | Pescatarian | Recipes (Organizational) | Side Dish | Stovetop | Vegan | Vegetarian |

Find this post helpful? At no additional cost to you, you can support the maintenance of running this site by using my Amazon affiliate links to shop. Thank you so much.

And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get updates delivered straight to your inbox! Also, download my free 3-day vegan meal plan.

Want to go shopping with a dietitian? Here’s your chance! I just opened up my very own storefront,  full of plant-based meal plans, grocery lists, recipe books, and more!

0 Comments
Join The Conversation

You Might Also Like


Comments Background Texture

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating