- September 7, 2022
- by Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
- 0 Comments
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.
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!
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.
First, get the oven ready for baking by preheating it to 400° Fahrenheit. Then,in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the vegan butter.
Then, add in the flour.
Reduce the heat, and mix until well combined.
Next, mix in the vegetable broth,
and dairy-free Cheddar.
Bring the ingredients to a boil, and stir frequently until the mixture thickens.
Remove the sauce from the heat, and then mix in nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Stir until everything is well combined.
Now it’s time to bake the mac and cheese! Add in cooked pasta to the pan.
Then, coat a 9×13 baking pan with spray oil. Add in the pasta-and-cheese mixture. Gently stir to combine.
Top with breadcrumbs
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Enjoy!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- Creamy Vegan Rice Pilaf
- Pesto Spaghetti Squash
- Spaghetti Squash Marinara
- Creamy Carrot and Cauliflower Soup
- Green Bean Fried Rice
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.
Vegan Mac and Cheese Without Cashews
- 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
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
- ¾ tsp gluten-free bread crumbs
- 1½ tsp turmeric
- 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.
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!