Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese {dairy & gluten free}

You won’t miss the dairy in this Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese. The cashews make this sauce velvety and perfect for a quick yet healthy weeknight meal. 

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese | You won't miss the dairy in this Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese. The cashews make this sauce velvety and smooth and perfect for a quick yet healthy weeknight meal. | Check out the recipe or pin for later!

As I have said before, growing up my mom didn’t really cook much. The one thing I do remember “cooking” with her and loving is boxed mac and cheese. Mac and Cheese has always been my comfort food. Anytime I’m cold, sad, or stressed, I crave some mac and cheese. And although we didn’t make the pasta or sauce from scratch, it was nice helping my mom with the “cooking”.

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese | You won't miss the dairy in this Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese. The cashews make this sauce velvety and smooth and perfect for a quick yet healthy weeknight meal. | Check out the recipe or pin for later!

After going vegan, I did the whole pre-made boxed vegan mac and cheese. It was easier for me because that’s what I was used to even when I ate dairy. After a while though, I realized I could make a healthier version and I set out to do just that.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love my store bought boxed vegan mac and cheese every once in a while but since I’m studying nutrition I like to like to use whole foods as much as possible… and this cheesy sauce beats the boxed brands!

I figured cashews would be the best base as I’ve seen it used before and I love the creaminess of anything cashew related. Cashews offer protein, healthy fat, and a nice dose of magnesium.

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese | You won't miss the dairy in this Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese. The cashews make this sauce velvety and smooth and perfect for a quick yet healthy weeknight meal. | Check out the recipe or pin for later!

I like whipping up big batches of this sauce for myself and using it throughout the week. I can make it for less money than most store bought kinds. Plus, I have some on hand anytime I’m in a cheesy mood – it’s also great on veggies (I love it on broccoli – try it with the kids!).

You won't miss the dairy in this Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese!Click To Tweet

 

Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese
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Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta (gf if needed)
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews soaked in water for at least 1-2 hours then drained
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste (or 1 Tb salt but trust me the miso makes it fab)
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • about 1/2 to 3/4 or more cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (makes it more of the cheddary color)
  • Top with fresh parsley and vegan parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta to package directions.
  2. Blend all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender starting with only 1/2 a cup of water. Add more if you need. It’s better to add the water a little at a time to get a nice consistency – you don’t want it too watered down.
  3. If you’re serving with hot pasta. I recommend blending the sauce right before you plate, You won’t need to heat up the sauce because the blender should have heated it a bit and the pasta will heat it more.

Notes

There may be a little sauce left over. If so save it for veggies later in the week!

To reheat the sauce, add a little water to thin it out and heat on low for only a few minutes.

6.8
https://www.vnutritionandwellness.com/vegan-mac-and-cheese/

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36 thoughts on “Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese {dairy & gluten free}

  1. How lovely!!! I really love the idea of the cashew sauce here, it looks so tasty. You’d never know by your photo that wasn’t “real” mac & cheese!

  2. “Anytime I’m cold, sad, or stressed, I crave some mac and cheese.”
    I’m with ‘ya! This is definitely a foodie memory for me too. I practically grew up on this stuff. We call it Kraft Dinner in Canada, whether it came from the brand box or not (even homemade was called Kraft Dinner haha). I have made homemade versions before, but your cheese sauce especially good. I bet the miso really does give it a nice fermenty flavour. Looking forward to trying this out!

    1. Thanks Kimmy! My mac & cheese always came from a box but I love how you called it Kraft Dinner all the time.

      Yes, the miso adds a nice little flavor. I’ve been putting it in a lot of savory dishes lately. 🙂

  3. This looks SO GOOD!! I make mac n cheese from scratch but I usually add in a little spicy mustard. I can’t wait to try this with the miso!!
    Thank you for linking up with us for Meatless Monday!

  4. That sounds delicious. I make my vegan cheese sauce a little differently. I make a traditional roux with dairy free spread and soy milk, then add grated vegan cheddar. I used to hate vegan cheddar, but there is a brand called Violife with make cheese with coconut milk and it’s really good. It melts and tastes like cheddar, so I have reverted to the roux method and my nutritional yeast is a little forgotten, but I remember how good this version tastes too. Thanks for submitting it to Meat Free Mondays. The roundup and linky is live. I featured your recipe this week and will share.

    1. Thanks for featuring me Jac! Your version sound delicious! I think I may have tried Violife when I visited Europe but we can’t get that round here. Actually, there’s a vegan cheese called Chao Cheese that’s made with coconut so maybe I can try your version with that, it sounds delicious!

I'd love to hear from you!