This Baked Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is so creamy and delicious. It’s the perfect dairy-free comfort food for dinner and a great dish for the holidays.
Oh yes, you heard that right, I made some Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese! I took my basic vegan mac and cheese that I make with sweet potatoes (that reminds me I need to put that recipe up soon) and pumpkin-ized it for fall!
This recipe one is totally different than my other pumpkin pasta because it’s baked and has some extra cheesy flavor…if you’re into that sort of thing (and I’m sure you are if you’re reading this post).
Creamy and Delicious Comfort Food
When there’s a bit of a chill in the air, all I want are cozy things like sweaters, fuzzy socks, hot cocoa and baked creamy pasta. They’re warming and comforting and I can’t get enough.
I used to think that I should always be eating salads or smoothies because they’re “healthy” food. But I never felt good after putting something cold into my already cold body in the chilly weather.
Nowadays, I am more in tune with my body’s cues so when it’s cold out and I feel like I need something warming, I give my body what it’s craving like this vegan pumpkin mac and cheese, Vegetable Bean Casserole or Cashew Mac & Cheese recipes.
How to Make the Sauce
Baking the Mac & Cheese
Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
This vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is one of my favorite things to eat right now. I’ve’ tested this so many times and I still can’t get enough.
You could use canned pumpkin if you don’t have (or don’t feel like using) fresh pumpkin. Japanese pumpkin (aka kabocha squash) is a great one to use in this dish. While I recommend the roasted pumpkin because it adds more depth, flavor, and creaminess, sometimes we’re in a rush and don’t have time to roast a pumpkin so the canned pumpkin is still good.
I usually roast the pumpkin during my regular Sunday meal prep if I know I’m making the my pumpkin mac and cheese that week. FYI, for more info on my meal prep tips, check out my Vegan Meal Prep post.
My mac and cheese is healthier than any store-bought kind. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and delicious!
The pasta is best eaten right out of the oven so grab a bowl, put on the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and dig in!
Okay if you really need a few more reasons to try this bake vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese (and I doubt you do), here they are:
- it’s healthier than regular mac and cheese
- it’s not overly pumpkin flavored so those that aren’t pumpkin-crazy will like it too
- it’s kid-friendly
- it would be a great dish for Thanksgiving
- pumpkin is high in vitamin A
- it’s gluten & dairy-free
- it’s vegan pumpkin mac and cheese! who doesn’t want that!?
Meal Prep Tip: Bake the pumpkin the weekend before so it’s ready to go when you’re making this mac and cheese!
If you make this recipe and LOVE IT, please give it 5 stars ★★★★★!
Vegan Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- 2 cups gluten free elbow pasta (or pasta of choice)
- 1 small pumpkin, baked about 2 cups of pumpkin (you can sub canned pumpkin)
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours or in hot water for 10 mins
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cashew or soy milk
- 2 TB tapioca starch
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white miso (or another 1/2 tsp salt)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degree
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, then rinse.
- Meanwhile, add cashews and water and blend in a high-speed blender*.
- Add rest of sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add pasta and sauce to oven safe pan or casserole dish.
- Top with breadcrumbs.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until breadcrumb topping is browned.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen’s recipes and nutrition info has been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more. She lives in NJ with her husband & two sweet shih tzus, Firenze & Sophie.