Do you crave macaroni and cheese? Cheese is what people have the most trouble giving up on a plant-based diet, but this baked vegan macaroni and cheese will help you break the habit.
This macaroni and cheese recipe is as easy as can be if you have the ingredients on hand. A box of whole grain elbow macaroni, soaked raw cashews, non-dairy milk, roasted bell peppers, and some seasonings for a creamy, no cheese-cheesy vegan dish you’ll enjoy over and over again.
If you’re like me, you enjoy a little spice. Adding a few dashes of hot sauce kicks up the flavor!
Nutritional yeast makes it a little cheesy, roasted red peppers make it an amazing color, and the addition of mustard and lemon gives a little tang.
It will thicken and become creamy as you simmer it on the stove. And you can add other veggies to it, as well. Try a cup of frozen peas or steamed broccoli. They add beautiful color and nutrition.
If you’re feeling more creative, add chunks of baked tofu to the mix. It will really round out the dish.
Vegan recipes to add to your recipe list:
- Plant-Based Vegan Cream Sauce
- Vegan Tetrazzini with Soy Curls
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Plant-Based, Vegan Sour Cream
You can also mix it up with the type of pasta you use. I like the little shells as they catch all of the cheesy goodness.
Don’t let your cravings for cheese get the best of you. You can enjoy the flavor you miss with this recipe or even try Cashew Cheese Sauce in more of your recipes or as a dip. If the cravings are getting to you, also check out my recipes for Chili Cheese Dip and Cauliflower No Cheese Sauce.
Make this baked macaroni and cheese today.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Baked Vegan Macaroni and Cheese! If you have a photo, post it on my Facebook page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking
This recipe is Plantricious Friendly because it meets the following guidelines.
The Trusted Seal for
- Must be whole food plant-based, contains no animal products
- May be minimally processed
- No added oil
- No added sugars
- No artificial additives or preservatives
- *Plantricious Friendly foods may include but are not limited to condiments, fermented foods, soups, sauces, beverages, dressings, marinades, etc.
Baked Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 1 16 oz box whole grain elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup raw cashews soaked in hot water 30 minutes
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 cup roasted red bell peppers, about 3 whole
- 4 Tbl nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp light miso
- 1/2 Tbl lemon juice
- 2 Tbl dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbl arrowroot
- dash cayenne pepper
Cashew Parmesan "Cheese
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/3 tsp sea salt
- Heat oven to 350°. Cook pasta noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and place into a 9x11” baking dish.
- Place all the remaining ingredients into a high-powered blender, the drained, soaked cashews along with the non-dairy milk, roasted peppers, nutritional yeast, lemon, and mustard along with the spices, and arrowroot.
- Pour blended sauce into a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sauce thickens. If the sauces seems too thick, add a little more non-dairy milk.
- Pour “cheese” sauce over noodles and if you’re adding any additional vegetables like peas or broccoli, add those in and stir all to combine.
- To make the parmesan "cheese," put all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of your mac and cheese or use bread crumbs.
- Cook for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the edges start to brown.
Recipe ingredients updated 7-19-21. Arrowroot replaced cornstarch.
What is the serving size
Hi Bridget, I don’t know the exact size, but next time I make it I’ll measure that out. Some sites note the serving size as “1/6 of the recipe”, but that may not help you much.
I thought plant-based recipes do not include processed boxed foods (elbow macaroni)and what is non-dairy milk?
Hi Karen, I would say for the most part, a whole foods, plant-based diet does recommend as little processing as possible. However, products like whole grain pasta, rolled oats, whole-grain pizza crust, soy milk, which as all somewhat processed are OK to eat on this diet. Boxed foods that have additives, lots of salt, sauces and lots of ingredients that you can’t pronounce would be off the list. So do check labels and those with few ingredients are better. For example, here’s Dr McDougal’s list that includes pasta and noodles… https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/free-mcdougall-program/steps-to-recovery/starch-staples/ As for non-dairy milk, that would be any “milk” that is made with plants, rice milk, hemp milk, soy milk, almond milk, cashew are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Often in plant-based recipes that call for non-dairy milk, you can use any of these. Hope this helps.
In the author’s defense, she did say “Vegan”. The recipe is Vegan, not WFPB. Mac and Cheese is pretty much off the table and out of the kitchen for WFPB folks like us, unless we use once or twice a year for a treat. If I am going to have a treat, the treat better taste awesome.
Hi, I appreciate your words because it can sometimes be hard to replicate recipes that use cheese and dairy. I’m definitely not perfect but I hope this version of Mac & Cheese is very close to WFPB (whole food, plant-based) because I really strive for that. 👍
I want to make this but I’m trying to use what I currently have in my fridge. Will white miso work instead of yellow miso? Also I have almond milk but I have some cashew milk as well that’s just sitting there. Would it be okay to use the cashew milk in place of the almond milk?
Yes, it should be fine to substitute white miso and cashew milk. I like to encourage people to make substitute where appropriate. Who wants to run out to the store, if you don’t have to.
Thank you!! I will be making this tomorrow for Sunday dinner. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks again!!
Very good recipe! If you add just a tiny bit of hot sauce to this it adds some more flavor and kick to it.
Glad you enjoyed it! 👍 I like a little kick, too.
My family and I have started a whole foods diet to improve our health and lifestyle. This is the first recipe we tried and I was worried that the kids would not take to it…well I was wrong! Absolutely delicious and enjoyed by us and the kids! Thank you 🙂
You’re welcome. So glad it was a happy experiment for you and especially for your kids!
Would yellow or orange bell peppers work instead of red? I’m really excited to try this recipe but only have those colors in my fridge.
Yep, that will work. It’s really a color thing, but the taste should be the same.
For the sake of time, if I make a large batch of this ahead of time, how long do you think I could keep it in the fridge to reheat? I have a toddler and a baby on the way. Just trying to find ways to feed them healthier, but I work full-time. So, I don’t have a ton of time everyday to make things fresh. I also would like to be able to send food with my son to daycare to eat rather than what the woman who watches him feeds him. This looks like a perfect option to provide.
Hey Anna, I haven’t tested it but I think it should last you up to 5 days in the fridge. You could freeze some of it, as well. I like to batch cook rice and/or potatoes and keep them on hand for making recipes. Also, a bit pot of soup or stew is great for several days, especially this time of year. You also can purchase pre-cut veggies which will speed things up. I just saw green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes in the market. You might want to check out my article, “Plant-Based Meal Prep for Busy People,” for some other tips. Congratulations and all the best on the new baby (and toddler). 🙂
Very good recipe! It didn’t turn out too moist inside, it was a little on the dry inside and I followed the recipe exactly. But still tasted very good! And my kids enjoyed it too.
I am curious about where cholesterol comes in because I noticed it says it’s got cholesterol in it. But cholesterol is only found in animal products, so I’m a little confused by that.
Hi Maya, I updated the nutrition label. You’re correct there is no cholesterol in the recipe! I’m glad you and the kids enjoyed the recipe. I added a note to the instructions to add a little extra non-dairy milk if the “cheese” sauce seems too thick. I suppose differences in oven temps and how long it’s left on the stove to thicken can make the difference. I appreciate the feedback.