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Vegan Mac and Cheese

The Ultimate Vegan Mac and Cheese ~ super creamy, rich & oh-so dreamy! It takes less than 30 minutes to make & it's gluten-free.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 People
Calories 418kcal


  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 16 ounces dried elbow macaroni , gluten-free or regular
  • 1 cup potato , peeled & chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup carrots , chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or any plant-based milk)
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth , low sodium
  • ¾ teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt , more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast , more if preferred
  • 2 ½ tablespoons tapioca flour/starch *See note
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice , more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced


  • Boil the cashews, potatoes, and carrots until tender (about 8-10 minutes). Drain well and set aside.
  • Place macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until al dente and according to package directions (about 9-10 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  • Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (except garlic & butter). Blend until potatoes, carrots & cashews have completely broken down and sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  • Heat up butter in a large pan over medium heat. When melted, add garlic and sauté for 30-60 seconds, until lightly golden and fragrant (be careful not to burn).
  • Pour in the cheese sauce and cook for 4-6 minutes until sauce thickens up and becomes slightly stretchy. Stir often to prevent burning. If it's too thick, add a splash of broth. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.
  • Now add pasta and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately. Enjoy!


  • I usually start blending the sauce 5 minutes before the pasta will be done. This way the pasta isn't sitting too long, and it will be hot & fresh when it goes into the sauce.
  • To make it easier, cook potatoes, cashews and carrots the night before and pop them in the fridge.
  • If you'd like a thinner cheese sauce, use only 2 tablespoons of tapioca starch, or omit it altogether. The sauce will still be rich and creamy. Tapioca starch provides extra thickness and a slight "cheesy" stretch. 
  • The cheese has a very smooth and creamy texture. So, if it comes out a bit grainy, you may need to blend longer. If it's still grainy, your blender may not be strong enough to pulverize the cashews completely smooth.
  • If you'd like to add another layer of flavor to the sauce, you can try ½-1 teaspoon of miso paste, apple cider vinegar or dijon mustard. Blend it up with the cheese sauce. 


Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2045IU | Vitamin C: 4.6mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 5.1mg