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two bowls of vegan mac and cheese beside a bowl of cashews and a bowl of nutritional yeast

Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Kaylie Grace
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cook, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The BEST vegan mac and cheese recipe! It’s easy, dairy-free, and contains healthy ingredients. The creamy cheese sauce is made with cashews, carrots, and nutritional yeast. You’d never guess it’s plant-based, oil-free, soy-free, and gluten-free friendly. This healthy comfort food is a great dinner for families. The kids will never know it’s made with vegetables!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 lb pasta of choice (gluten-free or grain-free if needed)
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp mellow white miso paste
  • 4 slices tamed jalapeño* (from a jar)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the raw cashews to a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cashews. Soak for 20 minutes, then drain the water.
  2. Boil carrots: Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the chopped carrots and cook for 10 minutes, or until fork-tender. After, drain the water.
  3. Cook pasta: While the carrots are boiling, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. After, drain the pasta.
  4. Blend cheese sauce: In a blender, add the cooked carrots, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice, tomato paste, mellow white miso paste, tamed jalapeño, garlic, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Blend on high speed, until completely smooth and creamy.
  5. Combine: Transfer the cooked pasta back into the pot. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. Gently toss to combine and warm. Serve with any garnishes of your choosing, such as breadcrumbs or fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Jalapeño: Use sliced tamed jalapeño from a jar, NOT fresh jalapeño or sliced hot jalapeño. If you cannot find this ingredient, remove it from the recipe.
  • How to store: This recipe is best enjoyed immediately upon making it. However, if you have leftovers, store them in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator. Enjoy within 2 days. If you are meal prepping this recipe, I recommend preparing the sauce ahead of time and storing it in the refrigerator. Then, simply cook the pasta and add the sauce.
  • Nutrition: The nutrition information below uses regular flour pasta. If needed, you can use a high protein chickpea pasta or a gluten-free/grain-free pasta. This will change the nutrition breakdown.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 440
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Fat: 6.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 78g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Protein: 17g

Keywords: vegan mac and cheese cashews, dairy-free mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese carrots