This Vegan Mac and Cheese without Cashews is made using plant based cheese, almond milk, spices, and topped with PeaTos Hot Crunchy Curls.
This Vegan Mac and Cheese without Cashews was honestly very close to tasting like regular mac and cheese. I was so surprised with how it turned out and it was so easy to make. It is a one pot recipe, which makes cleanup that much easier.
What is Vegan Mac and Cheese?
Vegan mac and cheese is a plant-based version of the classic comfort food dish, macaroni and cheese. Instead of traditional cheese, it uses a variety of vegan ingredients to create a creamy and cheesy sauce. These ingredients can include nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, cashews, or plant-based cheese alternatives. The macaroni noodles are usually cooked separately and then tossed in the vegan cheese sauce before serving. Vegan mac and cheese can also be customized with additional ingredients such as roasted vegetables, vegan sausage, or vegan bacon for added flavor and texture.
Why you will love this Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Healthier Option: Traditional mac and cheese typically contains a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol from the cheese and butter. Vegan mac and cheese is a healthier alternative that is lower in fat and calories.
- Allergen-Friendly: Vegan mac and cheese is free from dairy, which makes it a great option for people who are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy.
- Environmentally Conscious: Vegan mac and cheese is more sustainable and environmentally friendly since it doesn't require the use of animal products.
- Versatile: Vegan mac and cheese can be made with a variety of ingredients to suit different tastes and preferences. This makes it a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by everyone.
- Comfort Food: Like traditional mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese is a warm and comforting dish that can satisfy cravings for rich and cheesy flavors.
Vegan Mac and Cheese Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Almond milk
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Vegan cheese
- Dijon Mustard
- Tahini paste
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Vegan Mac and Cheese
In a large pot, add the almond milk, water, olive oil, garlic powder and onion powder and bring to a boil.
Add the noodles and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the noodles are done.
Remove from heat and add vegan cheese, mustard and tahini. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Top with crushed PeaTos.
Almond milk: The almond milk helps the consistency of the cheese on the macaroni. You could also use coconut milk if you prefer.
Olive oil: Feel free to use any oil you prefer. I always like using a classic extra-virgin olive oil, but you can use vegetable oil, avocado oil, or sunflower oil.
Spices: I love using the traditional garlic powder and onion powder. I have seen some variations using a dash of cayenne pepper, paprika, or chili powder for a nice spicy kick.
Pasta: Honestly any bite size pasta will work for this. I aesthetically like using elbow pasta or cavatappi, but any pasta will work.
Vegan Cheese: I use VItalite vegan cheese for this mac and cheese.
Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe Variations
- Cashew-based sauce: Soak cashews in water overnight or for a few hours until they are soft, then blend them with non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, and seasonings to create a creamy and cheesy sauce.
- Butternut squash-based sauce: Roast butternut squash until tender, then blend it with non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, and seasonings to create a flavorful and creamy sauce.
- Tofu-based sauce: Blend silken tofu with non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, and seasonings to create a smooth and creamy sauce.
- Plant-based cheese: Use store-bought vegan cheese shreds or slices to melt over the pasta for a classic mac and cheese flavor.
- Add-ins: Mix in roasted vegetables, vegan sausage, vegan bacon, or chopped herbs to add extra flavor and texture to the dish.
- Gluten-free option: Use gluten-free pasta and gluten-free breadcrumbs to make a gluten-free version of the dish.
- Spicy option: Add some heat by mixing in diced jalapenos or red pepper flakes to the sauce.
Check out these Mexican Vegan Recipes!
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides. I love using my Caraway pots, pans and baking sheets for best quality. Get yourself a discount by clicking here.
Here are the basic equipment and tools you will need to make vegan mac and cheese:
- Large pot for boiling pasta
- Colander for draining pasta
- Blender or food processor for making the sauce
- Saucepan for cooking the sauce
- Whisk or spatula for stirring the sauce
How to store Vegan Mac and Cheese
To store vegan mac and cheese, transfer the leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, you may need to add a splash of non-dairy milk to the pasta to help it loosen up and regain its creaminess. You can reheat the mac and cheese in the microwave, in a saucepan on the stove, or in the oven in a covered baking dish. If the mac and cheese has already been baked, cover it with foil and reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. It's important to remember that mac and cheese is best when eaten fresh, so it's recommended to make only as much as you need to avoid wasting leftovers.
Vegan Mac and Cheese Top tips
- Choose the right pasta: Use a sturdy pasta shape like elbow macaroni, penne, or fusilli, which can hold up well to the sauce and won't overcook and become mushy.
- Cook the pasta al dente: Cook the pasta just until it is al dente, which means it is cooked through but still firm to the bite. Overcooked pasta can ruin the texture of the mac and cheese.
- Make a flavorful sauce: Use a combination of seasonings and ingredients like garlic, onion powder, and Dijon mustard to give the sauce a cheesy flavor.
- Use high-quality ingredients: Use high-quality non-dairy milk, vegan cheese, and nutritional yeast to ensure a rich and creamy texture and flavor.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove