I think I finally did it! I made the perfect vegan mac & cheese that even your omnivorous, cheese loving friends and family will become obsessed with. In fact, I wouldn’t even tell them this is vegan. Plus, you can easily make it gluten-free by using brown rice pasta and gluten-free bread crumbs.
You’ll barely miss the boxed stuff you ate when you were a kid once you take a bite of this. Feel free to use it as a base recipe for some crazy creations as well! You could throw in some veggies to up the nutrients and colors in the dish. Or if you’re committed to a gluttonous feast, I highly recommend the add-ins found in my vegan pizza mac & cheese.
perfect vegan mac & cheese
I think I finally did it! I made the perfect vegan mac & cheese that even your omnivorous, cheese loving friends and family will become obsessed with.
- 3 C elbow macaroni
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 C raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
- 1 1/2 C almond milk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 C vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1/4 C nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp arrowroot flour (can substitute tapioca flour)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 C vegan cheddar style shreds (optional)
- 1/4 C bread crumbs
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp vegan parmesan (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a large pot, bring pasta water to a boil with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and cook the pasta to al dente. Drain, but do not rinse the noodles.
Meanwhile, make your sauce. Place all the sauce ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until very smooth.
Pour the cooked macaroni into a 9" x 9" baking dish. Add all the sauce and vegan cheddar style shreds (if using) and stir to coat all the noodles. It will seem a bit liquidy, but the arrowroot flour will thicken everything in the oven.
Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Mix the bread crumbs with the dried herbs and vegan parmesan in a bowl and set aside.
When the mac and cheese has baked for 20 minutes, remove it from the oven. Uncover it and add the bread crumb mixture evenly on top and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the inside is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
Bake time may vary based on your oven. I used to do this in an old oven that got very hot, so I had to reduce the bake time and add the bread crumbs immediately upon the first bake to prevent over baking. Watch that it doesn't get too crispy around the edges before you've added the topping.
You can easily make it gluten free by using brown rice pasta and gluten free bread crumbs. You could stir in chopped kale, broccoli florets, sundried tomatoes, or vegan ground beef to the mac and cheese when you are adding the sauce into the cooked noodles!