Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese- ALL NATURAL- made without soy, nutritional yeast, cashews, margarine, or fake cheese!

My poor mind is a jumble of chaos lately. I just got back from a trip to Colorado from Germany a few days ago. We are PCSing there with the Army in about a month so I went over BY MYSELF to buy a house. This was the first time I’ve ever been without my two children. As refreshing as it was, it only took me about a day before I started to feel like my arms were missing… Kind of took me a while before I knew how to be myself again without them in tow, haha. But the trip was successful and we officially have purchased our first house in the lovely city of Colorado Springs! I’m originally from Upstate NY and have never lived anywhere quite like that before so I am really excited to be able to have this upcoming experience. As hard as being a military wife is, you do get some really great opportunities with travel! So anywaaaaaaays, we still have a month before we leave and I literally can not think about anything other than moving and our new house. Not even food. Which is totally abnormal for me. So the next few months, during this transition, might be a little rocky for the blog. My focus is going to be off, but I will try to keep things going the best I can!

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese- ALL NATURAL- made without soy, nutritional yeast, cashews, margarine, or fake cheese!

Today, I wanted to share a GREAT recipe for a Vegan Macaroni and Cheese! I was inspired by one that I found floating around Pinterest. It had such fantastic reviews that I had to try it. And it was extremely delicious- even Dave (Mr. Anti-Anything-Creamy) liked it! Shock of the century right there folks :O

I did have one qualm with the recipe though, and I noticed that a few of the other commenters were curious about the same thing as well- was there any way to make this great recipe WITHOUT using cashews or vegan margarine (Earth Balance)???? One of the greatest selling points of this recipe was that it was without the use of nutritional yeast, which some people just don’t care for. But! What about those people that are interested in eating really clean or have allergies to nuts or don’t have a high-speed blender? I wanted to re-create this recipe into something everybody could make and enjoy. Because no mac and cheese lover should have to go without!

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese- ALL NATURAL- made without soy, nutritional yeast, cashews, and margarine!

To make things work without the thickening power of the cashews, I simply went with my old stand-by: millet flour thickened non-dairy milk. You could also use all-purpose flour.

And a simple swap of olive oil for the vegan margarine took care of the other problem. You may also use organic canola or sunflower oil in place as well. I’m not sure about coconut oil… but it will more than likely work. Just try to use refined coconut oil otherwise there might be a slight coconut taste to the mac and cheese.

So, basically what you’re left with is a GREAT Vegan Macaroni and Cheese recipe that does NOT call for nutritional yeast, soy, cashews, margarine, OR fake cheese! Something that, believe it or not, is actually pretty hard to find…

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese- ALL NATURAL- made without soy, nutritional yeast, cashews, margarine, or fake cheese!

Plus! This recipe includes potatoes, carrots, and onion. So you’re sneaking a little veggies in there too… hehehe. That’s probably my favorite part. I actually ended up using ’rounded’ amounts of the carrot and onion… I just can’t control myself when it comes to sneaking veggies.

And if you want your Mac & Cheese to have more of that common ‘yellow’ color to it, add 1/4 teaspoon or so of ground turmeric! You don’t taste it, plus! It is super good for you.

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese- ALL NATURAL- made without soy, nutritional yeast, cashews, margarine, or fake cheese!

4.9 from 13 reviews
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Serves: serves 4 to 6
  • 10 ounces elbow macaroni pasta, approximately 2 cups dry
  • 1 cup (about 7 ounces) chopped Yukon gold potatoes (with or without peel)
  • ¼ cup chopped, peeled carrots
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons millet or all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1 small clove) or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread, torn into large pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add the potatoes, carrots, onion and 1 cup water; bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain and place back into pot.
  4. Place the olive oil in a small saucepan and heat over medium. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Slowly add milk, while continuously whisking. Allow mixture to simmer on low, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the milk mixture, salt, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, pepper, softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender or food processor and process until perfectly smooth. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and combine completely. The sauce will thicken as it cooks and continue to do so as it cools.
  6. Pour into an un-greased 11x7-inch dish; evenly top with prepared breadcrumb mixture, if using. Bake for 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
  7. FOR THE TOPPING (OPTIONAL): Put the pieces of bread, 2 teaspoons olive oil and paprika in a food processor and process until combined to make crumbs, set aside.
To make this more of a "one-pot" meal, add some veggies to the mix. About 2 cups worth cooked vegetables and bake in a 9x13-inch pan.
To give the sauce a more yellow color- use ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground turmeric.



45 Responses to “Vegan Mac and Cheese”

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  • Julie May 7, 2015, 10:47 am

    Thank so much for this! I have been looking for a while for a recipe for vegan mac and cheese which doesn’t need high-speed blender or use tofu! Can’t wait to try it…

  • lmachell May 9, 2015, 6:47 pm

    Glad to help. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Kari ann May 12, 2015, 7:33 pm

    I was wondering if your kids liked this mac n cheese?

  • lmachell May 24, 2015, 6:04 pm

    Yes, they do!

  • Doris July 9, 2015, 3:13 pm

    My very particular vegan husband loves this dish and so do my non-vegan family members! One even commented that she didn’t realize it didn’t contain cheese. I also love your maasman curry recipie.

  • lmachell July 21, 2015, 10:12 pm

    That’s wonderful news Doris! So glad to hear that you and your family are enjoying my dishes :)

  • Tejnoor July 17, 2015, 2:56 am

    You’ve got some great recipes on this website. I’m shocked that this website isn’t more well-known. Can’t wait to try this when I get home. This is the first vegan recipe for mac & cheese that I’ve seen which doesn’t need nutritional yeast!

  • lmachell July 21, 2015, 10:10 pm

    Thank you so much! That’s one of the nicest things somebody has ever said about my blog :) Hope you enjoy the mac!

  • Tejnoor September 20, 2015, 5:57 pm

    Hey Laura, would you mind if I posted an adapted version of your recipe on my blog and quoted you? I’ll share your link as well.

  • Penny Trudeau September 11, 2015, 8:09 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe .. I am not a fan of nutritional yeast. What part of upstate NY are you from? I’m was born and raised in Plattsburgh. I, also. was a military wife. We were Air Force.

  • Yvonne September 23, 2015, 12:38 am

    Can you freeze this? And also if I were to make it with cashews rather than the flour roux could I still freeze it? Thanks <3

  • lmachell January 27, 2016, 9:02 pm

    Yes on both :)

  • Marlena October 9, 2015, 10:39 pm

    thanks so much for this awesome recipe! it’s terribly difficult finding vegan recipes that don’t involve some serious cashew soaking, etc (which i neither have the time or budget to do!)

    i added a teaspoon of hot sauce to give it that special flavour i grew up with: perfect!

  • Lawrence October 24, 2015, 10:33 am

    Great! I looks so delicious

  • L.p. December 7, 2015, 11:23 pm

    Making this recipe and I realize the salt mentioned in the ingredients list isn’t in the recipe. What do you do with all the salt?

  • L.p. December 7, 2015, 11:37 pm

    It also doesn’t say what to do with the pepper, mustard, lemon juice, or garlic…

  • lmachell January 27, 2016, 8:48 pm

    I apologize for this! You just add it into the puree in the blender. I’ll fix it in the recipe. Thanks for catching it and bringing it to my attention.

  • Carrie February 2, 2016, 11:02 pm

    My son has a mustard allergy. Do u think it’s worth a try w/o it?

  • Paula February 10, 2016, 4:57 am

    Is there an alternative to mustard? we are allergic to mustard =/

  • Keira June 8, 2016, 1:33 pm

    Hi, I know you posted ages ago, but I made this without mustard or lemon juice today (didn’t have any) and was AMAZING, so try it without!

  • Brook March 6, 2016, 7:21 pm

    This is super tasty! I will admit I was a bit skeptical…but this dish came out flavorful, creamy, thick, & oh so delicious! I haven’t had cheese in about 9 months and this definitely satisfied my craving. Even my non-vegan, cheese-loving boyfriend had a huge portion and agreed that it was amazing! Will recommend and definitely be making again!

  • Skitz3 March 25, 2016, 3:34 pm

    I am going to try this. Looks yummy. And I am going to surprise yhe family

  • Danielle May 10, 2016, 4:15 pm

    Hi there! I have a sensitivity to carrots and cannot eat them, so is there anything you would suggest instead as a substitute?

  • Cole February 7, 2017, 12:14 pm

    I saw a version of this recipe on another site and one of the commenters mentioned that they replaced the carrots with zucchini. So maybe a white cheddar sauce?? If you really want a yellow color maybe add some tumeric? Anyways hope this helps

  • Hillary Steffen May 28, 2016, 1:01 am

    This was AMAZING!! As I was making it I was skeptical of what the flavor would be like with the lemon juice mixture but it’s so so good!! Thank you for this recipe. My husband who is dairy free loved it and my 1.5 yr old couldn’t get enough!

  • Tee June 1, 2016, 8:07 pm

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned yet how salty the sauce comes out! It burned my tongue it was soooo salty! I would highly recommend cutting the salt in half in the sauce recipe. Otherwise it’s an awesome recipe and I will make again.

  • Gia June 28, 2016, 10:45 pm

    I made this for my family and they loved it =D It was a bit more work than I expected it to be, but it was worth it! I even won my dad over, and he usually turns his nose at vegan food. He says he likes it more than the real thing!!

  • Gia August 24, 2016, 4:34 pm

    OMG THANK YOU! I have tried so many vegan mac and cheese recipes (all sans nutritional yeast because I can’t get that in my country), and yours is the best by a long shot!! <3 It actually tastes cheesy, unlike all the other ones.
    I have a question, do you think I could add cashews to this? I have some cashews left over from my last mac and cheese fail, wondering if I could put em in here, or would that ruin it?

  • Heather Soderberg September 26, 2016, 10:41 pm

    This was delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe, will definitely use this again to impress my Omni friends.

  • Julie October 17, 2016, 2:36 am

    Thanks so much for this AWESOME recipe!!! I’ve been searching awhile for a vegan mac and cheese recipe without cashews because I have a nut allergy… and this is the best thing ever!!!! Soooo much “cheesy” goodness.

  • Wynelle Ulrich November 27, 2016, 3:11 am

    You may have just restored my faith in humanity (and maybe technology too)! lol … really, I’ve searched FOREVER, looking for vegan (and oil-free actually) recipes using “no nutritional yeast”, and STILL all I would get is recipes WITH nutritional yeast, and undoubtedly oil of course too, because everything starts with “2 tblsp of olive oil” …

    Thank you! Thank you!

    … and you even made it easy to print from your site!

    Okay, sorry, shouting is done now … off to the kitchen to give it a shot. ;-)

  • Kirsty December 10, 2016, 1:23 am

    Hi, dyou think gluten free flour would be fine to use in this recipe? I’m not gluten free, but it’s the only flour I have in right now!

  • dee nies December 17, 2016, 4:29 am

    AMAZING – unbelievable cheese sauce! So so grateful to you for sharing this healthy cheese sauce made from veggies. My daughter has missed cheese for the passed 7 years because of her food allergies. I have been searching for a healthy veggie made cheese sauce for the passed year. I made this yesterday and the 2 of us were literally jumping for joy at the 1st taste of the sauce — liquid cheddar cheese!! I made another triple batch of it today and freezed them in ice cube trays so I always have cheese on hand. Bless you for this delicious recipe and for sharing! For anyone that can’t eat Millet, we subbed Arrowroot Powder and when I tripled it I used only a total of 5 tsp salt, but I will prob only use 4 tsp next time just to reduce sodium more.

  • Robyn Petrik January 8, 2017, 6:59 pm

    We’ve made this twice now and absolutely love it! We’ve added chopped cauliflower to it to make it a bit more nutritious and it worked really well. Thanks for this recipe!!

  • Arial March 2, 2017, 12:49 am

    I made this tonight and it was amazing. I used unsweetened almond milk and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Blend and it came out great. It was so awesome to be able to make this for my daughter who can’t have gluten/dairy/soy/junk. Thanks.

  • Anna August 2, 2017, 8:17 am

    This is absolutely delicious!
    I’m from Germany and this was my first Mac’n’Cheese ever and I’m so glad I found this recipe!

  • Heather September 21, 2017, 4:08 am

    Sounds so good. I am trying this tonight. How well do you think this would freeze?

  • Laurie October 19, 2017, 5:33 pm

    Have you ever frozen the sauce and dethawed to use later? My kids love mac and cheese but I would really like to make in bulk and this is not a last minute option sort of recipe… thanks!

  • Glenn S. October 21, 2017, 12:28 am

    Wow! You really nailed a perfect mac and “cheese”. I followed this to a T and we all loved it. I’ve been struggling on my own and also tried many recipes, and although many were decent, none could replace the traditional mac and cheese we grew up with….until yours :)

  • Tommy December 5, 2017, 12:03 pm

    Just wondering if the whole wheat breed and the elbow macoromi you suggest are vegan since they are typically made with egg and milk ? Or is there a vegan brand u recommend ?