The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

vegan mac and cheese

I love mac and cheese. Well, any pasta really. Pasta is and forever will be my weakness. It’s also my comfort food. When I don’t feel like cooking an extravagant meal, I want something quick, or I’m having a bad day, my go to is always pasta. And I’m pretty sure I have never met anyone who doesn’t like mac and cheese.

Growing up in the south, mac and cheese was served with every family meal. Mac and cheese is considered a delicacy in the south. Unfortunately for me, I have a dairy intolerance so I can’t enjoy traditional mac and cheese. My gluten free lifestyle has been fairly easy to maintain over the years. But a dairy free lifestyle can be a bit harder to manage. There is gluten free everything these days but dairy free is just now becoming mainstream. So creativity has to play a large role when creating a recipe like dairy free mac and cheese.

For this recipe, I wanted to create it with minimal ingredients and with ingredients that is already in your pantry (if you are dairy free). The average individual who eats dairy on a regular basis may not have these two main ingredients in their pantry, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy a great bowl of vegan mac and cheese.

dairy free mac and cheese

So What Are The Two Main Ingredients?

  • Raw Cashews: When raw cashews are soaked in water and blended, they create the creamiest goodness you will ever experience. The great thing about cashews is that they make a great base for whatever recipe you are creating. Sweet or Savory.
  • Nutritional Yeast: It’s the worst name in the world but it’s a vegan powder that is known for it’s cheesy flavor. You combine it with blended cashews and presto, you have a creamy and cheesy dish. This is DELICIOUS.

The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

This minimal ingredient recipe may be vegan but it doesn’t lack flavor or creaminess. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy this delightful dish!


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 garlic clove*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder*
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup dairy free milk (I use almond)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
  • 1 8oz. box gluten free pasta*


  1.  Boil approximately 2 cups of water and pour over cashews. Soak for 15 minutes.
  2. While cashews are soaking, cook pasta according to box directions. 
  3. Once cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them. Pour cashews into a high speed blender with all other ingredients except for fresh thyme and pasta. 
  4. Blend ingredients on high until a creamy cheese-like consistency forms. 
  5. Roughly chop the fresh thyme and add to the blender. Blend on low for a few seconds to incorporate. 
  6. Drain and rinse pasta. Add “cheese” sauce to pasta and stir to incorporate. Enjoy!


* If you are intolerant to garlic and onion, omit from the recipe. It still tastes delicious without! I used the Banza gluten free shells for this recipe. 


Keywords: gluten free pasta, gluten free, mac and cheese, dairy free pasta, dairy free mac and cheese, vegan pasta, vegan mac and cheese, healthy, quick and easy

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