A Vegan Mac and Cheese you can feel good about feeding the kids! This classic pasta dish is made with a veggie-packed “cheese” sauce and flavored with the perfect spice blend for a meal the whole family will love.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a difficult time getting my 4-year-old to eat vegetables. If he could have it his way he would live on tofu and peanut butter sandwiches alone. For years I have tried different ways to get him to eat more veggies, but he is a stubborn kid with jaws clenched tight.
So I started sneaking vegetables into his food.
By puréeing different veggies and sneaking them into his favorite sauces, he is finally eating some of the earth’s good food and he is none the wiser.
And this vegan Mac and Cheese is where it all began.
Recommended Ingredients And Equipment
You’re going to love this vegan mac and cheese. And more importantly, the kids will love it, too! It’s a veggie-packed, kid-friendly meal that everyone will feel good about.
Here’s everything you’ll need.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Pasta – While elbow noodles are traditional, you can really use a variety of small noodles such as shell pasta, fusilli, or Orecchiette pasta.
- Sweet Potato
- Yellow Onion
- Oil – I recommend olive, avocado, or coconut oil
- Raw Cashews – Raw macadamia nuts would also work.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – Use the dry variety rather than oil-packed.
- Nutritional Yeast
- Lemon Juice
- Spices – You will need turmeric, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Non-Dairy Milk – I recommend using a thick, neutral-flavored milk such as soy or cashew milk.
Additionally, when it comes to making a vegan cheese sauce, you really should have a high powered blender. These blenders can be pricy, but my Vitamix is one of the most used gadgets in my kitchen. Most other blenders simply do not have the power to create a cream out of cashews and you’ll end up with gritty cheese sauce. (<<affiliate links)
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How To Make Vegan Mac And Cheese
Step One – Soak the Cashews
Place the cashews and sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Cover them with water so that they are fully submerged and soak for at least 30 minutes. This allows the cashews and tomatoes to soften and blend better in the sauce.
Once soft, drain the cashews and tomatoes through a colander. Rinse them in cool water and set aside.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a high-powered blender, soak the cashews for about 6 hours ahead of time and blend them in a food processor.
Step Two – Cook The Noodles
Cook the macaroni noodles in boiling water until the pasta until it is al dente. Strain through a colander and set aside.
Step Three – Make the Sauce
Peel and chop the carrots and sweet potatoes into uniform 1/2″ pieces.
Boil them in hot water until they are tender. This takes about 10 minutes. The vegetables are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork.
Once they are ready, strain them through a colander and set aside.
While the veggies are boiling, sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
Place the milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, and salt in the blender and blend until smooth. Add sweet potato, carrots, onions, and garlic and blend again. The sauce should be completely smooth and easily pourable. If it needs thinning, add a little more milk until you’ve reached a creamy and smooth consistency.
Stir together the cooked noodles and the sauce and serve.
Serving And Storing
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently reheat over the stove or in a microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
For a gluten-free pasta, simply swap out the pasta for gluten-free pasta (<<affiliate link) and you have yourself a gluten-free meal.
I don’t recommend it. I’ve tried this recipe several ways without the nuts and the sauce lacks creamy/cheesy flavors.
More Vegan Mac And Cheese Recipes
- Baked Mac & Cheese
- Gluten Free Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Nut-Free Spicy Mac and Cheese
A Vegan Mac and Cheese you can feel good about feeding the kids! This classic pasta dish is made with a veggie-packed sauce and flavored with the perfect spice blend for a meal the whole family will love.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment and rate it below.
If you made any substitutions, let us know how it turned out!
Keyword: Vegan Mac and Cheese
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 313 kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn
- 12 ounces macaroni or other type noodle
- 1/2 cup sweet potato, diced
- 1/4 cup carrot, diced
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked 30 minutes
- 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, soaked 30 minutes
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp tumeric
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 3/4-1 cup non-dairy milk
Place the cashews and sundried tomatoes in a small bowl. Cover them with water and let soak for 30 minutes.
Note: If you do not have a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak the cashews for at least 6 hours.
Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Once the noodles are al dente, strain them through a colander and set aside.
Meanwhile, fill a pot with water and bring to boil. Add the sweet potato and carrots to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 8-12 minutes. Drain the water from the vegetables and set aside.
Heat oil a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until they are translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse the cashews and sun-dried tomatoes. Place them in a high powered blender along with the nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, spices, & non-dairy milk. Blend until smooth. Add the cooked vegetables and process again. You may need to add a little more milk at this point. The sauce should be creamy, smooth, and pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Toss together the pasta and cheese sauce and serve immediately.
Serving and Storing – Serve immediately with Creamy Tomato Soup and a big Caesar Salad. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently reheat in the oven.
Variations – For a gluten-free pasta, simply swap out the pasta for gluten-free pasta and you have yourself a gluten-free meal.