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Finished dish in a white bowl on a wooden platter

Vegan Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This vegan Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a healthier twist on a classic comfort food made with a vegetable-stuffed cheesy sauce.
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 332kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn

Ingredients

Macaroni and Cheese

  • 12 ounces macaroni noodles
  • ½ medium sweet potato (about 1 cup), peeled and cubed
  • ½ medium carrot, (about ½ cup), peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • ¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew or macadamia nut milk
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Bread Crumb Topping

  • cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 10 ¼" cast iron skillet (or similar sized baking dish) and set aside. 
  • Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to boil.  Stir in macaroni and boil until al dente, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and strain pasta through a colander. Set aside. 
  • In a smaller pot, bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Add sweet potatoes and carrots. Boil for 10 minutes, until vegetables are easily pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and strain out the water. Set aside to let cool. 
  • In a small cast iron skillet heat cooking oil. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until translucent and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool. 
  • Using a high-powered blender make your cheese sauce. Add milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes, mustard, lemon juice, and salt to 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 1 tablespoon at a time. 
  • Combine the sauce with noodles then spread evenly in the prepared cast iron skillet. 
  • Mix together the ingredients for the crumb topping and evenly spread over mac and cheese, patting down as necessary. 
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until bread topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

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.
Make in advance - This vegan mac and cheese can be made up to a day in advance. To do so, prepare the casserole following the instructions below. However, do not bake. Tightly wrap the mac and cheese and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, remove it from the refrigerator and bake. It may take slightly longer in the oven as the casserole will be chilled.
Recipe Tip - If you don't have a high-powered blender, you can soak cashews for 4-6 hours and then boil them for 5 minutes to get them soft before blending them with the remaining sauce ingredients. 
Variations - For a gluten free pasta, simply swap out the pasta for gluten-free pasta and use gluten-free bread crumbs and you have yourself a gluten-free meal.

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 377mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1110IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1.8mg