I’ve been making this vegan baked mac and cheese for years, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share it with you. It has been my go-to recipe for when I feel like eating a cozy dinner on the couch watching a movie. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
I really love this vegan mac because the flavors of the onion and garlic really come through, and I love the flavor! The cheese sauce is made from a base of cashews, veggies, spices, and nutritional yeast and it’s so, so good. So creamy and soothing!
You’ll just need a pot, a blender or food processor (or handheld mixer!) and easy to find ingredients. I mean, could this dish be any more pleasing? Take notes, print or bookmark and share it with your friends and family. The only things you’ll need to make this recipe are to cook, blend and serve. Nothing more!
I have the feeling this recipe could become a staple in your household. It’s been known to delight everyone from kids to grown-ups, from vegans to omnivores, from picky eaters to food lovers. This is a universal, easy recipe that I’m sure will save you tons of time thinking about what to make and actually preparing it.
This baked vegan mac recipe is:
There’s something about mac and cheese that just hits the right spot. It has been a favorite childhood dish for many, and it is true comfort food.
Do you remember those packaged mac and cheese boxes we used to eat as kids? They were so full of nasties, even though they tasted like heaven to us. Well, with this recipe you will have the same fantastic flavor but using the healthiest of ingredients. Here’s what you need:
Pasta: Choose your preferred pasta shape, whether it’s classic macaroni or another variety. Opt for a good-quality vegan pasta brand for the best results.
Raw Cashews: Raw cashews serve as the creamy base for the vegan cheese sauce. They blend into a velvety consistency and add richness to the dish.
Yellow Onion: A yellow onion adds depth of flavor to the sauce. When sautéed, it provides a savory and aromatic component that complements the creamy texture.
Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves bring a delicious, aromatic punch to the cheese sauce. They enhance the overall savory profile of the dish.
Lemon: Freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens up the sauce with a touch of acidity. It helps balance the flavors and adds a hint of freshness.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch acts as a thickening agent, helping to achieve the desired creamy consistency for the sauce.
Tomato Paste: Tomato paste not only adds a natural reddish-orange hue to the sauce but also contributes a subtle depth of flavor.
I am sure you will adore this recipe. Apart from its amazing flavor, one of the best parts about it is its simplicity. This simplicity allows it to be easily modified and, sometimes, improved.
Here are some add-in suggestions:
Here are a few foolproof variations:
For a super simple variation, add some frozen peas and some shredded kale to the pasta pot before it’s fully cooked. It adds some more healthy veggies and some sweetness. Eating mac and cheese and eating your greens at the same time? Absolutely!
You can also add some butternut squash to the sauce before blending. It’s a perfect add-on for fall (or any time of the year!). Just bake the pumpkin and add one cup of it to the blender before pulsing. It will be creamier and way sweeter!
For something classic, you could add some vegan parm on top after serving to make it extra cheesy.
I can tell you right now, you’ll absolutely want to devour this mac and cheese and soon as you stir that cheese sauce in! And you’re welcome to do so.
It’s delicious un-baked, but baking this mac gives it that extra vegan casserole style wow-factor. You can turn this simple vegan mac and cheese into a full-blown Sunday family affair when you bake it.
Just pop it in a baking dish, add a mix of 1 cup of bread crumbs, your spices of choice and if you want, ½ cup of nutritional yeast or our chipotle vegan parmesan on top. Bake in a 350 degrees oven and cook for about 20 minutes (take a peek every now and then in case the top gets too brown!) And…ready!
If you’re hosting a vegan dinner party, a cute idea would be to place the mac and cheese in individual ramekins and bake them as single portions. Place them in a lovely rustic ceramic dish with a pretty neutral napkin for an informal dinner party. So cute! Or use the ramekins for a kids lunch and place some sneaky broccoli on the side. Surely, it will make the veggies look more attractive!
This baked vegan mac and cheese would be perfect for meal prep! Bake it on a Sunday and divide it into portions for the week ahead. Or you could even freeze it to eat in a hurry on a busy day.
Don’t skip the turmeric: This recipe has that perfect color all thanks to the turmeric! This little Indian ochre spice is so healthy and wonderful. Apart from many incredible health benefits, turmeric has a strong tint that gives food (and clothing!) a beautiful golden color. Beware, it stains a lot, but it’s so worth it!
Use a high-speed blender: This is the best way to get a super silky smooth sauce. If you don’t have a high speed blender, soak the cashews in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain and add to your blender. Note that even with soaking, it may not be a perfectly smooth consistency. That’s ok! It will still taste amazing!
Vegan Baked Mac & Cheese Recipe and photos by Michelle Cehn, copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved.