Dairy-free mac and cheese has been something I’ve been wanting to try since I first became a vegan. There are a BILLION different ways to make it; some use nutritional yeast, some cashews, some potatoes. There were so many recipes out there that I literally just typed “best vegan mac and cheese” into Pinterest and clicked on the first one that popped up. The recipe I chose seemed to be a pretty popular one, so much so that I had a hard time finding its original origin. It also didn’t use nutritional yeast, which was both surprising and exciting. Nutritional yeast is often used in recipes to mimic the flavor of cheese. Personally, I can’t stand the smell, so I was happy I didn’t have to use it.

I was curious to see if the mac and cheese could get the cheesy flavor without it, and I was pleasantly surprised. The recipe turned out to be AMAZING and was very close in flavor to regular mac and cheese. I used Banza pasta for my mac. Their pasta is chickpea-based and has a low glycemic index, so it doesn’t spike my blood sugar. It’s also delicious!

Note: I used about a quarter amount of the breadcrumbs the recipe called for. I might consider two slices instead of four.

(Photo: Shaney Wacks)

Vegan Mac and Cheese

From This is vegan by Alisa Marie


  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons + ⅓ cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ⅓ cup onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika


  1. In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  4. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, ⅓ cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9×12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.


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