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Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


Try this creamy vegan mac and cheese recipe, made with all whole foods! A luscious cashew sauce blankets tender noodles, creating cozy pasta comfort food that everyone will love.



For the mac and cheese

  • 1 1/4 cups raw unsalted whole cashews
  • 1 cup peeled, finely diced sweet potato (about 6 oz) or peeled sliced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 15-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional, for color)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 ounces small elbow macaroni (2 3/4 cups small elbows)

For the breadcrumb topping (optional)

  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. If making baked mac and cheese, preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Place the cashews and sweet potato* or carrot in a pot on the stovetop and cover with 2 inches water. Bring to a boil, then boil for 15 minutes (if using carrots, add them after the first 5 minutes).  Drain the cashews and carrots in a strainer. 
  3. Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with water and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Boil the pasta until al dente, then drain it and return to the pot or a baking dish. (If it finishes before the sauce, add a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking.)
  4. If making the breadcrumb topping, melt the butter in a small skillet, then add the panko garlic powder, smoked paprika, and kosher salt and stir. Toast until lightly browned, stirring often, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  5. Once the cashews and sweet potato are cooked and drained, place them in the bowl of a high speed blender. Add the drained artichokes, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, butter, and water. Blend on high until creamy and fully combined into a smooth sauce. 
  6. Stir the sauce into the noodles in the pot or a baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs if desired, and serve immediately. For baked mac and cheese (best flavor), place the mac and cheese in a baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 15 minutes and serve warm. 
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Vegan mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese recipe