12 Prize-Worthy Mac and Cheese Dishes That are Totally Vegan

Mac and Cheese Dishes That are Totally Vegan

12 ways to celebrate National Macaroni Day in true, plant-based style. via 12 Prize-Worthy Mac and Cheese Dishes That are Totally Vegan

One thing we can all agree on is that the most popular macaroni dish is mac and cheese. There is probably no dish that comes to mind more than mac and cheese whenever we think of comfort food. Many of us grew up with the kind that came in the little blue boxes. Sure, we loved it but the best mac and cheese is the one you make yourself at home.12 Prize-Worthy Mac and Cheese Dishes That are Totally Vegan

But you don’t need envelope of powdered cheese, bricks of processed fake cheese or any dairy products at all to make the creamiest, cheesiest, most decadent vegan macaroni and cheese you ever tasted.

Check out all the tips and tricks in How to Make the Most Decadent Mac and Cheese and How to Make Creamy, Rich Sauces Without Dairy.

It’s important to cook the macaroni correctly too. Read Pasta: How to Avoid 8 Common Cooking Mistakes.

Then put on your macaroni necklace and make any of these 10 prize-worthy mac and cheese dishes plus a few extra cheese sauce recipes that are totally vegan. Don’t forget to take pictures of them to put in your macaroni frames!

1. Green Chili Mac and Cheese

Green Chili Vegan Mac and Cheese


This Green Chili Mac and Cheese is insane. The sauce is made with potatoes, cashews and cauliflower plus green chiles to kick up the spices. You’ll love this sauce no matter what you put it on.

2. Smoky Vegan Mac and Cheese


It’s astonishing how many ways mac and cheese can be prepared without using a single ounce of dairy and still taste incredibly filling and delicious. This Smoky Vegan Mac and Cheese made with cauliflower, cashews and marinated mushrooms is perfect example of such dairy-free decadence.

3. Spicy Vegan Cheese Sauce


If you like your cheese sauce to have a kick, make this Spicy Vegan Cheese Sauce. Cashew-based and spiced with chipotle pepper, this sauce would liven up any macaroni dish.

4. Cashew Mac and Cheese Bread Bowl


This Cashew Mac and Cheese Bread Bowl is your new favorite dish. Really. This mac and cheese is covered in a decadent cashew-based sauce and has lots of green veggies in it. But the best part is that you can eat the bowl – more deliciousness and less dishes to wash!

Dairy Free Sugar Free / Low Sugar Vegan

For the bread bowls :

1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup warm water
2 cups of bread flour, plus extra for kneading
For the ‘cheese’ sauce:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight or at least a few hours
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable stock
pinch of white pepper
1/4 tsp miso (optional)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
For everything else:

1 cup of macaroni or similar pasta shapes
1/2 cup broccoli florets, cut small
1/4 cup frozen peas

For the bread bowls:

the water, sugar, yeast and olive oil in a jug and whisk together. Leave to stand for a few minutes until it becomes frothy.
In a large bowl, sieve in 2 cups of flour and mix the salt through.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients a bit at a time into a well in the middle of the flour, mixing with your hands until it begins to make a soft dough ball, but not too sticky.

Cover the bowl in a tea towel and leave to rise in a draught-free area for about 30-40 minutes until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and tip out the dough. Punch the air out of the dough and continue to knead it for about 10 minutes until it begins to get stretchy.

Divide the dough into four even balls and place on a baking sheet. Set aside and allow them to rise for a further 30 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 400F/200C/Gas mark 6. Before placing the bread in the oven you can brush them with a little non-dairy milk to make them crisp up more. Bake the bread for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

For the cheese sauce:

Add the cashews to a blender with the garlic powder, mustard, miso (if using), pepper, lemon juice and a few tablespoons of the stock. Allow the blender to run, adding a little more stock if needed to get everything running.

The power of your blender will determine how long it takes for your sauce to become smooth paste; less powerful blenders may take up to 10 minutes. Be careful your machine does not overheat though! And remember to scrape down the sides every so often.

When the mixture is smooth, stir in the remaining stock. Don’t worry if it looks a bit thin, you can always reduce it down or add a little water if it’s too thick. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste.

For everything else:

Boil the pasta shapes until al-dente (about 9 minutes or according to package instructions). Boil the broccoli for about 3 minutes, then add the peas to the pot and boil for a further three.
Add the vegetables in with the pasta and stir through the cashew cheese sauce. Cut the tops off the bread bowls and remove the soft bread inside (you can use this to make breadcrumbs which you can freeze!). Scoop a ladle full of mac and cheese into the bread bowls and serve.

5. Cheesy Vegan Mac n’ Yeast


Step away from the blue box. It doesn’t get easier than this Cheesy Vegan Mac n’ Yeast. When you want something creamy and comforting without doing a lot of work, this favorite dish comes together quickly and easily.

6. Extra Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese


This Extra Creamy Mac and Cheese is the ultimate vegan mac and cheese. The sauce is made with carrots, onions, and potatoes plus nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor. Coconut milk makes it extra creamy.

Dairy Free Nut Free Vegan

4 – 6
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (1 1/2 cups/ 240g)
1 cup carrot, cut into 1/2 inch rounds (130g)
1/4 yellow onion, diced (1/2 cup/ 65g)
2 cups water (470ml)
1/2 cup Earth Balance spread (72g)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (40g)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt (6g)
3 tablespoons coconut milk (45ml)
3 turns fresh black pepper
1 box (8 oz. / 227g) gluten free pasta (Garden Pagodas quinoa pasta by Ancient Harvest is my fave), or regular elbows.
Parsley for garnish

Cheese Sauce

Place potato, carrot and onion in a pan,cover with 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
After 20 minutes, turn off heat and add Earth Balance spread, nutritional yeast, turmeric and salt. Stir to combine until melted.

Pour mixture into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, about a minute on medium. You may need to scrape the sides down from the blender a couple of times for everything to get incorporated.
Add coconut milk to the blender and continue to blend until mixture is creamy throughout.

Leave in the blender for now.


Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
Strain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop from cooking. Return to pan.
Turn heat on very low and pour cheese sauce over pasta.
Add black pepper and stir to combine.
Turn off heat and serve.
Garnish with parsley.

7. Fat-Free Vegan Cheese Sauce


Who says that you need dairy, loads of fat and tons of sodium to make a cheesy sauce for mac and cheese? Not only is this Cheese Sauce totally vegan, but made with zucchini and Yukon potatoes, it’s also , fat-free and nut-free.

8. Baked Vegan Macaroni & Cheese


This Baked Macaroni & Cheese has just the right amount of a healthy touch. It’s and dairy-free but packed with flavor and creamy goodness. The crunchy bread crumbs on top are just bonus.

9. Very Vegan Mac N’ Cheeze


If you miss mac and cheese, this Very Vegan Mac N’ Cheeze will make you feel better. It’s a slightly spicy, flavorful, much healthier recreation of the classic dish. It’s filled with healthy and delicious ingredients just waiting to be gobbled up.

Dairy Free Kid-FriendlyVegan

12 ounces gluten-free pasta elbows
1 cup unsweetened milk substitute of choice (we’ve used hemp, almond, and walnut-all delicious!)
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tahini
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Gluten-free pasta, especially when brown rice based, tends to absorb more water than normal, so be sure to add extra water to the pot before boiling; it usually takes a few extra minutes for GF pasta to reach the al dente stage, too. And be sure to add a little salt to the water before boiling- it flavors the pasta.

As pasta cooks, combine the raw cashews and nut milk in a blender or food processor. I never soak mine before hand- I prefer the slightly thicker sauce that results from not soaking them in this recipe.
Once combined, add the rest of the ingredients. Yup, all of ‘em.
(Told you this recipe was easy!)

Blend until combined. Set aside.

Once pasta is al dente (literally meaning “to the bite”; leave a little texture in that pasta! Don’t boil it into mushy submission.), strain, rinse, and put it back into the pot. Pour in the cheeze sauce, using a wooden spoon to gently toss and coat the pasta.

Turn the burner back onto low and continue to cook the pasta and cheeze sauce together about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens to the noodles.

Serve with a garnish of fresh basil or cilantro, avocado, or a little hot sauce for the best grown- up vegan mac’ n cheeze you can imagine.

To reheat, simply warm the pasta in a pan with a little non-dairy milk, stirring ’til creamy.
Saves well in a refrigerated space for about a week.

10. Cheeze ‘Burger’ Mac


Why choose between a burger or mac and cheese when you can have both in one fabulous dish! This Cheeze “Burger” Mac has creamy, delicious and comforting mac and cheese with ground tempeh burger crumbles on top for the perfect combo of two classic dishes.

11. Mac ‘N Squash


You can have comfort food that is satisfying and healthy. This Mac ‘N Squash has a sauce made of pumpkin puree. You get all the beta-carotene, all the creamy sauciness and all the deliciousness in one good-for-you dish.

12. Grilled “Cheesy Mac n’ Rib Pizza”


This “Cheesy Mac n’ Rib” Pizza is covered in macaroni and cheese. Yes, you read that right: ooey-gooey macaroni and cheese on a pizza plus caramelized onions and BBQ seitan. We haven’t stopped drooling yet.

There is no better way to celebrate National Macaroni Day then to dress those noodles up in a creamy, delicious, dairy-free cheesy sauce.

Lead Image Photo: Cashew Mac and Cheese Bread Bowl