This Vegan Mac and Cheese without cashews is the ultimate comfort food and guaranteed to be your new favourite recipe. It’s made without nuts, there’s no blending required, and it all happens in one pot! Prepare your taste buds for the best creamy vegan mac.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- No appliances required! Most vegan cheese sauce recipes require a high-speed blender to blend ingredients like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cashews into a creamy sauce. I wanted to make a simple vegan mac and cheese recipe that was as simple and easily accessible as possible. All you need for this recipe is a few simple ingredients, 1 large pot and a stovetop!
- Made in one pot. This entire recipe comes together in 1 pot. No draining the pasta needed – easy to make and easy to cleanup!
- Tastes just like traditional mac! I’ve had a lot of vegan mac and cheese since going vegan, but this recipe is my absolute favourite! It has the best, velvety sauce and is truly the perfect vegan mac and is the base recipe for most of our vegan macaroni and cheese recipes on the blog!
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Macaroni – I like to use macaroni pasta to make this one pot vegan mac and cheese most similar to the boxed mac and cheese I grew up eating as a kid. If preferred, you can substitute another short-cut pasta. Avoid using long pasta such as spaghetti or angel hair.
- Dijon mustard – Mustard adds the perfect level of tanginess and flavour complexity. It truly adds so much to the cheesy sauce!
- Nutritional yeast – If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast, it is a seasoning that is packed with minerals and B vitamins. It’s the perfect seasoning for vegan macaroni because it has a natural cheesy flavour to it.
- Tahini – This is an essential ingredient in this recipe that adds creaminess and thickens the mac and cheese sauce into the perfect thick and creamy consistency. Do not sub the tahini out for anything – there’s nothing that can replace it in the same way.
- Lemon juice – A small squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds an acidity that balances the rich creaminess. I haven’t tested it, but a small splash of apple cider vinegar may work as a substitute!
How to Make Vegan Mac and Cheese without Cashews
- Cook the pasta. Add the macaroni to a large pot along with the water, dijon mustard, salt and garlic powder. Bring to a light boil, stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom. Cook until the pasta is tender, al dente, and the liquid is absorbed. If it starts to become sticky, you can add in some extra splashes of water. Depending on the brand of pasta you use, you may need up to 1 cup.
- Make the mac and cheese sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the unsweetened plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, tahini, and lemon juice.
- Stir in the mac and cheese sauce. Once the pasta is cooked, add in the sauce. At first it will look soup-y, but after a couple of minutes it will thicken and become extra creamy.
- Stir in the shredded vegan cheese. Continue to stir until the cheesy is fully melted.
- Season and serve. Finally, season the vegan mac and cheese with black pepper to taste, then serve immediately as desired.
Ideas for Serving
You can’t go wrong with enjoying a big bowl of this vegan mac and cheese as a quick lunch or hearty dinner, but you can even serve this mac and cheese as a side dish. Here are some of our favourite main dishes to serve alongside this vegan mac and cheese sauce:
- Hot “Honey” Dijon BBQ Crispy Tofu Bites
- Maple BBQ Fried Halloumi
- Vegan BBQ Pulled Pork
- Soft & Buttery Vegan Cornbread Loaf
- Vegan Chili Heat Sausage Pretzel Bites
- Glazed Spiced Carrots
How to Store
Leftover cooked pasta can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freezing leftovers is not recommended – doing so would change texture of the vegan cheese sauce and is not optimal.
Reheat any leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through. If the cheese sauce has thickened, feel free to add an additional splash of non-dairy milk to loosen it up again.
What plant milk is best for mac and cheese?
For the best vegan mac and cheese, we recommend using a creamy plant-based milk. Our personal favourites are almond milk or soy milk, but you can use coconut milk, oat milk, or cashew milk. The most important thing is to make sure your milk is unsweetened. If it is sweet at all, it will ruin the flavor of your creamy sauce.
Is velveeta vegan?
No, velveeta is derived from dairy and is not vegan. The best vegan substitute is a shredded vegan cheddar cheese.
Can I make this vegan mac and cheese gluten-free?
If you prefer to make this vegan mac and cheese gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta in place of the wheat-based macaroni. Every other ingredient in this recipe is naturally gluten-free and safe to eat! It is important to note, however, that not all gluten-free pasta cooks the same and some may hold up better than others. For best results, we recommend using a brown rice pasta.
Similar Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipes to Try Next
- Vegan Queso Mac n’ Cheese
- Liv’s Famous One Pot Mac & Cheese
- Vegan Buffalo Chick’n Mac & Cheese
- Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
- Instant Pot Veggie Macaroni
- Pumpkin Sage Mac & Grilled Cheese
I recently added a video tutorial for this recipe to my tik tok – click here to watch and make sure to follow me so you don’t miss any new recipes!
♡ PS: for more easy and delicious vegan recipes, check out my cookbook Liv B’s Vegan on a Budget!Print