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One Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese without Cashews


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

  1. 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.
  2. Make the mac and cheese sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the unsweetened plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, tahini, and lemon juice.
  3. 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.
  4. Stir in the shredded vegan cheese. Continue to stir until the cheesy is fully melted.
  5. 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:

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.

Recipe FAQs

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

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!

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Vegan Mac and Cheese without Cashews Recipe

  • Author: Liv B


This Vegan Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food and guaranteed to be your new favourite recipe. It’s made without cashews, there’s no blending required, and it all happens in one pot! Prepare your taste buds for the best creamy vegan mac.


  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder (if you really like garlic add 1/2 tsp)


  • 1/2 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheese
  • pepper to taste


  1. To a large/medium pot, add macaroni, water, dijon, salt and garlic powder and stir well. Bring to a light boil, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick. Cook until liquid is absorbed and pasta is cooked. If it starts getting sticky, you can add some splashes of extra water. Different brands of pasta may require more or less water, so have that extra 1 cup on hand to add in gradually just in case.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together the almond milk, nutritional yeast, tahini and lemon juice until creamy.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, add the sauce, vegan cheese and pepper and stir until cheese melts. Enjoy!



  1. Really easy to make! So cheesy hehe.
    I would recommend using “white” tahini, I’ve tried semi-whole and it was a bit too bitter.
    Other than that, it was really good! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Our favorite mac n cheese recipe ever 😋 we make it almost once a week!! Tastes delicious with v cheddar or (my daughter’s fav) v mozzarella shreds 🤤

  2. Your Mac and cheese recipe is the best thing since sliced bread – you are so innovative!! Will be my go to, as have been so many of your other recipes. Much love from a fellow Canadian!

  3. This is so delicious and easy. I didn’t think it would taste good based on how it smelled. It also took a while to boil down the liquid but maybe because I used a gluten free pasta. I used some flax and coconut milk instead of almond. It is fantastic! Thank you!

    • Yes, I had the same issue. I made it twice with regular pasta and the 3 cups was fine. I tried making it with gluten free pasta and next time, I will definitely lessen the water.

  4. Just made this a few days ago…so easy and delicious! I love that my blender was not involved 🙂

  5. Hi,
    Looks awesome, but what kind of vegan cheese did you use? I don’t usually use those, so don’t know what would work.

  6. Hands down the best Vegan Mac I have ever made!! Liv your recipes make me so excited to make food because I know it will also turn out delicious. 11/10 will make again!! Thank you!

  7. Absolutely loved this. Super easy! My non-vegan boyfriend loved this too. I highly recommend. The best Mac n cheese I’ve had in a while!

  8. This is by far the best vegan mac n cheese I have ever made, let alone tasted! Traditional mac n cheese used to be my favorite guilty pleasure dish and since becoming vegan I have tried MANY versions of boxed and homemade. This was so quick, so easy, one pot ( you can’t beat that), NO BLENDER and sooo delicious! I used violife cheddar cheese slices since that’s what I had on hand and I just took a knife and sliced it as if it were shreds. That worked perfectly! Thanks liv for this awesome recipe! 🙂

  9. Is it 2 cups cooked or 2 cups uncooked macaroni?

  10. I don’t have tahini, so what would be a good replacer for it? Would sesame oil work? Or peanut butter?

    • Definitely not sesame oil as the tahini is for creaminess. I would say your best bet is cashew butter! Peanut butter would make it taste like peanut mac and cheese!

  11. So delicious and simple to make! I really enjoyed not having to blend. I served it with steamed broccoli :^)

  12. I just made this tonight. I love how adaptable your recipes are! I used oat milk instead of almond and added a touch of hot sauce and paprika. We topped with panko for texture and baked for 25 mins … even my picky 9 year old loved this! I used a package of Daiya American slices and sliced them very thin.

    • This recipe is hands down the best mac n cheese recipe I’ve tried. I’ve made it a at least dozen times. I’m not crazy about fake cheese so I actually leave it out and my family still loves it. The best part is how easy it is!

  13. Thanks Liv B for this Recipe ! It was delicious ! Definitely will make again and again.

  14. Wow – I don’t normally leave comments or reviews for recipes but for this recipe I just have to. I am not vegan or even vegetarian, just looking for ways to reduce meat and dairy consumption to start out. This mac and cheese is SO GOOD!! I think I’m going to make this my go to for mac and cheese because it’s so easy to make, plus it taste so real. Even the boyfriend liked it! I just purchased the cookbook because I need more of these kinds of recipes.

  15. Wow, this Mac & Cheese recipe is amazing. I made it two days in a row, already memorizing the recipe. You can adjust the flavors as you please. I used only 1/4 tsp garlic powder and less lemon juice the second time. I will definitely make this more times in the future. Liv B has the best recipes!

  16. I just cannot get over how easy and delicious this recipe is! I am super excited to pick up your cookbook this weekend. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipes. Keep shining

  17. I’m not vegan but dairy and gluten intolerant. I cannot recall the last time I had mac and cheese. This recipe was super easy and fast and I had everything in my pantry and fridge. I did need more water for the gluten free macaroni and I accidentally put in too much tahini but I added some green peas and some real bacon. It was delish! I will for certain make this again.

    Keep up with the great recipes! I have loved everything I have made. I also bought your cookbook.

  18. This is the best mac and cheese recipe I’ve had so far in my three years being vegan!!!! It’s incredible. ❤️❤️

  19. How many servings does this make? Excited to try it!

    • About 4 servings! Although it depends how much mac and cheese you like to eat at once 😉

    • Made this it was so quick and easy, it beats soaking and blending. I also added red capsicum and spinach at the end
      Thanks again 😊

  20. This truly is the BEST mac and cheese! Thank you so much!!

  21. Yeah so this was my first mac and cheese ever, never had any before going vegan but this was just ridiculously good and easy. Great, great recipe! ???

  22. Yeah so this was my first mac and cheese ever, never had any before going vegan but this was just ridiculously good and easy. Great, great recipe ???

  23. Anele Msweli

    What a delicious Mac & Cheese! I had all except one ingredient in my cupboard!!! I substituted tahini with sesame oil and since I am vegetarian, I used mozzarella! Divine!! I will be making this again soon!

  24. Absolutely love this recipe! Can you substitute tahini for hummus?

  25. I made this today and let me tell you how easy and delicious it is love it so much thanks!

  26. I really appreciate this recipe doesn’t require soaking cashews, boiling potatoes, or any other time-consuming thing!
    This is so tasty, and so simple. It’s my second time making it and it’s still so delicious. I by accidentally left the pasta boiling on high heat, so it was already cooked before the water was absorbed. Instead of using soy/almond milk in the sauce, I used the leftover pasta water for the sauce and it worked just fine! So creamy and decadent. Thank you Liv!

  27. Liv… this is so tasty!! Easy and delicious for when I don’t have cashews on hand. I like to add some cooked vegetables and toast ritz crackers on top for extra texture. Thanks!

  28. hands down the best mac and cheese… vegan or not! i make this weekly!

  29. Christine Gaillard

    The last time I’ve had mac & cheese was probably over 15 years ago in my pre-vegetarian days. It’s so ooey gooey good! You hit it right on the nail with this old time favorite.

  30. Nicole McClenahan

    Make this allllll the time!! Make sure to get both of her cookbooks- they are the books most often used in our home! <3

  31. This might be the best vegan mac and cheese I have ever made! So easy and delicious! This will be my go-to recipe!

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