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Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Can you guess my favorite food?

So creamy and cheesy, this recipe might be the healthiest macaroni and cheese in the world. I've made it three times already... it is awesome!

Macaroni and cheese.

Okay maybe it’s my second favorite, after chocolate. But seriously, if you served me vegan macaroni and cheese every night for dinner, you’d never hear me complain. Not once. It is my #1 comfort food of choice, and many of my childhood holiday dinners went something like this:

  • Christmas Eve: Family eats lobster. Katie eats macaroni and cheese.
  • New Year’s Day: Family eats pork. Katie eats macaroni and cheese.
  • Easter: Family eats pink ham.

Katie eats…

macaroni casserole


It was probably the single most difficult food to give up when I went vegan, and as a former cheese-lover with very high standards, I’ve tried some pretty lousy vegan macaroni and cheese substitutes over the years.

Such as the mock-n-cheese from The Squeeze Food Truck.

However, I’ve also tried some really good vegan mac and cheese recipes! For example, Soul Vegetarian Café in Washington DC makes a vegan macaroni and cheese so authentic you will swear you’re eating the real thing.

vegan macaroni and cheese

When my friend Dreena sent me a copy of her new cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan, the healthy macaroni and cheese recipe, entitled “Mac Oh Geez,” was first to catch my eye, and even though it sounded complicated, I knew I’d have to try it.

It was well worth the effort! I’m not going to say this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe tastes exactly like real mac and cheese, but it’s just as good in its own right—creamy, cheesy, and comforting. I’ve now made the vegan mac and cheese three times and was even brave enough to serve it for Thanksgiving. (Remember this picture of my Thanksgiving dinner?)

No tofu, no cheese substitutes!

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Print This Recipe 4.8/5


  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups dry cut pasta (ex: macaroni, penne) (about 10 oz)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews (see “nutrition facts” link below for a nut-free version)
  • 1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp (rounded) dry mustard
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (preferably: unsweetened almond or soymilk)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • For breadcrumb topping:
  • 3/4 to 1 1/4 cups dry whole-grain breadcrumbs (See “nutritional info” link below, for gluten-free option)
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Couple pinches sea salt


Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Recipe: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Throw pasta into a deep pot of boiling salted water. While pasta is cooking, blend all sauce ingredients (ingredients 2-11) in a blender or in a deep bowl with an immersion blender. Once pasta is almost tender, fully drain (don’t rinse). Mix noodles with sauce, and immediately pour into a lightly oiled 8 x 12” baking dish. (It will look like there is a lot of runny sauce – it will thicken up, trust the pasta!) Mix breadcrumb toppings in a small bowl, then sprinkle over top of casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 17-18 minutes. Then, remove foil cover and bake another 5-7 minutes or until topping is golden brown and crisped. Don’t overbake or sauce will get too thick. Remove from oven and place vegan macaroni and cheese casserole on a hot plate (rather than on top of oven, since residual heat from oven will continue to thicken the sauce). Serve! For troubleshooting, substitutions, and nutrition information, see the following link:

*View Vegan Mac and Cheese Nutrition Facts*

healthy mac and cheese

Did you have any favorite childhood comfort foods?

Without a doubt, my grandmother’s macaroni and cheese casserole was my favorite thing to eat when I was younger. But I also loved mashed sweet potatoes, hot chocolate, and basically any kind of spaghetti or pasta. Still do!

4.8/5 (5)

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Published on December 9, 2012

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

Learn more about Katie

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  1. nancy seaver says

    Wow, am I glad I found this website through Pinterest. Best collections I’ve seen of delectable foods. Can’t single out anything as it all looks scrumptious. I know my partner will thank you too when I start following the recipes. Thanks

  2. Gregg Williams says

    I thought I had a good vegan mac and cheese but this recipe is 100% better. Rich and creamy ……delicious!! Oh my gosh Miss Chocolate Covered Katie I am in love with you!!

  3. Tanya says

    I found you by searching for best vegan Mac n cheese w/o yeast or soy. I have to admit this is my go-to recipe. I have probably made 10 times over the last year or more! I recently made enchiladas and the cheese sauce with yeast was so gross that I threw it out and made this cheese instead and just used less liquid. The black bean enchiladas were great and the cheese ones even better!!! You are my hero! Next up, avocado bites and no bake cookies!

  4. Ashley says

    Amazing!!! Even though I think I baked it for a minute too long (still getting used to my new oven…I baked for 16 minutes, uncovered it then another 5) and the flavor is still soooo good! I can’t wait for my hubby to try it! 🙂 I had to do a few substitutes due (1 1/4 cups of cashews and no brail nuts because I could not find those) and I used minced garlic in a jar because I could not find fresh garlic in my grocery store. Also used italian bread crumbs because that is what I had on hand. I think it would be even better with regular, but it is still amazing and a keeper recipe!

  5. Ceri Dodd says

    I have tried several vegan mac n cheese recipes with no success. I made this recipe tonight, gluten free, and it was a huge success in the family. Clean plates all around. So tasty – and I was even happier that no nutritional yeast was needed as we’re not fans of that. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!!!

  6. Veronika says

    This receipe did not work out for me at all… I had to throw the whole dish away it turned out so bad (flavor-wise). I have made other vegan mac and cheeses that i have enjoyed but i couldn’t force mysel to eat this… Maybe it was the brazil nuts?

  7. Missy says

    This is a great recipe – it pleased the adults and children alike! My one question is: why does yours have a yellow color? Did you add nutritional yeast to the one you show in the picture, like the nut free version suggests? I highly recommend this recipe to others; it won’t disappoint! Thanks, Katie, for another winner recipe that I actually feel good about seeing my kids dig into! 🙂



  8. Kathryn says

    My kids (4yrs and 2 yrs old) really liked this pasta dish. I found it to be bland but easily edible. Still, it’s the best plant based Mac n cheese I’ve found so far (4th recipe I’ve tried). It will be a good one to work into the rotation just to get some more nuts into the kids, so thanks!



  9. Jules says

    Katie, this was a fabulous mac n cheese recipe! My new go to from now on! Yum! Thank you Katie for your hard work! I bought your book! I love it! So beautiful! x Jules



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