If you’re looking for the best vegan mac and cheese out there, look no further! This one is super creamy and tasty, you’d never think it is secretly healthy. And it comes without any bad health consequences.
The one single food item that keeps vegetarians (or even meat eaters, for that matter) from going vegan is almost always the cheese.
We love it so much, we don’t just put it on the pizza – we actually put it inside the crust! And we were both no exception from the rule. Cheese was the biggest reason why our transition to a fully vegan diet took us so long.
We simply couldn’t imagine a life without a block of solidified dairy milk.
It wasn’t before we learned just how much cruelty was behind this food and that it consists of 70-80% artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. Many types of cheese are made with rennet, which is an enzyme that comes from a calves’ stomach lining. So technically, your cheese might not even be vegetarian. It is also likely to be crawling with bacteria and might have been sprayed with mold, especially the slimy cheeses.
What really made us reconsider things was the fact that there is an allowance of somatic cells and pus in every glass of milk. The average somatic cell count in U.S. milk per spoonful is 1,120,000. The fact that milk cows have to be impregnated regularly in order to actually give milk and that their new-born calves will never taste their mother’s milk is just heartbreaking.
So in order to make veganism tasty and very healthy for you, we decided to come up with an easy and delicious vegan mac and cheese recipe that’s made with mostly staple foods that you likely have laying around somewhere. Won’t believe it?
Beautiful Pictures made by Logan Inc
We tasted vegan cheeses before. Many different brands. And we could never get over the artificial taste or the high fat and salt content, so these were not an option for us. But fortunately, there’s a very inexpensive and tasty alternative to sprinkle on your food in order to make it cheesy: nutritional yeast. This food item is also known as the “vegan crack” because a lot of us are likely to be sprinkling it on every dish we’re about to eat.
But it’s still not the same as a creamy cheese sauce. So how did we do it? Instead of using copious amounts of olive or coconut oil like similar recipes suggest, we decided to use veggies as a base. When we don’t have any nuts around, we even make the sauce with veggies alone!
But since we wanted to give you the advanced and even more irresistible version, this recipe does include some nuts. If you can’t or don’t want to have them though, just omit them. And when it comes to your pasta, don’t just limit yourself to macaroni! You can use penne, spaghetti, farfalle, whatever you have in your house.
And since we’re known to be sneaking some more veggies into our meals for an extra boost of antioxidants and micronutrients, we decided to also add some broccoli. It also makes for some nice color and extra texture! If you have picky kids or grown-ups, feel free to leave out the broccoli. The sauce already has some veggies in it!
Okay so let’s get right into this goodness because who isn’t excited for some pasta? This quick and delicious comfort food will be super creamy and can be made within 15 minutes if you have pre-cooked potatoes on hand.
Feel free to share with us in the comment below if you liked our vegan mac and cheese and also rate our recipe. You can also tag us on Instagram if you made it or Pin for later!
- 7 oz dry whole-grain macaroni (200 g)
- 7 oz broccoli florets (200 g)
- 2 medium-sized potatoes, cooked and chopped
- ½ medium-sized carrot, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes (65 g)
- ¾ cup water (180 ml)
- ¼ cup soy milk (60 ml)
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- dash of paprika
- dash of cayenne
- Get a medium-sized pot and cook your pasta according to package instructions. 5 minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli florets.
- Once the pasta is al dente and the broccoli soft with a little crunch, drain and set aside.
Make the Cheese Sauce
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a small pot over medium and add the onion, garlic and carrot. Sautée in some water or vegetable broth until softened, then add the cooked potatoes to warm them up for a few minutes.
- Place all of the ingredients for the easy vegan cheese sauce into a high-speed blender jar and blend until smooth.
Assemble the Pasta
- Transfer the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli into a large bowl and add all of the tasty cheesy sauce on top.
- Mix everything with a spoon to distribute evenly so all of the pasta is coated with some sauce. Enjoy warm!
- You can replace the soy milk with any other plant-based milk.
- Any kind of pasta will work for this recipe.
- Instead of cashews, you can use blanched almonds. If you don't have a good blender, feel free to add some almond or cashew butter to the potato mixture.
- To make the sauce creamier, add more plant-based fats like coconut milk or nuts.
- If you're allergic to nuts, simply omit them or use seed-based butter instead.
- If you want this dish to be lower in calories and more weight-loss friendly, you can skip the cashews entirely.
- You can add some white beans to the sauce, replacing some or even all of the potatoes, to make this meal higher in plant-based protein.
- If you or your family isn't keen on the broccoli, choose another vegetable or omit entirely.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 987mg Carbohydrates: 65g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 18g