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vegan mac and cheese in a bowl

Easy Vegan Mac & Cheese

The BEST vegan mac and cheese recipe with a deliciously creamy vegan cheese sauce! This easy vegan mac and cheese can be made in a few simple steps, has a hint of spice and will be your new favorite plant based comfort food.

Course Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword easy vegan mac and cheese, the best vegan mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese recipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 470 kcal
Author Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped (you can deseed if you are sensitive to spice)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound shell (Conchiglie) pasta* (or any kind of gluten free pasta you’d like!)
  • To garnish:
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. *To make the cashew cheese sauce: soak the cashews in 4 cups of water for at least 2 hours; otherwise I've found that you can easily speed up the process by adding the raw cashews to a pot with water and placing over high heat. Bring water to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat; let the cashews sit for 30-45 minutes in the warm water, then drain.

  2. Once the cashews have finished soaking you'll be ready to make the sauce: add drained cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, almond milk, jalapeno, turmeric, paprika, onion powder, dijon mustard, salt and black pepper to a high powered blender. Blend until a thick sauce comes together. If you want a thinner sauce, add a bit more almond milk. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

  3. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, until they are al dente. Drain noodles, then add back to pot and stir in your cashew cheese sauce. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper.

Recipe Notes

To make gluten free: feel free to use a gluten free pasta if you’d like.

If you’d like to add in broccoli, you can boil 3-4 cups of raw broccoli florets with the pasta.

If you want to add peas to the recipe, you can stir in ¾-1 cup frozen peas to the pasta once you add in the cheese sauce. Give them a few minutes and they should defrost right in the pot with the mac and cheese.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Mac & Cheese
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (based on 6))
Calories 470 Calories from Fat 142
% Daily Value*
Fat 15.8g24%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Carbohydrates 66.3g22%
Fiber 5.7g24%
Sugar 3.5g4%
Protein 16.7g33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.