Go Back
+ servings
the best easy vegan mac and cheese (gluten-free)

Best Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese (and gluten-free too!). This is the only mac and cheese recipe you'll ever need. It's creamy and comforting, ultra cheesy and velvety smooth. Full of cheesy flavour and stringy consistency that's so comparable to the real stuff. And it can be made in less than 20 minutes. I've served mine on chickpea pasta with fried sage for a truly gourmet mac and cheese.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 777kcal
Author Hannah Sunderani


For the mac and cheese sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight, or at least 1 hour)
  • 2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 lemon , juiced
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (or you can use tapioca starch)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2-1 cup reserved pasta water (optional to thin)

For the pasta

  • 4-5 cups chickpea pasta (or pasta of choice)
  • 10-12 sage leaves
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • sea salt and pepper , to sprinkle


  • Strain raw cashews and add to blender with almond milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, lemon, arrowroot powder and turmeric. Blend on high for 1 minute, or until smooth and combined.
  • Transfer liquid to saucepan and bring to medium heat. Warm cheese sauce stirring often with a whisk, until it thickens to desired consistency (about 10 minutes).
  • Meanwhile add chickpea pasta to boiling water. Cook for 3-6 minutes, or until just al-dente. Place a large heat-proof bowl in sink and strain pasta, catching some of the reserved pasta water in the bowl. Add pasta back to pot.
  • Pour cheese sauce overtop pasta and gently fold to combine. Option to add splashed reserved pasta water to thin mac and cheese if you find it too thick. (I used about 1/2 cup reserved pasta water added in splashes).
  • In a skillet add coconut oil and bring to medium-high heat. Fry sage leaves for 2-4 seconds, lay on paper towel to absorb any excess oil and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Transfer pasta to bowls and top with fried sage leaves, sprinkle with more sea salt and pepper.


I recommend to soak cashews overnight. But if you forget this step you can pour boiling water into bowl and soak cashews for 1 hour. I have also made this recipe without soaking the cashews and still had smooth and velvety consistency using my Vitamix. But I still recommend to soak to ensure consistency is 100% smooth, especially if using a standard kitchen mixer.
Pasta reheats nicely for leftovers. Keep in fridge for up to 3 days.
Vegan cheese sauce will keep in fridge for up to 5 days, reheat in saucepan and whisk often while working to ensure smooth consistency. Add splashes almond milk if needed to thin when reheating.
Nutritional information is a rough estimate.


Calories: 777kcal | Carbohydrates: 120g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 29g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 19mg