Seriously creamy and easy vegan baked mac and cheese will give you all those comfort feels and mouth-filling textures. It's made with easy pantry ingredients and is a family favorite.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Even non-vegans will be impressed with this delicious baked vegan meal, it's the ultimate comfort food.
- The preparation and cooking are very easy, it makes a fabulous side dish or main dish.
- Each bite is filled with that traditional mac creamy texture, and the flavor is super tasty, similar to the real thing.
- No cashews are used in this family-favorite recipe.
- Can be made completely gluten-free - when I cook this for my family, I tend to make the vegan cheese sauce with gluten-free flour and then I split it between wheat pasta and gf pasta. Everyone in my family loves it!
Ingredient Notes And Variations
Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Best Type Of Pasta For Mac and Cheese
Macaroni pasta is a small short hollow tube and is typically used to make any type of mac and cheese recipe.
However, you can use elbow macaroni, small shell pasta, or any type of mouth-size bite pasta.
If you're avoiding gluten like I am, I tend to use gluten-free pasta spirals.
Cook the pasta as instructed on the packet. I always make sure the cooked pasta is al dente (firm to the bite), by undercooking it by one minute.
Vegan Cheese Creamy Sauce
Non-dairy milk, almond milk is generally my go-to however you can use soy milk, oat milk or cashew milk just to name a few.
All purpose flour is what makes this vegan cheese sauce creamy and thick when combined with plant milk (think of it as a non-dairy cheesy bechamel sauce).
I tend to make it with gluten free all-purpose flour, which works perfectly too.
Nutritional yeast is a key ingredient in creating the magic cheezy flavor ingredient. It can be found at your local supermarket in the health food section or buy nutritional yeast online (affiliate link).
Vegan butter (any dair free butter) takes the creamy vegan cheese sauce to the next level. If you prefer to avoid this ingredient, you will love this stovetop plant-based mac and cheese prepared without any oil.
White pepper and paprika help with coloring and flavoring. The white pepper especially emphasizes cheesy flavor, which I love. Do not skip it or change it for black pepper, if possible.
These spices can all be adjusted to suit your liking, the amounts recommended are listed in the below recipe card.
Dijon mustard helps to give this easy-baked vegan macaroni and cheese a little zing and brightness, bringing all the flavors together.
Buttery Breadcrumbs Topping
Slices of bread will be toasted, and then processed in a food processor before being combined with melted dairy-free butter.
The breadcrumbs will be used to top the cooked macaroni and vegan cheese sauce in a casserole dish before baking until golden brown.
In these photos I used wholemeal brown sliced bread which I made into a chunky crumb (my laziness coming through here), you can use white bread, gluten free bread, or whatever you have on hand.
Alternatively, panko breadcrumbs can be used too.
The ideal baking dish for this recipe is 10x7" (25x18cm) (affiliate link) or size very similar. Avoid using a metal pan.
No cover or aluminum foil is needed to enclose the top of the mac and cheese during the baking process.
Once the vegan mac n cheese cools down to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to five days.
Alternatively, freeze for up to three months and then defrost prior to reheating.
Reheat the portions that you need.
Cooked green vegetable pair well with this vegan baked mac and cheese.
Other Vegan Pasta Dishes
People are also loving my delicious vegan pasta bake which requires no prior cooking of the pasta.
An easy vegan cream free mushroom pasta is great for a quick weeknight meal.
For something fun make pasta chips in the air fryer.
Or try this cold pasta salad with banana blossom.
Did you make this? I'd love to know! Leave me a comment below with a ★★★★★ rating or tag @plantbasedfolk on social media.
Easy Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb Macaroni pasta sub gluten free if needed
Vegan Creamy Cheese Sauce
- 3-4 slices Toast bread
- 2 tbs Dairy free butter
Prepare The Pasta
- Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the pasta. Rinse and drain. Set the pasta aside.1 lb Macaroni pasta
Prepare The Breadcrumb Topping
- Place the slices of toast in a toaster until golden. Then tear them apart into pieces and place them into a food processor. Pulse until the desired sized crumb is achieved (I left mine a little chunky). Transfer them to a bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons of dairy free butter and pour it over the breadcrumbs. Mix to combine well. Set this aside.3-4 slices Toast bread, 2 tbs Dairy free butter
Prepare The Vegan Cheese Sauce
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted turn off the heat. Then add in the flour, nutritional yeast, salt, white pepper, paprika, dijon mustard and dairy free milk. Whisk until all the flour has dissolved, make sure there are no lumps. Turn on the stovetop to medium heat and continuously whisk for about 3 minutes until it has thickened.2½ cups Dairy free milk, 4 tbs All purpose flour, 2 tbs Dairy free butter, ¾ cup Nutritional yeast, ¼ teaspoon Paprika powder, ½ teaspoon White pepper powder, 1 tbs Dijon mustard, ¾ teaspoon Salt
Bake The Vegan Mac and Cheese
- In a 10x7" (25cm x 18cm) baking dish combine the cooked macaroni pasta with the sauce and then use the back of a spoon to flatten out the top. Sprinkle the breadcrumb evenly across the top. Clean up the edges of the baking dish if required. Bake in a preheated 375F (190C) fan forced oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the pasta to rest for 5 minutes before serving warm.
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
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