Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not vegan. And  while I sure have tried a lot of “diet’s” and eating styles over the years, vegan is not one! Vegetarian yes; pescatarian, yes. But abstaining from anything relating to animals was just too strict for me, personally, though I absolutely respect those who do it. 

My eldest daughter and I are both dairy-free; I’m lactose intolerant, and she avoids it because of her acne. (She would die if she knew I mentioned that, though). I wanted to create a pasta dish for her that resembled cheese, and I’m excited to say that it was a hit with even those in my family who can do dairy. This truly is the easiest vegan mac & cheese, and (bonus!): it’s gluten- and dairy-free.

Easy Vegan Mac & Cheese (Gluten & Dairy-Free)

I’m not gonna lie; this is not exactly cheese sauce. Like it’s not stringy and all that. But it is super creamy and moist, and if you use some good gluten-free noodles, I’m pretty sure you’re gonna like the creation. Oh and btw, don’t skip those greens. It’s a great way to get an all-in-one meal – not that you can’t add additional veggies on the side, but why not up your intake?!

About The Easiest Vegan Mac & Cheese

  • You’ll notice that the cashews need to be soaked. If you don’t have time to soak them, pour boiling water over them and drain before adding them to your blender, but I do suggest soaking for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • It’s important to get organic cashews if you can, as some of the non-organics are said to have a potentially dangerous pesticide
  • You can make the cheese sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a day or two prior to using.
  • A high-speed blender is ideal for making this recipe. If the sauce is too thick, add little bits of water at a time to get the consistency you like.
  • Nutritional yeast gives this the “cheese-” like flavor. Feel free to add more if you’d like; my kids liked the quantity in the recipe best, but you may prefer it to be cheesier. Whatever you do, don’t skip this ingredient!
  • If you don’t need this to be gluten-free, make it with regular whole-wheat noodles! 
  • Feel free to vary your greens. Spinach, mixed greens, etc. all work great. 
The Easiest Vegan Mac & Cheese + Greens
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Quick and easy vegan mac & cheese
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Vegan
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta
Servings: 6
Calories: 286 kcal
Author: Kiran Dodeja Smith
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cashews soaked 2 hours and drained
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups uncooked pasta GF if needed
  • 2 large handfuls greens
Instructions
  1. Blend soaked and drained cashews, lemon juice, water, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder and salt in a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix(R)), scraping down sides with a spatula until completely smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Put greens at the bottom of a medium-sized bowl. Drain pasta when cooked and transfer cooked pasta to bowl on top of greens. Mix to combine; the heat will begin to wilt the greens.
  3. Add sauce on top of the cooked pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of the sauce to add to the top at the end. Mix sauce, pasta and greens, and transfer to a serving dish (or simply leave it in the bowl) and top with remaining sauce. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
The Easiest Vegan Mac & Cheese + Greens
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 286 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 202mg9%
Potassium 320mg9%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This dish really is best enjoyed right after being cooked. As much as we like leftovers – word from the family is it’s best fresh. Let me know if you try this and like it!


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