Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe with Cashews

Author: Liz Sinner

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Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe with Cashews

This is the best vegan mac and cheese recipe you’ll ever eat! It’s cheesy, crunchy and totally comforting – just like a good vegan pasta recipe should be.

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What is a good substitute for mac and cheese?

This vegan mac and cheese is a good substitute for the classic mac and cheese dish because it has all the same flavour and textures without the dairy.

To make this easy vegan mac and cheese recipe, simply swap the cheese for a sauce made from nutritional yeast and cashews.

What is vegan mac and cheese made of?

It’s easy to make vegan mac and cheese without dairy. In this easy vegan mac and cheese recipe, the dairy-free cheese sauce is made from cashews and oat milk to give it a smooth and creamy texture.

We’ve also popped a couple of carrots into the vegan mac and cheese sauce to add extra nutrients and give it a rich colour. There’s also added a dash of smoked paprika to give it a hint of colour and a temptingly smokey taste.

To give the vegan cheese sauce a cheesy flavour, we’ve added nutritional yeast which not only tastes delicious but is also a good source of vegan B12.

Like any good mac and cheese, this vegan version is topped with a crispy layer of breadcrumbs flavoured with chives that is simply irresistible.

Is pasta vegan?

Pasta is a great midweek meal when you need dinner in hurry, but many people wonder ‘is pasta vegan?‘ when they first go vegan. The good news is that most dried pasta you can find in supermarkets is vegan, with the exception of lasagne sheets which sometimes contain eggs.

Fresh pasta tends to be made with eggs so is often not suitable for vegans. We recommend checking the packaging before purchasing to make sure you’re buying vegan pasta.

Total Time: 40 minutes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4


Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 4




(Servings: 4)

  • 125 125 g macaroni pasta
  • For the vegan cheese sauce:
  • 37.5 37.5 g cashews
  • 0.5 0.5 carrots
  • 87.5 87.5 ml oat milk
  • 2 2 Tbsp yeast flakes
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the topping:
  • 25 25 g breadcrumbs
  • 0.75 0.75 Tbsp chives (chopped)
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp garlic powder
  • 7.5 7.5 g vegan butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours.
  2. Peel and roughly chop the carrots. Boil the carrots in vegetable stock for 15-20 minutes until they are soft.
  3. Drain the cashews. Put the soaked cashews, soft carrots, oat milk, yeast flakes and smoked paprika powder into a food processor. Blend until it is a creamy sauce. Season to perfection with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven on grill function to 220C.
  5. Cook the pasta according to instructions. Add 3 tbsp of the pasta-water to the sauce. 
  6. Mix the sauce with cooked pasta and put into an oven-proof form.
  7. Melt the vegan butter and finely chop the chives. Combine the breadcrumbs with the melted vegan butter, chives, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and spread over the pasta.
  8. Grill in the oven for about 5 minutes until the breadcrumb-topping is golden-brown. (Keep an eye on it to prevent it from becoming too dark.)

From luscious lasagnas to meatless meatballs, don’t miss our pick of the best vegan pasta recipes.

Written by

Liz Sinner

Since completing her undergraduate BSc(Hons) in Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science, Liz has been sharing her vegan recipes to show people that you don’t need to compromise on taste when cooking plant-based meals.

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