Best vegan mac and cheese recipe: quick and yummy


Last Updated on November 4, 2020

This easy vegan mac and cheese recipe (either with plain macaroni or whole grain pasta) was something my daughter asked me to try out some time ago. As a big cheese lover, I just could not have imagined how this American macaroni pasta dish with cheese sauce could work without cheese.

Curious enough I gave it a try.

homemade mac and cheese

In fact, the homemade mac and cheese recipe I’m presenting you today has become a staple in our kitchen. It is much cleaner and healthier than the original comfort food that needs e.g. butter, cheddar, flour, and cream. Although all those typical cheese sauce ingredients are missing this recipe doesn’t sacrifice flavor or creaminess.

Homemade mac n cheese with whole grain pasta

I appreciate its short preparation time as this simple recipe can be ready within 20 minutes. If you use whole grain pasta this homemade mac and cheese can even be declared as a clean eating recipe.

Together with a fresh salad, e.g. a red cabbage salad, you can create a healthy meal for fast weeknight dinners in a snap. Instead of whole grain macaroni, I love to use whole grain spaghetti.
whole grain mac and cheese

Eat clean 80/20 rule in action

Maybe you know that I’m following the 80/20 rule in my clean eating, That way I have always some room for less clean exceptions. As seldom exception I used regular pasta in the following recipe.

I thought that when I had already to replace the cheese I at least wanted to copycat the look and feel of the original homemade mac and cheese recipe. But in the meanwhile, as my family got used to it I very often replace regular pasta for whole grain spaghetti. (photo above)

So here it goes!


Vegan mac and cheese recipe with nutritional yeast

A delicious, quick and plant-based weeknight dinner

  • Author: Gabi Rupp
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20


  • 7 oz./200 g yellow potatoes, peeled/diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 oz./56 g raw cashews
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • 1 pinch pepper

In addition

  • 17 oz./500 g macaroni or whole grain pasta
  • some hacked parsley to garnish


  1. Cook macaroni “al dente” in a large pot with salt water according to package direction, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan add potatoes, carrots, and onions.
  3. Pour in 8.5 fl. oz./ 250 ml water and add 2 teaspoons salt.
  4. Bring to boiling point and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Place vegetables in your high-speed blender or food processor together with half of the cooking water along with the remaining ingredients (cashews, garlic, yeast flakes, lemon juice, salt, pepper, chili)
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Add macaroni to saucepan and toss to coat with the vegan sauce.
  8. Sprinkle with parsley.


  • Serve it with a big green salad.


  • Serving Size: 3

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Hint: Don’t forget to pour out half of the vegetable cooking water otherwise the macaroni sauce will be too fluid.

On a special wish of my family (and me!) I’m cooking this mouth-watering pasta dish at least twice a month alternating now between regular and whole grain pasta.

wholegrain mac and cheese

And only recently I found out that this vegan cheese sauce is also a perfect match for our beloved zoodles. (spiralized zucchini pasta)