Creamy, cheesy, comforting Vegan Mac and Cashew Cheese! This simple, healthy version is made dairy-free with a savory cashew cheese sauce filled with flavor and protein.
Sometimes you just need a big bowl of creamy, cheesy, comforting mac and cheese.
This simple, healthy version is made dairy-free with a creamy cashew cheese sauce. It is filled with flavor and also plant-based protein.
I also enjoy adding broccoli to this dish (mac and cheese with trees!) It is a great, delicious pairing, and not to mention a nice nutrient boost.
Ingredients for Cashew Cheese
For the cashew cheese sauce you will need:
- Raw cashews
- Nutritional yeast: This provides the rich, savory, cheesy flavor.
- Vegetable broth
- Smoked paprika
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Ground turmeric: This gives the sauce the nice classic yellow color.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
You will also need a blender to prepare this cashew cheese sauce.
For more inspiration, also browse all 30 minute or less recipes.
Vegan Mac and Cheese (with Cashew Sauce)
- 12 oz. pasta (I use brown rice shells for gluten-free)
For the cheese sauce:
- 1 cup raw cashews*
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Quick-soak the cashews: In a bowl, cover the raw cashews with hot water (about 160°F/71°C) until they are submerged. Set aside and let sit for about 10-15 minutes. (This makes them easier to blend.)*
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, leaving al dente.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce: Drain cashews and place all cheese sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend thoroughly until smooth. Adjust seasonings if desired.
- In a large pan over medium-low heat, add cheese sauce. Heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add drained pasta and stir well. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until sauce is desired thickness.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this cashew mac and cheese and looking for more vegan weeknight inspiration, also check out:
- BBQ Tempeh Wraps with Spinach
- Vegan Hawaiian BBQ Quesadillas
- Bean Tostadas
- Spinach Artichoke Quesadillas