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Cooked vegan mac and cashew cheese in a large skillet with wooden spoon

Vegan Mac and Cheese (with Cashew Sauce)

A simple, healthier mac and cheese made dairy-free with a cashew cheese sauce. So satisfying and filled with flavor and protein!
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:30 mins
Total Time:30 mins
CourseMain Dish
CuisineAmerican, Gluten-Free Option, Vegan
Servings4 medium bowls


  • 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.


*Blender: If you don't have a high-speed blender, you may want to soak your cashews 8 hours or overnight to achieve a smoother sauce.
For gluten-free: Use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
Cheese sauce adapted from Vegan Military Wife.

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 518 kcal | Carbohydrates: 84 g | Protein: 15 g | Fat: 15 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Potassium: 351 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 3 g | Vitamin A: 857 IU | Calcium: 15 mg | Iron: 3 mg