This is the best vegan mac and cheese you'll ever make: it's easy to make (7 ingredients!), only takes 20 minutes from start to finish, nut free, and just like the real thing! Our version is super cheesy, creamy, gluten free and doesn't contain any weird ingredients. The ideal weeknight comfort food!
Want to learn how to make the BEST vegan mac and cheese without cashews, nutritional yeast, a blender, potatoes, carrots or any other weird ingredients?
You've come to the right place!
This insanely cheesy, comforting, delicious mac and cheese is made in one pot with just 7 simple ingredients. It tastes just like the real thing!
Don't get me wrong, I love a good cashew cream-based pasta sauce. We even have a recipe for a vegetable-based vegan mac and cheese that's surprisingly cheesy.
But nothing – and I mean nothing – compares to this recipe when it comes to cheesy, comforting deliciousness.
The secret? We took grandma's classic mac and cheese recipe and made it vegan! (We all know grandma's mac and cheese is the best.)
Anybody can make this recipe. Even better, anybody can make it on a busy weeknight! Even better, your family might not even know that it's vegan!
Excited?! Me too. Let's get started!
As we mentioned above, there are no cashews or nutritional yeast in this recipe. Just a few simple pantry ingredients that you probably already have on hand!
- Macaroni pasta: gluten free or regular macaroni both work fine.
- Vegan Butter
- Gluten free all purpose flour: or regular all purpose flour if you're not gluten free.
- Vegan milk: Opt for plain, unsweetened plant-based milk. (Be sure to check the ingredient label as some unsweetened nut milks still contain vanilla flavoring!) We prefer oat milk in this recipe for its neutral flavor.
- Pepper (optional)
- Vegan cheese: we use shredded vegan cheddar cheese in this recipe. You can use a mix of cheddar and mozzarella, or one or the other. We've tried this recipe with a few different store-bought options and they've all worked well!
- Get your macaroni cooking in salted water. We use 1 teaspoon of salt for every 4 cups of water. Cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, start the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once it's melted, add in the gluten free flour and whisk well until it forms a smooth paste.
- Slowly pour in the milk, whisking while you add it, until no lumps remain. Let simmer for a few minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn.
- Whisk in the salt, pepper and vegan cheese. Vegan cheese takes a bit longer to melt and fully incorporate, so be patient and keep stirring! After a few minutes of whisking over medium-low heat, you'll have a super smooth, creamy, velvety cheese sauce.
- Add in the cooked macaroni and stir well until fully coated.
That's it! Perfect vegan mac and cheese in 5 simple steps.
If you so desire, you can top it with some toasted breadcrumbs for extra texture. To do so, melt 1-2 tablespoon of vegan butter and stir together with ⅓-1/2 cup breadcrumbs of choice. Perfect easy topping!
Does it taste cheesy?
YES. So, so cheesy.
Thanks to an increased number of high quality vegan cheeses on the market, this super easy mac & cheese actually tastes like the real thing! It also has the same gooey texture. Your guests seriously might not realize it's dairy free!
Is this vegan mac and cheese creamy?
Another enthusiastic YES.
This is by far the creamiest vegan mac and cheese we've ever tried (and we've tried A LOT). I find that cashew and potato based sauces tend to seize up when they start to cool down, but this version stays super creamy!
If you don't eat the whole pot at once (it's hard not to!), let cool completely before storing in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will last for about 5 days in the fridge.
Can you freeze it?
Yep! Transfer the mac and cheese to a freezer-friendly container or a plastic or reusable bag. It will keep for up to 6 months.
Note: if you plan to freeze a large batch, you may want to slightly undercook the pasta as it will cook more when you reheat it.
How to reheat
For best results, transfer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Then, reheat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed all the way through.
More favorite vegan comfort food recipes:
- Mushroom Stew with Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Mushroom Alfredo
- White Bean and Vegetable Pot Pie
- Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms
- Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Lemon Rice Soup
If you make this vegan mac and cheese recipe, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
This is the best vegan mac and cheese you'll ever make: it's easy to make (7 ingredients!), only takes 20 minutes from start to finish, nut free, and just like the real thing!
- 12 oz macaroni pasta, cooked in salted water (gluten free or regular)
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- ¼ cup gluten free all purpose flour (or regular AP flour)
- 2 ½ cups plain unsweetened oat milk (or other unsweetened plant-based milk)
- 3 cups shredded vegan cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. We use 1 teaspoon of salt per 4 cups of water.
- In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat. Once completely melted, whisk in gluten free flour until it forms a smooth paste.
- Slowly stream in milk, whisking well, until completely incorporated. Let simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Add in salt, pepper and vegan cheese and stir well. Vegan cheese takes a bit longer to melt, so keep stirring over medium heat until fully incorporated into a thick, smooth, cheesy sauce.
- Add in cooked pasta and stir well until fully coated. Enjoy!
Can use a mix of vegan cheddar and mozzarella if desired.
For texture, add an optional breadcrumb topping. To make, stir together 1-2 tablespoon melted vegan butter and ⅓-1/2 cup breadcrumbs of choice. Sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 468
- Sugar: 2.3 g
- Sodium: 642.9 mg
- Fat: 11.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.2 g
- Trans Fat: 0.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 71.7 g
- Fiber: 3.3 g
- Protein: 17 g
- Cholesterol: 12 mg
Keywords: vegan mac and cheese