Easy Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese
The whole family will love this ultra-creamy vegan mac and cheese recipe. It is made with non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, and the perfect blend of spices. You can make this as a stovetop or baked mac and cheese! Jump to the Mac and Cheese
How to Make the Creamiest Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
This vegan macaroni and cheese is simple to make and tastes fantastic. I love that you can keep this as a quick stovetop mac and cheese or slide it into the oven to get bubbly and browned. I love it both ways.
To make our go-to recipe, you will need the following (the full recipe is below):
Vegan butter and all-purpose flour: It’s the combination of butter and flour that thickens the sauce.
Non-dairy milk: I typically use unsweetened soy milk, but any non-dairy milk will work. Unsweetened is best.
Nutritional yeast: This is what makes our mac and cheese taste so cheesy. Nutritional yeast is quite common in vegan recipes. If you are not familiar, it’s full of vitamins and minerals and adds a cheesy flavor to dishes. It’s perfect in this mac and cheese. We also use it when making our delicious vegan queso.
Dijon mustard: We also use Dijon mustard when making our classic mac and cheese. It rounds out the sauce’s flavor and makes it taste even better.
Spices including onion powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper all come together to make the sauce taste incredible.
Vegan Mac and Cheese Variations
Baked Mac and Cheese: Once the pasta and vegan cheese sauce is combined, add it to a baking dish and bake with bread crumbs sprinkled on top. Use store-bought bread crumbs or try our homemade breadcrumbs recipe.
Garlic Mac and Cheese: Fresh garlic and roasted garlic are excellent in this recipe. Add either to the vegan butter just before adding the flour. For fresh, I’d use 2 to 3 cloves. For roasted garlic, you can increase it to 6 cloves or more. See our recipe for making roasted garlic.
Broccoli Mac and Cheese: A kid favorite! Stir roasted broccoli or steamed broccoli into the pot before serving. Here’s how we make roasted broccoli.
Easy Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese
The whole family will love this ultra-creamy mac and cheese made with non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, and the perfect blend of spices. You can make this as a stovetop or baked mac and cheese!
You Will Need
1 pound dried pasta like shells, elbows or penne
6 tablespoons vegan butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, we use unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup (60 grams) nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste, optional for some spice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, optional for color
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta, follow package directions, but cook 1 minute less than the package states. Drain.
Meanwhile, make the creamy vegan cheese sauce. Melt the vegan butter in a large high-sided pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk the butter and flour together and around the pan until they smell toasted and look light brown; 2 to 3 minutes.
While whisking, slowly pour in the warm non-dairy milk. Continue to cook, constantly whisking until the sauce simmers and thickens. (The sauce only thickens after it has reached a simmer.)
Turn the heat to low, then stir in the nutritional yeast, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper. For a bit of spice, stir in the cayenne pepper and stir in the turmeric for some extra “cheesy” color. Both cayenne pepper and turmeric are optional.
When the sauce is smooth and velvety, stir in the cooked pasta. If the sauce looks wet/thin, don’t worry, the pasta absorbs some of the extra moisture as it cools. Turn the heat off, and then cover with a lid. Leave for 5 minutes, stir once more, and then serve.
For baked mac and cheese, after adding the pasta to the sauce, spoon into a large baking dish, scatter breadcrumbs (optional) on top. Bake, uncovered, in a 375-degree Fahrenheit oven until it is bubbling and browned on top; 25 to 30 minutes.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Storing: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To freeze, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Then, bake, covered, in a 350-degree F oven for about an hour. Or, thaw overnight and reheat on the stove (if it seems dry, add a tablespoon or two of extra milk).
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.