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A white bowl with buffalo chicken mac and cheese with a fork in the bowl.

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Creamy, spicy, and delicious vegan buffalo chicken mac and cheese is made with whole food ingredients and jackfruit for the chicken.

Course Entree, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword buffalo mac and cheese, mac and cheese, vegan buffalo chicken
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 511 kcal
Author Linda Meyer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb macaroni noodle shells
  • FOR THE BUFFALO CHEESE SAUCE
  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews soaked overnight or boiled for 15 minutes. See note.
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast do not use active, rising, or brewer’s yeast.
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup buffalo sauce use more if you like it really spicy. Make our recipe or use vegan store-bought.
  • ½ cup vegan ranch dressing use our recipe or vegan store-bought.
  • ½ cup plant milk do not use coconut milk. Feel free to add more if you like a thin cheese sauce.
  • Salt to taste
  • FOR THE VEGAN CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE MIXTURE
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 16 oz young green jackfruit in water do not buy jackfruit in brine or ripe jackfruit as it will be too sweet. Drain and rinse 3 times and squeeze out the excess water. Shred with your hands or chop finely with a knife.
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded, cored, and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  • TOPPING
  • Minced cilantro

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the box.

  2. FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE
  3. Drain and rinse the 1 ½ cups of soaked cashews and put in a high-powered blender. Add the 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, garlic clove, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 2 tbsp lemon juice, ½ cup vegan buffalo sauce, ½ cup vegan ranch dressing, ½ cup plant milk, and salt to taste. Blend on a high speed for approximately 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides at 1 minute. If the sauce isn’t completely creamy, continue to blend until the cashews are totally broken down.
  4. FOR THE JACKFRUIT AND VEGETABLES
  5. In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat until it spreads in the pan and has a sheen.
  6. Add the onion, celery, and jalapeno and stir to coat in the oil. Cook for 4 minutes then add the jackfruit and stir well. Cook for 4 minutes, add the garlic, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the jackfruit begins to brown on the edges. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Drain the pasta and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the buffalo cheese sauce and the jackfruit mixture and stir to combine. Finish with minced cilantro if desired.
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

NUTRITION DISCLAIMER
For the creamiest cheese sauce, the cashews need to be soaked so they’re soft and puffy. Soak them in cool water in the refrigerator overnight or boil them in water for 15 minutes if you’re in a hurry.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving (0.75 cup)
Calories 511 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 652mg28%
Potassium 457mg13%
Carbohydrates 69g23%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 495IU10%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.