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A copper pan of baked mac 'n' cheese with a bread crumb topping and fresh herbs.

BAKED VEGAN MAC 'N' CHEESE

Creamy, healthy, dairy free macaroni and cheese with fresh herbs and a crunchy bread crumb topping.
Course Entree, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword baked mac 'n' cheese, casserole, vegan mac n' cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 421 kcal
Author Linda Meyer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb package of pasta shells or short noodles use gluten-free if you like
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • CHEESE SAUCE
  • ½ cup raw cashews soaked in water overnight or boiled in water for 15 minutes
  • 15 oz cooked cannellini beans drained and rinsed well
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp melted vegan butter
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant-milk almond, cashew, oat, or pea milk are good choices
  • 1/3 cup pasta water
  • FRESH HERBS ARE OPTIONAL
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 2 tsp minced Greek oregano
  • 1 tsp minced spicy oregano
  • Black pepper to taste
  • BREAD CRUMB TOPPING
  • ¼ cup 30 g bread crumbs (use gluten-free if you like)
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C)
  2. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of salt to the water, add the pasta shells, and cook according to the instructions on the package, or until it’s al dente.
  3. Put the ½ cup soaked raw cashews, 15 oz cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well, 1/3 cup nutritional yeast,4 tbsp melted vegan butter, 1 garlic clove, minced, 1 tbsp lemon juice,¼ tsp cayenne pepper, sea salt to taste, 1 cup unsweetened plant-milk, almond, cashew, oat, or pea milk are good choices, and 1/3 cup pasta water in a high-powered blender and blend on a high speed for approximately 2 minutes, or until it’s thick and creamy like melted cheese. You shouldn’t see or taste any solids.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and then put it in a large baking pan. Stir the cheese sauce in until the pasta is evenly coated. If you’re adding the fresh herbs, stir them in now.
  5. In a small bowl mix the breadcrumbs, oil, salt, Italian seasoning , and black pepper until combined . Evenly spread it on top of the macaroni and cheese mixture.
  6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the bread crumbs are lightly browned. Place under the broiler for a minute or two if you want the bread crumbs to get extra crispy. Be sure to watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.

Recipe Notes

NUTRITION DISCLAIMER

  • Best when eaten fresh out of the oven.
  • Cover and store in the refrigerate for up to 4 days.
    Because nut cheese sauce can dry out, add a bit of plant-milk to the dish and stir to make it ultra creamy again.
  • Cover and re-heat in the oven until it’s warmed through.
  • FREEZE
  • You can freeze this in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
    Bring to room temperature in the refrigerator and heat covered with foil in a 350°F (176°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove the foil and broil the top to crisp up the breadcrumbs.
Nutrition Facts
BAKED VEGAN MAC 'N' CHEESE
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 421 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 949mg41%
Potassium 515mg15%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 23IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.