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Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

Easy, cheesy baked vegan mac and cheese recipe! No cashews, other nuts, or added oil are needed in this recipe to create a creamy, dreamy cheese sauce.

Bowl of vegan mac and cheese with a fork.

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Everyone needs a good mac and cheese recipe in their arsenal – so today I’m bringing you the creamiest, dreamiest homemade baked vegan mac and cheese that you can impress your friends and family with. Or just eat straight out of the pan by yourself. Enjoy this soul food as the main dish, or as a side!

This recipe calls for full-fat coconut milk, which makes for a rich cheese sauce, alongside your favorite shredded vegan cheese. What this recipe does not contain is soy or nuts, making it totally top 8 allergy-friendly.

Table with mac and cheese ingredients on top.

Ingredients

You don’t need anything complicated to make this vegan mac and cheese recipe! For the measurements and printable recipe, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Macaroni: You can, of course, use another type of small noodle.
  • Coconut milk: It has to be canned, full-fat coconut milk. Sweetened coconut milk or coconut in a carton will not work. Using other dairy-free milks such as cashew or oat will require additional modifications (see the Variations section below.)
  • Flour: To help the thicken the sauce.
  • Nutritional yeast: Adds that classic vegan cheesy flavor.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and ground mustard seed.
  • Shredded vegan cheddar cheese: Use your favorite brand! I usually buy VioLife, Daiya, Follow Your Heart, or So Delicious.
  • Breadcrumbs and melted butter: To make a delicious topping! You can also top with more cheese.

Instructions

See the Tips and Variations section for stovetop instructions and other important info! Get the printable version in the recipe card below.

Cheese sauce prepared in a pot for vegan mac and cheese.

Make the cheese sauce: Add the coconut milk to a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk in the flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and mustard powder.

Macaroni noodles in a casserole dish.

In a casserole dish, add the cooked macaroni.

Cheese sauce mixed into the noodles.

Mix in the prepared cheese sauce.

Vegan mac and cheese in a casserole dish with a breadcrumb topping.

Mix together the melted butter and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the mac and cheese.

Baked vegan mac and cheese, browned and golden on topped.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

Creamy cheese sauce mixed into macaroni noodles.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken up!

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Tips and Variations

  • Low-fat: If you are looking for a low-fat variation, I recommend making a potato-and-carrot-based cheese like this vegan nacho cheese (just omit the nacho seasonings and add in the seasonings from this recipe.)
  • Stovetop variation: Simply mix the cooked noodles with the warm cheese sauce and chow down.
  • Omit the shredded cheese: If you don’t like vegan cheese or can’t find any, go ahead and omit it. The sauce will still be heavenly! Mix in a little more nutritional yeast for added flavor.
  • Spicy: Add a can of diced jalapenos for a kick.
  • Gluten-free: Use your favorite gluten-free pasta and substitute the flour with cornstarch.
  • Substituting coconut milk: If you are worried this recipe will taste strongly of coconut, I assure you it doesn’t – the additional seasonings mute the coconut flavor. (Canned coconut milk does not have that weird artificial coconut flavor to it anyway.) Substituting with another dairy-free milk from a carton will require more flour to thicken and will not be as rich in mouthfeel or flavor. However, you can substitute with 3 cups of milk and 1/3 cup of flour. I recommend a thicker milk like oat or soy. You may also want to add in some vegan butter to add richness.
  • Veggies: You can add broccoli, cauliflower, or butternut squash to this recipe for extra nutrition or texture. I recommend cooking them first using your preferred method, then adding to the cheese and noodles before baking.

Make Ahead

To make vegan baked mac and cheese ahead of time, I recommend storing the cooked macaroni and prepared cheese sauce in the fridge separately. Otherwise, the noodles will soak up the cheese sauce resulting in a dry dish. Assemble when you are ready to eat it and bake as instructed.

Storage

Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

A closeup of the finished dish in a pan.

Enjoy as a side dish with crispy baked tofu and sautéed green beans. May I suggest vegan chocolate cake as dessert? 🤤

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a comment and a ⭐ star review below!

Dish of mac and cheese

Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

Karissa Besaw
Delicious, cheesy, and creamy vegan baked mac and cheese! This recipe is nut-free and soy-free.
4.85 from 39 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 10 sides
Calories 452 kcal

Ingredients
  

Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted vegan butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Cook the macaroni as instructed on the box. Strain.
  • While the pasta is cooking, add the coconut milk to a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk in the flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and mustard powder.
  • Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Turn the heat off and mix in the shredded vegan cheese until melted.
  • In a casserole dish (I use a 4-quart), mix together the macaroni and the cheese sauce.
  • Mix together the melted butter and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the mac and cheese.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top.
  • Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

  • Make sure the coconut milk is full-fat, unsweetened in the can. Carton coconut milk will not work for this recipe.
  • Mix the coconut milk and flour together before heating the pot, otherwise it will clump up.
  • The cans of coconut milk I use are 13.66 ounces each.

Nutrition

Calories: 452kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 12gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 16gSodium: 473mgPotassium: 382mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 290IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 4mg
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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe was a hit in my home, from our dairy eating and non dairy eating guests alike!! I had everything from the ingredient list on hand and used GF organic chickpea macaroni noodles. The noodles were perfectly al dente and the sauce was SO cheesy! Saving this recipe to make again and again!

  2. 2 stars
    I made this recipe, I added an extra cup of vegan cheese. Though it’s tasty I wouldn’t call this Mac and cheese. I was really looking forward to the taste of Mac and cheese and this was not that.

      1. Yes you can use oat milk! This is addressed in the “Tips and Variations” section where I often put substitutions for my recipes:
        “Substituting with another dairy-free milk from a carton will require more flour to thicken and will not be as rich in mouthfeel or flavor. However, you can substitute with 3 cups of milk and ⅓ cup of flour. I recommend a thicker milk like oat or soy. You may also want to add in some vegan butter to add richness.”

        Make sure to whisk together the oat milk and flour while the milk is still cold. Hope you enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    My daughter has disliked every other vegan Mac and Cheese, yet she loves this one. Has asked for me to make it the last three weeks in a row! Happy to have a vegan option for my kiddo!

  4. 2 stars
    This is not Mac and cheese. It’s pasta gratin. It’s tasty as a gratin but it does not taste like Mac and cheese…
    I’d give it a higher rating if it wasn’t stated as “Mac and cheese”. It really doesn’t taste like cheese at all and I had in three times more vegan cheddar cheese than what the recipe says…

  5. 5 stars
    Made exactly as directed and came out delicious. Hubby didn’t notice it was dairy free. Used all ingredients I found at Target. Very pleased with the outcome. Will make again.

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