This creamy, dairy free mac and cheese is a quick and easy dinner recipe for those nights you’re craving something cheesy that actually tastes like the real thing. The sauce is made with nutritional yeast, cheese shreds, almond milk and a secret ingredient that makes this the best vegan mac and cheese recipe you’ll find! Even kids will love it. Makes 6 servings.
Why I love this vegan mac and cheese recipe
I started making stovetop mac and cheese with the hopes of recreating my favorite Noodles & Company order, but it also serves as a quick substitute for my favorite baked mac and cheese.
Because sometimes, you just don’t want to wait the 30+ minutes it takes to bake that mac and cheese in the oven, no matter how good the end results are. Sometimes, you just want your big bowl of cheesy goodness as soon as possible.
And when you’re making mac and cheese on more-than-regular basis because you’re pregnant and need a constant stream of carbs and cheese, you just have to keep things simple. So I’ve mastered stovetop mac and cheese, and I never want to stop eating it.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
- Nutritional yeast
- Vegan cheese shreds – we like Daiya cutting board shreds (see the rest of our favorite dairy alternatives here)
- Almond milk – you can use any dairy free milk you prefer, just make sure it’s unsweetened
- Vegan yogurt – make sure it’s unsweetened, plain
- Dairy free butter
How to make dairy free mac and cheese
Cook the macaroni noodles according to the package directions in salted, boiling water. While they cook, make the cheese sauce. When they’re cooked, drain them in a colander.
Make a roux. Heat a large saucepan to medium-high heat and melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, stir in the flour until it absorbs the liquid.
Make the vegan cheese sauce. Next, slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Once that’s smooth, stir in the cheese, yogurt, the rest of the seasonings.
Stir, until the vegan cheese melts and the sauce has thickened slightly. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt & pepper.
Combine the noodles and sauce. Add the cooked macaroni noodles to the cheese sauce and stir until evenly coated. Serve immediately.
Quick tip: If you’re reheating leftovers, add a bit of extra dairy free yogurt or added almond milk to give the macaroni and cheese some extra moisture.
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FAQ’s and tips
Vegan cheese often has a very strong cheese flavor, it’s the texture that doesn’t match up with regular cheese that nonvegans are used to.
Yes, place your leftover mac and cheese in a pot with a little vegan butter or milk to help keep the pasta hydrated and heat it over medium low while stirring until the vegan mac and cheese has been heated thoroughly.
Yes, vegan mac and cheese actually freezes very well. Simply keep it well wrapped/covered in an airtight freezer-friendly container and store it in the freezer up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
If you keep your vegan macaroni and cheese in the fridge in a Ziploc style bag or other airtight container, you can expect it to last up to 5 days and be just fine- perfect for meal prepping!
I always love how steamed broccoli tastes great next to a cheesy dish, so I think I’d be serving up a heaping plate full of those little green trees (and maybe add a little extra cheese sauce over the top) yum!
More pasta recipes
- Cilantro Peanut Pesto Pasta
- Pasta Carbonara
- Turkey Sausage Pesto Pasta
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
- Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
Other vegan recipes to try
- Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
- Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
- Easy Vegan Tzatziki
- Garlic Vegan Naan Bread
- Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
This creamy, dairy free mac and cheese is so easy to make. It uses simple ingredients like nutritional yeast, cheddar shreds (we used Daiya), one secret ingredient that gives it the best tasting “cheese” sauce. No cashews, cauliflower or veggies. It’s the perfect vegan dinner for when you’re craving comfort food.
- 1 pound elbow
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup unsweetened vegan yogurt
- 1 7-ounce package vegan cheddar shreds
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Cook macaroni in salted water according to package directions for al dente.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour to make a roux.
- Add milk and whisk until smooth. Increase heat to medium high and cook until milk has thickened – about 5 – 6 minutes.
- Stir in 3 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, reserving the rest for serving.
- Toss pasta with cheese sauce and garnish each helping with reserved shredded cheese.
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