Few foods evoke warm childhood memories quite like Mac and cheese. Whether it was from a box or freshly baked with a crusty top, Mac and cheese can make one feel warm, comforted and happy all at once.
Thankfully, with the rise in vegan dairy alternatives as well as availability and ease in finding them, making vegan Mac and cheese is quite easy. It can be a simple and whole foods based meal or it can be a more complex and gourmet interpretation using veggies and spices.
However you like your Mac and cheese, we’ve found a vegan version for you. We’ve found the best vegan Mac and cheeses from around the web from more traditional to more modern takes on this classic comfort food. We’ve included some of our favorite cheeses as well as some flavor combination suggestions to help inspire you and create the Mac and cheese of your dreams. Enjoy experimenting with these different vegan Mac and cheese recipes and elevate your childhood favorite into a new delicious dish worthy of all palates.
The Best Cheese Shred Brands
The following cheese brands are absolutely delicious, relatively easy to find at most major grocery stores and melt quite well. These are great to use in any recipe below that calls for cheese or if you just wish to experiment. We personally love adding a thick layer of cheese to the top of any Mac and cheese and baking it or broiling it until the cheese is nice and melted. If you’re looking for a less processed vegan cheese, consider the whole foods based cheese sauce recipe below. Or you can opt for a brand, such as Miyoko’s Creamery or Treeline Nut Cheese.
Violife Cheese Shreds In Cheddar Or Mozzarella
- The perfect option for vegans and vegetarians everywhere, Just Like Mozzarella Shreds are GMO-free, dairy-free,...
- Feather shredded, for quicker and more even melting. Excellent for recipes that feature a lot of cheese!
- Add the buttery taste of Mozzarella to your pizzas without the guilt. It stretches and melts to make a truly indulgent...
Daiya Cheese Shreds
Suggestions For Add-Ins And Flavor Combinations
Vegetables to add in to your mac and cheese:
Combinations To Try In Your Mac And Cheese
Basic Cheese Sauce
This cheese sauce is incredibly easy to make and whole foods based, making it incredibly healthy. We love how simple it is to replace ingredients with what you have on hand and still create an absolutely delicious cheese sauce.
- USDA Certified Organic Coconut Cream is a naturally sweet, milky white cooking base derived from the meat of a mature...
- Coconut Cream has a thick, paste-like consistency. It's much thicker and richer than coconut milk, as it's blended with...
- Non-GMO, BPA Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, Star-K Kosher Certified
Add all ingredients to a pot of boiling water EXCEPT the salt and cashews (or coconut cream if that’s what you’re using). Let all the veggies cook until easily pierced with a fork and tender. Add all veggies, salt, the cashews or coconut cream and a bit of the boiling water to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Use more water as needed to achieve desired thickness. It’s best to keep it pretty think for Mac and cheese.
Optional add-ins for unique sauces:
- This White miso is made of 100% Organic Rice & Soybeans
- Additive free - Gluten Free - No GMOs - No MSG - Product of Japan
- A long fermentation process creates its distinct, deep rich taste and aroma.
Simplest Brazil Nut Parmesan
This Brazil nut parmesan crumble is easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for several days. It adds a boost of selenium to your Mac and cheese as well as a nutty flavor and unique texture. Feel free to swap out the Brazil nuts and use cashews, walnuts, pine nuts or pumpkin seeds.
- SUPER FOOD: NOW pleasant-tasting Nutritional Yeast Flakes are produced from a specially selected strain of Saccharomyces...
- FORTIFIED WITH ADDITIONAL B-VITAMINS: NOW Nutritional Yeast delivers the natural nutrient profile found in genuine whole...
- CLASSIFICATIONS/CERTIFICATIONS: Vegan/Vegetarian, Kosher, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Low Sodium
Place all dry ingredients into a food processor and process until crumbly. Add in lemon juice and pulse until well incorporated.
Vegan Mac And Cheese Recipes
Recipe: Mind-Blowing Vegan Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Broma Bakery
Why We Love it: This recipe is incredibly flavorful and delicious and quite easy to make! We love that it uses cashews for creamy cheese. The addition of breadcrumbs makes this dish reminiscent of homemade Mac and cheese from childhood. This is a dish that can impress anyone so save this masterpiece for a dinner party to surprise and delight guests.
Our Suggestions: We absolutely love this dish as is. However, adding a cheese layer under the bread crumbs can make a melted cheesy crust. If you’d like to make this meal packed to the brim with nutrients, consider adding in steamed Brussel sprouts or cauliflower.
Recipe: High Protein Vegan Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Blooming Nolwenn
Why We Love it: We love this whole foods take on Mac and cheese. It uses protein rich chickpea pasta to boost the protein while using a carrot and coconut-based sauce that is creamy and delicious and chock full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Our Suggestions: This recipe is insanely delicious. We suggest adding to the nutrients by adding in a homemade Brazil nut parmesan as well as some wilted kale. They’ll add extra texture as well as selenium, vitamin C, A and K and even omega 3’s!
Recipe: Classic Baked Vegan Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Loving It Vegan
Why We Love it: This is the go-to recipe for when you want a traditional baked Mac and cheese that is creamy, comforting and nut-free. This sauce utilizes coconut milk and flour instead of processed vegan cheese shreds or nuts and is a great alternative for those looking to omit either.
Our Suggestions: This recipe is absolutely delicious as is, and we appreciate it for it’s more traditional feel. Our only suggestion is to add a bit of vegan cheese shreds under the bread crumbs to make a more gooey and cheesy crust for the ultimate comfort feel.
Recipe: Easy Vegan Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Hello Kalin
Why We Love it: This recipe is whole foods based and nut-free, making it a great option for those with allergies. We also love that this recipe is lower in fat, so it’s great for those who need a lower fat option or want something lighter for dinner. We love the suggestion of using chickpea pasta in place of regular pasta for a healthier and more filling option.
Our Suggestions: This recipe is a great low-fat option. However, if you want it to be a bit more filling, we suggest adding a small amount of hemp seeds to the sauce for a great omega 3 boost. Topping it with Brazil nut parmesan will also make it a little extra filling as well as giving it a bit more texture.
Recipe: The Best Vegan Macaroni And Cheese
Where to Find it: Mississippi Vegan
Why We Love it: This dish is what you think of when you imagine creamy, decadent, rich and gooey Mac and cheese. It’s incredibly cheesy and fatty, meaning it’s incredibly delicious and hits all the right spots. We love how decadent and unapologetic this dish is. It’s a great choice to serve to extra picky family and friends who “don’t like vegan food”.
Our Suggestions: The only way this dish could get better is by adding bread crumbs atop it for an all-out Mac and cheese experience. This isn’t a dish for the faint of heart, so we suggest going hard and adding all the delicious toppings you desire.
Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Bianca Zapatka
Why We Love it: This dish is a great low fat and heart-healthy option that uses pumpkin for a unique and delicious cheesy sauce. We love that it’s full of fiber and antioxidants. It's a great option if you need something nut-free or just so happen to have pumpkin on hand and aren’t sure what to use it for.
Our Suggestions: We love how healthy this dish is and we suggest boosting that by adding in spinach or perhaps some cooked mushrooms and truffle salt for a savory and complex flavor without adding in fat.
Recipe: Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Rabbit and Wolves
Why We Love it: This dish is creamy, its savory and its filling. We love the mushrooms in this decadent Mac and cheese and we couldn’t recommend this enough for anyone who loves mushrooms.
Our Suggestions: For true mushroom lovers, we suggest purchasing additional specialty mushrooms such as Maitake or Chanterelle. Cooking up extra mushrooms and adding them to this dish will only make it feel more gourmet and rich, so go ahead and treat yourself.
Recipe: Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Choosing Chia
Why We Love it: This is a really creative and delicious rendition of Mac and cheese. We love that it uses cauliflower in place of chicken and it’s relatively easy and healthy. This dish is comforting and delicious but not too heavy and imparts a lot of flavor for a satisfying experience.
Our Suggestions: We love this dish as is. However, if we were to add anything, it may be a sprinkle of pepperjack shreds to the top to broil to give an extra pop of flavorful and gooey goodness.
Recipe: Vegan Avocado Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Fit Foodie Finds
Why We Love it: This is a really creative use of avocados in Mac and cheese and we couldn’t approve of it enough! It's incredibly healthy and whole foods based and full of heart-healthy fats and fiber. This makes it a great option for anyone who wants to eat Mac and cheese but wants to upgrade their experience to something a little cleaner.
Our Suggestions: We love this dish and if we were to make it, we would add in hemp seeds in place of the cashews for a dose of omega 3’s. Using hemp seeds in place of cashews also makes this dish a great option for those who have nut allergies.
Recipe: Vegan Jalapeño Popper Mac And Cheese
Where to Find it: Choosing Chia
Why We Love it: This dish is unique and delicious, utilizing two delicious foods to make an ultimately flavorful and comforting dish. We love the idea of using jalapeño poppers in this dish and it’s a great option to serve at a party.
Our Suggestions: For this unique take on Mac and cheese, our only suggestion is to serve this as party food perhaps at a Super Bowl party to wow your guests.