12 Best Vegan Mac & Cheese Recipes [Easy Dairy-Free Ideas] (2024)

Recipes » Vegan » 12 Best Vegan Mac & Cheese Recipes [Easy Dairy-Free Ideas]

The best vegan mac and cheese recipes, loaded with elbow macaroni and plant-based cheese toppings. Mixed with dairy-free cashew or almond sauces, or easy nut-free alternatives, get your new favorite comfort food here.

12 Best Vegan Mac & Cheese Recipes [Easy Dairy-Free Ideas] (1)

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Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Unlike popular opinion, its vegan versions taste just as good. They’re creamy and cheesy, yet light to eat and much healthier! Without further ado, let’s look at the best vegan mac and cheese recipes for you and your family to enjoy.

Coconut Milk & Paprika

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Coconut milk’s rich and creamy texture makes it the perfect dairy-free ingredient for macaroni cheese, and this spin on the classic dish demonstrates why. This coconut milk mac and cheese combines plant-based butter with paprika and hot sauce to give it a bit of bite, before oven baking for 20 minutes to give it an incredibly satisfying crunch.

Carrot & Potato

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This recipe is so simple that it only takes 30 minutes! It is also extremely creamy, easy to make, and tastes just like the mac and cheese you remember from your childhood.

The vegan cheese used in this recipe is made of potatoes, carrots, olive oil, plant milk, nutritional yeast, and seasonings. You can also tweak this recipe easily to make it gluten-free.

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Broccoli, Kale & Peas

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This recipe results in creamy mac and cheese, where the vegan cheese tastes remarkably cheese-like. This mac and cheese recipe has only about 500 calories per serving, which is way less than most homemade mac and cheese recipes. The dish also adds broccoli, kale, and peas to the dish to increase your veggie intake.

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Cashew & Coconut Milk

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If you are looking for the creamiest vegan mac and cheese, this recipe will be your best bet! This recipe’s yummy, creamy cheese sauce is made from potatoes, carrots, onions, coconut milk, cashews, and nutritional yeast. The sauce comes together in a blender. Each serving of this mac and cheese contains less than 300 calories.

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Panko, Soy Milk & Turmeric

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This mac and cheese recipe is also nut-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. The recipe is easy to make and only takes a few minutes. It is also kid-friendly, meaning that even the pickiest eaters will love it! Nutritional yeast is the special ingredient in this recipe. Nutritional yeast has a naturally cheesy flavor that elevates the dish to the next level!

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Baked Paprika, Cashews & Bread Crumbs

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This is a simple recipe that is sure to be loved by kids and adults alike. The cheese sauce is made with cashews, water, nutritional yeast, Dijon, lemon, and spices. Once baked, the dish can also be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

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Creamy Cashew Cheese & Coconut Cream

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The star ingredient in this recipe’s cheese sauce is cashews. When blended with water, they turn into a creamy texture. Cashews add to the dish’s nutritional value by offering protein, healthy fat, and magnesium. This recipe can be easily turned into a gluten-free recipe by simply swapping in gluten-free pasta.

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Classic Spicy Macaroni & Miso Paste

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This recipe includes a tablespoon or two of hot sauce. The recipe author finds that adding hot sauce adds to the cheesy flavor without making it too spicy. The hot sauce also adds the perfect touch of spice for those who can handle the heat. The recipe calls for cashews, but you can swap cashews with coconut milk if you have a nut allergy.

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Dairy-Free Creamy Potato & Almond Milk

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This recipe requires only five minutes of prep time and twenty-five minutes of cooking time. The sauce has a smoky and tangy cheese flavor that everyone in your house is sure to love. This recipe is also gluten-free, which is a great bonus.

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Raw Cashew, Paprika & Mustard Mix

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This powder is easy to prepare and store and can be used to whip up your favorite cheesy pasta dish in minutes.

All you will need to do is mix this powder with the non-dairy milk of your choice, simmer the mixture, and you are done! Pour the cheese sauce over cooked pasta for a delicious and easy mac and cheese!

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Dijon Mustard, Panko & Elbow Noodles

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This recipe is made with homemade Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast and raw cashews. The combination brings a cheesy and creamy taste and texture to the pasta. You can cook it on the stovetop and bake after adding bread crumbs for a crisp, baked taste.

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Buffalo Cauliflower & Macaroni Noodles

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This recipe uses buffalo cauliflower to add an extra punch of flavor to mac and cheese. Top the cooked pasta with creamy cheese sauce and buffalo cauliflower. You can substitute any type of pasta in your kitchen pantry for this recipe, which makes it even more convenient and easy.

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12 Best Vegan Mac & Cheese Recipes [Easy Dairy-Free Ideas] (2024)


What is a good substitute for milk in mac and cheese? ›

To make mac and cheese without milk, the best choice is to find something that has a similar texture and a milk flavor. Things like heavy cream, almond milk, oat milk, yogurt, cream cheese, and even pasta water all work very well in boxed mac and cheese.

What can I use instead of cheese in mac and cheese? ›

Nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient that gives a cheesy flavor without the dairy. Cashew cream is another great alternative that can be used as a base for a creamy sauce. And, there are many non-dairy cheese alternatives on the market now that actually taste pretty darn good.

Can we use water instead of milk for mac and cheese? ›

Water actually works perfectly well as a milk substitute in mac and cheese. It adds all the liquid you need, though it doesn't have the creaminess or flavor that other substitutes add. However, if you add a little pasta water, instead of plain tap water, to your cheese sauce, you might get better results.

Can you make mac and cheese with almond milk? ›

Yes, almond milk works great for mac and cheese! Just be sure to get an unsweetened version. If it doesn't say “unsweetened” or “no sugar”, it is likely that it's a sweetened version. Do NOT use regular/sweetened almond milk since this will make the mac and cheese sweet, which is hard to neutralize.

What can I use if I don't have milk? ›

Milk in most recipes hydrates the dry ingredients and adds flavor, and there are plenty of substitutes that can do just that without compromising the final result.
  1. Half and half. ...
  2. Heavy cream. ...
  3. Nondairy milks, like soy and almond. ...
  4. Sour cream. ...
  5. Yogurt. ...
  6. Evaporated milk. ...
  7. Canned coconut milk. ...
  8. Water.
Dec 3, 2021

Is milk or evaporated milk better for mac and cheese? ›

Key #2: Use Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is a highly concentrated source of milk protein micelles—bundles of proteins that can act as powerful emulsifying agents—which help to keep the sauce creamy and smooth.

How to craft mac and cheese without milk? ›

Yes, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese can be made without milk or butter. Instead, you can use water as a substitute. Simply follow the package instructions for cooking the macaroni, then drain it and mix in the cheese powder and a small amount of water to create the sauce.

What is a non dairy cheese alternative? ›

Nut-Based Vegan Cheeses: Cashew, almond, and macadamia nut-based cheeses are common. They can be spreadable or used for grating and melting. Soy-Based Vegan Cheeses: Soy-based cheeses come in various forms, including slices, shreds, and blocks. They are often used as a direct substitute for dairy cheese in recipes.

What is a healthy substitute for mac and cheese? ›

Butternut Squash or Pumpkin: Pureed butternut squash or pumpkin can create a creamy texture and add a slightly sweet note to your mac and cheese. This is a healthier alternative that also contributes to the vibrant color. Tofu: Silken tofu can be blended with other ingredients to create a creamy sauce.

How to make mac and cheese without milk and butter? ›

You can certainly make a tasty mac and cheese without milk! Using chicken broth and half, you create a velvety smooth sauce that coats the noodles perfectly. I've found these two ingredients are the best alternative since most of us have them on hand, and they make a great “solution” that blends well with the cheese.

How do you thicken mac and cheese? ›

Flour or cornstarch can both thicken a liquid. In a small separate bowl, mix a tablespoon of either flour or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cheese sauce until the mixture is smooth.

What is a substitute for butter and milk in mac and cheese? ›

While I was cooking the pasta, I noticed a tip listed on the very bottom of the box: If you want a creamier mac and cheese, try replacing the butter and milk with a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt.

What is a vegan substitute for milk in mac and cheese? ›

Almond milk is a popular plant-based milk that's a great substitute for regular cow's milk. It has a nutty flavor, which can add a subtle richness to your mac and cheese. As it's used as a common milk substitute, you can simply put the same amount of almond milk as you'd put regular milk.

Will vanilla almond milk taste good in mac and cheese? ›

Re: Vanilla Almond Milk + Mac & Cheese

It's ok. Not really much of a difference, except you can smell it much more than taste it, so it could be confusing if you're easily fooled between the dynamics of the smell/taste relationship.

Is unsweetened almond milk good in mac and cheese? ›

almond milk – I used unsweetened almond milk for this recipe instead of cream or regular milk, but any type of milk will work. If you're going the dairy-free route I recommend using unsweetened milk as many milk alternatives will have sugar and this will change the flavor of the mac & cheese.

Can I use chicken broth instead of milk in mac and cheese? ›

Chicken broth isn't commonly used to make mac and cheese, but we find it works great in place of half the milk and adds more flavor.

Is mayonnaise a milk substitute? ›

Mayonnaise doesn't have any milk products in it, so that means it doesn't have dairy. Eggs aren't considered a dairy product, even though they are an animal product. That means if you have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance, it's safe to eat eggs, as well as mayonnaise, because they don't contain any lactose.

Can you make Annie's mac and cheese without milk? ›

While you technically can use water instead of milk in your mac and cheese recipe, it may result in a less creamy and flavorful sauce. Dairy-free milk substitutes, such as almond milk or oat milk, offer a more satisfying alternative that helps maintain the desired texture and taste.

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