Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, no? I have to avoid dairy due to food allergies, and in my ongoing quest to make dairy-free food that tastes as good as the original… I created this baked mac and cheese recipe that has been a HUGE hit in our house.
Whether you avoid dairy due to allergies, personal choice, or are just trying to add more plant-based foods to your diet – you are going to LOVE this dish!
I make my baked mac and cheese in individual au gratin dishes, which makes them perfectly serving-sized and fun to eat. (The au gratin dishes we have are from Crate and Barrel here. They’re super affordable and hold up really well at high heat!) One recipe makes four ‘normal-sized’ servings – or two servings for very hungry people. (I always make this disclaimer, because we normally fall into the latter group 🤣)
A good high-speed blender or food processor is the workhorse of this recipe – as you’ll be making your own breadcrumbs and blending your vegan cheese sauce in it.
For those who have never made their own breadcrumbs – don’t be intimidated. It’s super easy, I promise, and gives the mac and cheese a great added texture.
The silky vegan cheese sauce (made from cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and spices) thickens up beautifully after being baked in the oven.
If you give my mac and cheese a try, I hope you’ll let me know in the comments down below!Print
Your favorite comfort food – made plant-based. We love this healthy baked vegan mac and cheese on weekend nights in PJs and with a good movie.
- 12 ounces macaroni (gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 slices hearty bread of choice, toasted (use gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegan cheese sauce
- 1 1/2 cups raw unsalted cashews
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- Juice of 1/2 a large lemon (or 2 teaspoons vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Smoked paprika, to taste
- Vegan butter for greasing ramekins
- Preheat oven to 500º F. Grease 4 au gratin dishes with vegan butter and set aside.
- Make your breadcrumbs. Toast 2 slices of bread, then place in a high-speed blender or food processor, pulsing until finely ground. Spread onto a baking sheet, and toss with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Clean the blender or food processor quickly afterwards, as you’ll need this for the cheese sauce.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, and par-boil your macaroni for just 4 minutes. (Note: we are purposefully not bringing it to al dente, as it will continue to cook once in the oven.)
- Transfer pasta into individual ramekins.
- Meanwhile, combine cashews, water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, onion powder, dijon, and salt and pepper (to taste) in the same blender or food processor as before. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the vegan cheese sauce over pasta in the individual au gratin dishes. Toss together. Top with as much breadcrumbs as you prefer.
- Place au gratin dishes in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, until tops are nice and crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle each ramekin with a dash of smoked paprika for extra flavor.
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