Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

This Creamy Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese is undeniably divine! Made with an amazing, cashew based ‘cheese’ sauce, it’s the perfect addition to any meal!

Overhead shot of creamy baked vegan mac and cheese in a skillet and two bowls.

Hey friends! In my kitchen, aka Jessica’s kitchen, I’ve made many dishes. Everything from tacos to no bake chocolate pudding to ice cream to even cauliflower buffalo wings. I’ve even made vegan mac and cheese before, but it was very seasonal using squash and pumpkin. After ENDLESS requests, finally, I have an everyday, weeknight vegan mac and cheese that will satisfy your cheese cravings (truly).

Oh my, friends – you will LOVE this. It’s the closest you’ll get to the real thing, and the cheese sauce is OUT of this world. Friends, this Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese is on POINT.

Pouring cheese sauce on macaroni in a skillet.

First of all, how am I just making this?! You may be asking. I’ve stayed away from vegan mac and cheese for a long while, because I knew that I would want to ABSOLUTELY perfect it. I wanted to make a vegan mac and cheese that had an explosive cheese taste that would make you want to share it with everyone.

I’m teaming back up with GreenLife Cookware, a healthy ceramic non-stick coating cookware company for this post and I couldn’t be more excited. If you saw my Thai Green Curry Recipe post, you know I fell in love immediately with this GreenLife Cookware because of these gorgeous turquoise pans, and also because its lead and cadmium free, and manufactured without PFAS and PFOA. 

Making this vegan mac and cheese in the skillet also means you can just use the same skillet you cook in to bake it in = less dishes too friends! It also means cleanup is a complete breeze because the GreenLife Cookware pots and pan are really non-stick. If you’ve made mac and cheese before, it usually STICKS like crazy for cleanup – not here though. I am not exaggerating when I say that one quick swipe cleaned these right up.

Overhead view of vegan mac and cheese in a skillet with a blue handle with bowl of mac and cheese on the side.

After lots of research, trial and error, I’ve come up with a recipe I truly love. The Mr. is a mac and cheese aficionado, tasted the cheese sauce first and gave me the official thumbs up. I’m definitely doing a separate post on this sauce I want to bottle because you NEED to pour that over your roasted potatoes (done), had it like nacho cheese with chips (done too) and use it anywhere and everywhere your heart desires!
I heavily modified my vegan cheese ball recipes so that’s it was more of a sauce but still creamy. Then, I added a combo of sautéed carrots, garlic and onions to it for colour and to give the sauce some body. I learned that trick while making my scotch bonnet pepper hot sauce, which by the way, would be divine drizzled over this vegan mac and cheese!
 Top down view of mac and cheese in a skillet with a portion taken out.
After the sauce was complete, it was as simple as pouring it over the macaroni in the GreenLife pan, breading it, and baking it in the oven to set. I waited patiently for it to cool but I was definitely doing a little dance in my head. One bite into the hot, creamy and definitely cheesy mac and cheese and I knew I had to share this with you guys. Yes, I even had it for dinner that night. That alone, with some hot sauce of course. It’s that good.
By the way, if you’ve never tried it, this baked vegan mac and cheese transforms beautifully into mac and cheese waffles, just like these waffles. I love recreating leftovers, and the flavours are even more developed. A slightly crisp outside with a creamy inside? Sounds like the mac and cheese waffles of my dreams. Enjoy!

Fork scooping out mac and cheese from a white ramekin.

Top down view of creamy baked vegan mac & cheese in a skillet with a blue handle.

Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese (Gluten Free)

This Creamy Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese is undeniably divine! Made with an amazing, cashew based 'cheese' sauce, it's the perfect addition to any meal!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American

Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni, gluten free if needed 12 oz/340g
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil 12.5g
  • 1 large carrot 112g, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion 72g, halved and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water overnight
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • Juice of one lime 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari/liquid aminos
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

Breadcrumb Topping

  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • salt & pepper to taste for breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter/coconut oil


Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese (Gluten Free)

  • Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  • Prepare elbow pasta according to package directions. You can do this while the carrots are being cooked. Drain and pour into a pan (You can use the same pan as below - just leave the pasta in a colander, then after carrot mixture has been made, add to pan).
  • In a pan over medium heat heat the oil add in the carrots, onions and the garlic, stirring to combine. Cover with lid and allow to steam/roast until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • In a large high speed blender add the carrot mixture, cashews, salt and pepper, ground mustard, lime juice, tamari, nutritional yeast, paprika, ground nutmeg, and almond milk.
  • Blend together for about 1 minute on a strong speed, until sauce is completely smooth and incorporate. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  • Pour the sauce over the Mac and cheese in a skillet. Stir to combine.
  • Mix breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to taste and vegan butter in a small dish with a small whisk or fork until combined. Sprinkle over the top of the Mac and cheese, covering completely.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until Mac and cheese is set, then broil for a few minutes until top is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly then serve and enjoy!
This recipe is vegan and gluten free.
To make this soy free, you can use coconut aminos instead of tamari or liquid aminos, and soy-free vegan butter.
Prep time doesn’t include soaking the cashews overnight.
If you try this Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese please let me know in the comment section below, or tag me on instagram with the hashtag #jessicainthekitchen! For more exclusive recipes follow me on Instagram AND on Snapchat: jessinkitchen.
This post is sponsored by GreenLife Cookware. All opinions and text are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Jessica in the Kitchen.


Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 432mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1721IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 4mg
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating


  1. LeeAnn says:

    Hi! I am in LOVE with your site. I stumbled upon it this week while searching for Vegan and GF recipes. I am on a 30 day detox plan and need healthy, low sodium, sugar free, vegan, GF dishes (geesh1). I tried your mushroom soup and it was DELISH. So, now I plan to try this. My question is, can I substitute the mustard powder with actual mustard? I do not have any on dry mustard in my pantry today.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi LeeAnn,

      Aww thank you so much!! I’m so happy to hear that my website has been helping so much with your detox plan!! So glad you enjoyed my mushroom soup too!! Yes – you can use about 1 tablespoon of actual mustard in place. I hope that helps and that you enjoy!!

  2. Michelle says:

    Hi, Jessica!

    If I were to cool it in a baking pan in the fridge, and then take it to a family member’s house before putting the topping on and baking it, how long should it cook in the over for?


    • Jessica says:

      Hi Michelle,

      I would bring it to room temperature, then bring it over, and then just proceed as according to the recipe – so the same steps and 15 minutes as according to the recipe. I hope that helps and that you enjoy!!

  3. LeeAnn says:

    Hi again! I made this recipe and I found the almond milk flavor to overpower it a bit… I want to try again but I’m thinking I’ll try cashew milk. Do you have have suggestions besides that swap?

    • Jessica says:

      Hey LeeAnn!

      Did you use regular almond milk by chance, and not unsweetened? We did that once with the “original” and found it overpowering too, which is why I always use the one that say “Unsweetened”in savoury recipes. If you used unsweetened and still had a problem, I would recommend cashew milk! I hope that helps!!

      • LeeAnn Sims says:

        Jessica – That must have been the problem. I decided to try with cashew milk and it was soooo good. I recall I also did some wonky things with your recipe the first time like I tried vegan shredded cheese on top and maybe put too much nutritional yeast. I followed to the tee for the most part this time and I am so glad that I tried it again. This will be my vegan comfort food go-to! Thanks for the response.

  4. Rachel says:

    Thank you for this recipe! It was a perfect addition to my BBQ jackfruit! It’s creamy and doesn’t skimp on flavor.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Rachel! First of all BBQ jackfruit sounds so delicious! We’re glad our recipe paired well with yours! Thanks for your kind words!

  5. MEG says:

    Hey Jessica!
    Do you have to soak the cashews overnight ? Or is a few hours good enough ?

    • Jessica says:

      Hey Meg,

      I usually soak my cashews for 4 hours in boiling water! The water of course cools down, but I start with boiling water. Hope that helps!

  6. tori hausman says:

    hi! i can’t wait to try out this recipe, i’ve been looking for a good homemade vegan mac and cheese recipe for a while now!!!

    how long will this stay good for? i was hoping i could make it on a sunday night for lunches at work during the week.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Tori! We just made this recipe for the thousandth time 4 days ago. It will definitely last in your fridge up to a week and a half. I hope this helps!

  7. Melissa says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Will definitely be making again.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Melissa! We’re so happy that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for not only reading but trying it!

  8. David says:

    I’m thinking of making this to do vegan cheesy fries. Can the cheese once made be put into a squeezy container without setting? Also after squirting it on the fries would it need to be reheated or would it be good to go?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi David this is an amazing idea. It can be put directly into a squeezy container no reheating necessary. I hope you enjoy!

  9. Megan Buck says:

    5 stars
    This is delicious! We had it with some roasted broccoli and avocado. It came together really quickly.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you enjoyed this recipe Megan! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

  10. Ashley says:

    5 stars
    Do I need to do anything special to make this into waffles? Or just grease a waffle iron and slap the mac-n-cheese on? 🙂


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