I know how cheese can be hard to give up, but trust me it can easily be replaced. It blew my mind when I first learned how to make a cheese replacement without dairy. The main ingredient I used for this simple vegan cashew mac and cheese recipe is in the name: cashews! They provide a creamy taste and texture along with many nutrients. The nutritional yeast provides a cheesy flavor and the dairy free milk smoothes out the sauce. For an extra protein and fiber boost, I used Banza Chickpea Elbow Macaroni Pasta for the mac.
Growing up, I ate some cheese, but not too much dairy in general, because it contributed to my digestive and acne issues and now I avoid consuming it for other personal reasons. This cheese sauce is oil free and made with whole food ingredients, making it taste and make me feel better after eating a bowl (and going back for seconds). It’s perfect for this vegan cashew mac and cheese recipe and can go well with any another pasta dish or as a dipping or drizzling sauce with any other meal.
Featured Ingredient: Cashews
- actually a seed, rather than a nut, grow on a tree and originates from South American before spreading to Africa and Asia.
- excellent source of magnesium, manganese and copper.
- good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus and vitamin K.
- lower in total fat and saturated fat compared to most other nuts (and cheeses) and mostly made up of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats in the oleic acid form with a smaller amount of polyunsaturated fats.
This Vegan Cashew Mac and Cheese Recipe is
- oil free
- only a few ingredients
- ready in 15 minutes or less
- creamy and delicious comfort food
- cheesy flavor without dairy
- 1 package (8oz/227g) elbow macaroni pasta (I used high-protein Banza chickpea pasta)
- 1 cup raw cashews (soak in water overnight in fridge for smoother sauce)
- 3/4 cup plain unsweetened dairy free milk of choice (I used cashew milk)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp vinegar (white or apple cider)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional, for yellow color)
Cook the elbow macaroni pasta according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, place the cashews, dairy free milk, nutritional yeast, salt and optional turmeric into a blender or food processor and blend into a smooth creamy sauce.
When the pasta is done cooking, strain out the water, return the pasta into the pot and pour the sauce on top. Mix the pasta around to evenly coat it in the sauce.
Dig in! Store leftovers in fridge for about one week.
If you try this recipe or would like ingredient questions, feel free to leave a review or comment below and share your creations on Instagram by tagging me @plantbasedstride. Thanks and enjoy!