Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese

"Vegan" Mac 'N Cheese

“Vegan” Mac ‘N Cheese

So, remember when I shared my “vegan” creamy chicken soup and said the cream base would probably pop up again?  Well, POP!

With a few additions, it turned out to be the perfect “cheese” sauce for a vegan Mac ‘n Cheese!

So here’s what I did:

Once again, you’ll start with steaming some cauliflower.  I used a whole head.  If you want, you could add some onion to this.  (We think Jed had a minor fructose reaction to it the last time I made it, though, so we omitted the onion this time for trialing purposes.)

Steaming Cauliflower

Steaming Cauliflower

After it steamed, I poured off the water from the bottom of the pan into a measuring cup.  Fortunately, it was almost exactly the 1 1/4 cups of water I needed!  I poured it back in the pan, added the coconut milk and the cauliflower, and put the immersion blender to good use.

Start your engines!

Start your engines!

Meanwhile, I started cooking the pasta.  I used Ancient Harvest corn/quinoa elbow noodles; they worked great, but you will either need to pour half the sauce over the noodles or use two boxes of the noodles – I poured the noodles into the sauce and had to cook a whole other box to make the sauce/noodle ratio correct!


Once you’ve got a beautiful cauliflower puree…

Cream base...

Cream base…

…go ahead and get your seasonings ready to go.  For this recipe, I use nutritional yeast, mustard powder, paprika, and sea salt.  The seasonings are what really make this into a “cheesy” sauce, primarily the Nutritional Yeast.  It just won’t work without it! I use Bragg’s nutritional yeast, because my health food co-op carries it, but you can find it online if you can’t find it locally.

One other thing – the amount of salt this recipe needs is apparently based on the person eating it!  I’ve tried cutting it down, but every time I do, Darrel winds up adding salt to his dinner before he can say he likes it!  So start small and see if you think it tastes okay to you before going to the higher end of things.  (But keep the salt shaker ready at the table!)

All in one measuring cup, ready to go.  Measure out the nutritional yeast first if you do it this way!

All in one measuring cup, ready to go. Measure out the nutritional yeast first if you do it this way!

Then dump them in and mix it up!  I just kept using the immersion blender for this part – it was already dirty, so why make myself have to clean another utensil, right?

Mixing it in.

Mixing it in.

And a "cheese" sauce!

And a “cheese” sauce!

Then mix your sauce and noodles together and Voila!  Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese!

I’ve served this plain, and I’ve added ground beef to it to make it a one-pot meal – both work great!  My next experiment is to bake it – I’ll let you know how that turns out!

Jed likes it, and so does Darrel, and I’m so happy I can finally serve my son  Mac ‘n Cheese for dinner!

Vegan Mac 'N Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1¼ c. water (use water from steaming cauliflower for best flavor)
  • ½ c. coconut milk (optional, you could use more water instead or an alternative milk)
  • 1 c. nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1-3 T. sea salt
  • 1 lb. safe pasta noodles
  • onion (optional)
  • ground beef (optional)
  1. Chop the cauliflower (and onion, if using) into large chunks; place in a steamer basket.
  2. Add water to a pot and insert steamer basket.  Steam the cauliflower.
  3. Cook the pasta noodles.  Cook the ground beef, if using.
  4. When the cauliflower is fork tender, pour off the steamer water into a measuring cup.  Add the cauliflower, 1¼ c. of the steamed water, and ½ c. of coconut milk (or alternative milk or water) to the same pan.
  5. Blend it until smooth with the immersion blender.
  6. Add your seasonings and blend together.
  7. Mix the sauce with the noodles. If adding ground beef, do so now, as well.
  8. Enjoy a healthy, vegan mac 'n cheese!

(This recipe is only vegan if you do NOT use ground beef, of course!)

This recipe shared with:


Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways and Real Food Wednesdays

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese

  1. vegetarianmamma says:

    Wow, that cream base looks awesome! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Be sure to stop by to see who the winner of our So Lucky GF Basket is! We are ALSO having a fantastic giveaway this week to kick off Celiac Awareness month! 🙂

    Cindy from

  2. Gail says:

    I think that I will make this. Wish I had an immersion blender-guess that food processor or Vita-mix would work ok.
    You do mean 1-3 Tablespoons salt? That does sound like a lot!
    I think I will add frozen peas for color-a traditional mac-n-cheese addition.
    Have you tried freezing this? Sounds like it makes a lot.

    • Carrie says:

      So jealous of your Vitamix!! That would work just fine, actually. Probably easier than the immersion blender!

      Yes, the salt is one I’m not even sure of! As I said, I keep trying to reduce the amount I put in, but every time I do, Darrel adds copious amounts to his plate. So maybe start lower and see if it’s just my darling husbands’ strange taste buds demanding that amount of salt!

      I intended to eventually add veggies to this dish; I was thinking chopped up broccoli, actually, but peas would be great. My first go-round, I just wanted to try it plain to see if it was safe for Jed. Just hated the idea of wasting any more food than necessary in case it didn’t turn into a staple dish in our house.

      I would absolutely halve this recipe and freeze half – I don’t see why it wouldn’t freeze beautifully! I would recommend just freezing the sauce part without noodles; then when you’re ready to eat, just thaw the sauce, heat the noodles and mix it together. Should come out great! Let me know if you like this. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Gail says:

        Hi, Carrie,
        I did make this and it turned out pretty good. I used two teaspoons of salt. And added peas and a diced red bell pepper. The bell pepper gave it a nice crunch (and some color).
        I would make this again.

        • Carrie says:

          I’m so glad you liked it! Yes, the salt is variable. I think Darrel has a salt craving. 🙂

          Good idea about the red bell pepper! I’ve since added broccoli to great success, but red is always a nice color in food. Thanks!

  3. Anthea says:

    Perhaps the onions but also the cauliflower with the fructose reaction.

    • Carrie says:

      Really? Cauliflower is on our list of “safe” veggies! Hmm…well, he’s since eaten this many times with no onion added and been fine, so fingers crossed that he’s not mildly reactive to cauliflower and I just can’t tell.

      Again, really? Cauliflower? Where did you learn this?

  4. Pingback: Gluten-Free and Allergy-Free Wednesdays Blog Hop

  5. Pingback: Vegan Southwest Queso - Cradle Rocking Mama

  6. Ashley Hamm says:

    Hello I was just wondering if I could substitute anything or possibly omit the paprika? My one year old has a list of food allergies also and we have just added citric acid to that list which means no peppers! 🙁 I would love to be able to make him “Mac and cheese” for the first time!

    • Carrie says:

      I don’t see why you couldn’t omit the paprika. It pretty much just adds some flavor; if there is something else you have that it safe as a spice, you could try it with that.

      Just curious, how do citric acid and peppers relate?

      • Ashley Hamm says:

        Ok we will try that! Peppers produce natural citric acid his allergy to it is so bad we can’t even do table pepper. Hopefully it will be something he grows out of!

        • Carrie says:

          That is so interesting! Thanks for sharing! We’ve only been concerned with citric acid because it is so often corn-derived; I had never considered that naturally occurring citric acid could be a problem. Now I have a heads up – thank you!!

          I hope he grows out of it, too! 🙂

        • dkaj says:

          Hi Ashley, I’m just seeing this post and not sure you will see this, but I am just curious about your child’s citric acid allergy because my kids don’t do well with citrus either and since taking paprika out of our seasonings it has helped. My question is this, does your child have anaphlaxic allergy to citrus, or is it more of an intolerance that causes stomach issues and/ir reflux for him/her. For both my kids, they have diferrent stomach reactions to it, if it be reflux, regurgitation, stomach bloating, diarhea and etc. Neither tolerate tomato sauces either, and I myself have issues with various peppers, citrus fruits – especially pineapple *but if it’s baked in something it’s more tolerable* , grapes cause my dd to regurgitate, and any type of fruits out of a can bother my daughter that has the added citric acid to it. So, just curious. I am also keeping my eye on cinnamon as a spice because it is also high in histamines and all citrus fruits / vegetables are higher in histamines and also reflux triggers. If you see this, any feeback would be appreciated. TIA

  7. Pingback: Vegan Potatos au Gratin - Cradle Rocking Mama

Comments are love! Tell me what you're thinking!