Creamy, rich, and deliciously vegan, this is the BEST dairy free mac and cheese that even gets melty and stringy like traditional mac and cheese. It requires only a few simple ingredients and is totally kid friendly.
Mac and cheese was pretty much the only thing I ate as a child. I always preferred Annie’s to Kraft, and always the white cheese to the orange. Anyone else?!
Mac and cheese never failed to put me in a good mood (tbh ANY creamy pasta put me in a good mood) and I SO missed the lush and creaminess of mac and cheese when I cut dairy from my diet. Well ladies and gents, this dairy free mac and cheese is the best one I’ve ever made and is a total crowd pleaser.
It’s rich, creamy, decadent, and you definitely won’t miss the dairy. Trust me! PLUS, if you didn’t think it could get any better, it only requires about 15 minutes of you actually cooking! Ready to try it?!
What is vegan mac and cheese made of?
Believe it or not, you can make vegan mac and cheese out of a LOT of things! Some will have non-dairy cheese alternatives, some will have cashews, or even cauliflower, but I opted to make a much simpler version with ingredients you probably already have on hand. For this recipe you will need:
- Almond milk
- Olive oil
- Roasted garlic
- Sauteed garlic
- Arrowroot powder
- Nutritional yeast
- Homemade Dairy Free Cashew Parmesan
- A smidge of paprika and mustard powder
- Salt & pepper
How to make dairy free mac and cheese
This recipe does have a lot of steps, but don’t be intimidated!! It’s only because it includes roasting the garlic and making the dairy free cashew parmesan. Not including these two steps, this recipe will only take about 15 minutes to make. You can do both of these first two steps ahead of time to make your life easier, too.
All it involves is roasting the garlic-easy. Cooking the pasta-easy. Sautéing more garlic (I like garlic ok?!)-easy. Making the vegan parmesan-easy. And then adding all of the sauce ingredients to a blender until nice and smooth-easiest.
PRO TIP: Be sure to let the sauce get super thick and stringy before stirring in the pasta. If it doesn’t seem to be thick enough, add in more arrowroot powder until it is thick and creamy. The arrowroot can also be subbed for cornstarch.
What pairs well with vegan mac and cheese?
If you’re trying to add more veggies into your diet, peas, broccoli, and green beans are all delicious with mac and cheese! You can stir them right into the sauce, or have them on the side.
The great thing about this mac and cheese is that it can be the star of the meal all on it’s own. I like to use a chickpea or legume based pasta to up the protein content, then just stir in some peas and you have yourself a delicious and nutritious meal that is perfect for kids and adults!
Try these other dairy free pasta recipes next!
- 20 minute hemp and lemon pesto pasta
- Life changing vegan tomato basil cream sauce
- Asparagus pasta salad with creamy lemon dressing
- Creamy white bean pasta sauce
Lastly, if you want more recipes straight to your inbox, be sure to subscribe to my email list! As always, if you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on instagram and leave a comment below so I can see your creation!Print
Rich, creamy, and so easy to make, this is a dairy free mac and cheese that is ready in only 20 minutes!
- 16 ounces pasta of choice
- 1 head + 6 cloves garlic
- 2.5 cups unsweetened and unflavored almond milk
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) olive oil
- 5 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan
- 1/2 tsp black or white pepper
- 1/3 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
- Pinch of paprika
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Take the whole clove of garlic and cut off the top part so you can see the inside of each clove.
- Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, wrap in foil, and place in the oven.
- Roast for 45 minutes.
- During the final 10 minutes, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Peel and mince the other 6 cloves of garlic and saute with 1 tbsp olive oil.
- When the garlic starts to brown, add the almond milk and the arrowroot powder.
- Let simmer on low heat until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken slightly.
- Add the mixture to a blender with 1/2 cup of cashew parmesan, 1/4 cup of the nutritional yeast, and all remaining ingredients including the roasted garlic.
- Process the mixture until completely smooth.
- Add back to the saute pan and add the remaining bit (3 tbsp) of nutritional yeast.
- Stir on low heat until it starts to thicken. After 5-10 minutes the mixture should be very thick and cheesy. If it does not thicken, add an additional tsp of arrowroot.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Add the cooked pasta into the sauce and stir until well coated and serve immediately.
This recipe will store in the fridge for about 3-5 days but is best served fresh.
To reheat, add the mac and cheese to a pan on the stove with a splash of almond milk to retain the creamy texture.
If you squeeze the bottom of the garlic, the inside should just squeeze out right into the blender. Try to avoid getting any of the skin in there.
The arrowroot powder can be subbed for cornstarch.
Keywords: mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, dairy free mac and cheese, gluten free mac and cheese