The Ultimate Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Claire Cary
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: American


This isn’t just any vegan mac and cheese, this is THE (baked) vegan mac and cheese that puts all the other ones to shame. It’s rich, creamy, easy to make and actually cheesy with no potatoes, squash or nutritional yeast!



  • 16 ounces pasta of choice 
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp dairy free butter*
  • 2 tbsp olive oil*
  • 1/21 pack Violife Mature Cheddar Slices* (depending on how rich you want the flavor)
  • 1 pack Follow Your Heart American Style Slices*
  • 1 pack Follow Your Heart Provolone Style Slices*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/41/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • black pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 cup breadcrumbs for topping (gluten free as needed)


  1. Add cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. During the final 10 or so minutes of soaking the cashews, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. This is one case where you actually want to slightly undercook the pasta because it will continue to cook in the oven. However, if you aren’t going to bake it, cook it as usual. 
  4. When the cashews are done soaking, drain and rinse them and add to a high speed blender with 3 cups of water. 
  5. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds to  1 minute depending on your blender.
  6. Add in all remaining ingredients. It helps to cut the cheese into chunks and separate each slice so it’s not all stuck together. 
  7. Blend until completely smooth, about 1 full minute. Taste with a piece of pasta and adjust seasonings as desired. 
  8. Combine most of the sauce with the pasta and mix well. Transfer to a large baking dish. Save about 1 cup worth of the sauce and pour over top the pasta once it’s in the baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and put in the oven uncovered for 15-20 minutes. 
  10. After 15 minutes, if you want to crisp the top up more, set the oven to broil and let broil for a just few minutes. Be sure to watch it closely because broiling can burn things very quickly! 
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!


When making the sauce, start with 1/4 tsp of turmeric, and add more if you want to deepen the color. The orangey color darkens when the mac and cheese bakes, so avoid adding too much turmeric before it goes in the oven.

Once prepared, this recipe will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. It reheats really well, I would suggest leaving it in the container you bake it in and cover it with foil, then pop it back in the oven at 300 for about 10 minutes or until it’s nice and warm!

While there are a lot of other vegan cheeses that you can use in place of the ones I listed, using different ones will change the flavor slightly. Some vegan cheeses are (unfortunately) not very good, but Follow Your Heart, VioLife and Field Roast (the creamy original is great), are all great brands. To keep the level of cheesiness consistent, I recommend using vegan cheese slices, or measure out equal parts of cheese shreds. 

This recipe calls for 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of oil. However, you can use all of one or the other, but I think using some of each gives the richest and creamiest flavor. 

The arrowroot can be subbed for cornstarch or tapioca starch.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 596
  • Fat: 22.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 59.9g
  • Fiber: 3.4g
  • Protein: 21.1g

Keywords: mac and cheese, vegan mac and cheese, baked vegan mac and cheese, dairy free mac and cheese