This veggie mac and cheese is so creamy and delicious! You will have no idea it is healthy, vegan and gluten-free.
We love a good creamy mac. And when mom can get veggies in without kids complaining then it's an even bigger win!! This recipe has been in my back pocket for years and I am finally sharing with the world!
When you make your own vegan mac and cheese from scratch you can adjust the ingredients to fit your tastes and preferences. Plus, you can add in extra nutrients by including vegetables. And when veggies are drenched in the most delicious creamy plant based cheese sauce everyone is happy!
The items you need to make this vegan veggie mac and cheese include:
- Your favorite pasta
- Potato chips
- Vegan Parmesan
For the sauce gather:
- Cashew milk
- Raw cashews
- Lemon juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt
- Ground mustard
How to Make Veggie Mac and Cheese
Just a few simple steps stand between you and creamy vegan mac and cheese that's loaded with veggies! Here's what to do:
- Partially cook the pasta, adding in the veggies before it’s done.
- Blend all of the sauce ingredients.
- Drain the pasta and mix in the sauce.
- Pour into a casserole dish and top with chips and vegan Parmesan.
Feel free to get creative and try different flavors each time you make this recipe. Soft veggies are best so they cook all the way. Here are a few ideas of what you can mix in:
- Vegan Sausage
- Mushroom Bacon
Tips and Tricks
For the best results make sure to check out these helpful hints:
- Red potatoes are best but any starchy potato will work. Avoid sweet potatoes.
- If you do not have a high speed blender you can soak the cashews overnight or grind them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder.
- Adjust the salt to taste. Once everything is mixed together the saltiness in the flavor goes down quite a bit.
- Any pasta will work but small noodles like shells, macaroni, or ziti is best.
- The toppings can be any ratio of chips to cheese, or all of one or the other. Just use about 1 ½ cups total.
- Prep ahead by cooking the noodles and veggies and making the cheese sauce. Then just assemble and bake when you're ready to eat!
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days in an airtight container.
- Reheat in the oven to re-crisp the top, or quickly pop it in the microwave.
Anything you want! Vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, and zucchini are great options. Different spices and herbs can also add great flavor.
Standard mac and cheese is filled with fat and calories from the cheese and cream. This plant based recipe uses all whole food plant based ingredients for a much healthier dish.
More Family Friendly Vegan Recipes
Keep both the kids and parents happy with all of these easy plant based dishes:
- Gluten-Free Vegan Sausage
- Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Vegan Egg Scramble
- Lentil Veggie Burger
- Loaded Baked Potato
- Creamy Potato Soup
- Healthy Hamburger Helper
Healthy Veggie Mac and Cheese
- 12 ounces your favorite pasta , gluten-free if needed
- 4 cups veggies of choice , we love broccoli and mushrooms
- 1 cup finely crushed potato chips , if not using Parmesan use 1 ½ cups
- ½ cup vegan Parmesan , optional or use all potato chips
- ¾ cup cooked potato , about 1 medium potato (see note)
- 6 tablespoons cooked sweet or yellow onion
- ¾ cup raw cashews , see note
- 1 ½ cups cashew milk
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- Start by cooking the cashews, potato and onion together by boiling in water. Make sure the water in the pot covers them. Takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C.
- Once everything has boiled, drain and place them with the rest of the sauce ingredients into a high spend blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, but cook half the time. Add in veggies about 2 minutes before it’s done.
- Drain, rinse, and put back in the pot.
- Add cream sauce and mix well.
- Pour into a square baking dish and top with crushed potato chip/Parmesan mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until the top begins to brown.
- I used red potatoes but any starchy potato will work, just don’t use sweet.
- If you are not using a high speed blender you can either soak the cashews overnight or grind them into a fine powder using a coffee grinder.
- Feel free to adjust the salt for your preference, just remember that when sauce is mixed with pasta the saltiness in the flavor goes down quite a bit, which is why it needs more here.
- Use about 1 ½ cups mixture for the top. Whatever combo of potato chips and Parmesan you prefer.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
As the mother of a vegan daughter with an eating disorder, I've learned to really dislike the word healthy because it implies weight loss and that other foods are not healthy. I think all your mac and cheese recipes are healthy so why does this one get the healthy label. Just something to think about. What she needs right now are foods high in calories and rich with fats and such to rebuild her brain and body but she also is vegan.
Hi M, I am very sorry to hear that your daughter struggles with disordered eating. Thanks for sharing this. While I do fully understand why you don't like the word healthy, and that it can be a trigger for you, I do use it sometimes and the reason behind it is for my sites SEO and keyword strategy. I use strategy when it comes to creating my titles, the more I play the google search game, the more people will come to my site and the more people I can reach through my recipes. My goal is to share my creations to as many people as I can. I wish it wasn't this way but unfortunately it is. While there are many words I will not use (like clean for example) because of the reasons you state, healthy is one I am ok with. I know healthy means something different to everyone, but if you read my about me, you will see that I believe health means a combination of body and mind and that is what I strive for with my content. So I am okay with that being included in my titles. I hope that makes a little more sense into my side of things. I truly wish your daughter the very best!
Yum! The sauce was perfect, we mixed in spinach and mushrooms and it went so well together.
I am unclear. Cook the cashews, potato, and onion together by boiling 15-20 min. Question: What do you boil these ingredienets in?
In the cashew milk? In water that you drain?
I like the recipe - gonna try it out - just not sure about this part.
Hi Marilyn! I updated the directions to make it a little more clear. But yes, you cook those by boiling in water. Hope you like it!