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bowl of mac and cheese with broccoli

Ultimate Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Alexis Joseph
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Meals
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Everyone adores this rich and creamy stovetop Vegan Mac and Cheese made with velvety smooth cashew cream sauce. Kids and adults alike will be asking for seconds of this easy one-pot meal, on the table in 25 minutes! Enjoy right out of the pot or bake with buttery breadcrumbs for extra crunch. Add broccoli for a dose of veg and serve with hot sauce!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 8 oz elbow pasta (I used chickpea pasta)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, chopped (from 2 medium crowns broccoli)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt (more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional for yellow color)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (like Frank's red hot)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice*
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Optional: 2 cups spinach (or greens of choice)


  1. Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with very hot water. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. When 2-3 minutes are remaining, add broccoli. Once pasta is al dente, drain and return to pot.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic powder, salt, turmeric, and paprika, stirring for a minute. Carefully transfer onion mixture to a blender.
  4. Add greens to same pan, sautéing over medium heat for a couple minutes or until wilted. Set aside.
  5. Add drained cashews, hot sauce, lemon juice, water, and nutritional yeast to blender (I used my Nutribullet) and blend until very smooth and creamy.
  6. Pour sauce into pot with pasta and broccoli. Stir in cooked greens if using. Taste and add salt if needed (I add another 1/4 tsp). I love serving with plenty of Frank's hot sauce!


Baked mac and cheese: Pour mac and cheese into baking dish of your choice sprayed with cooking spray. Whisk together 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs with 1 tbsp melted vegan butter and sprinkle onto mac. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes, until golden and crispy!

*I like to use 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and 1/2 tbsp hot sauce for an extra kick and tang!