Are you ready for the ultimate list of the best vegan mac and cheese recipes? Even better, how about we separate this recipe roundup into four categories:
- Creative Flavors
- Healthy/Whole-Food Plant-Based
- Quick and Easy
Unlike its dairy-filled counterpart, there are about a-thousand-and-one ways to make vegan macaroni and cheese, so I thought it might be helpful to bring some organization to the list.
I asked the best vegan food bloggers out there for their ALL-time BEST vegan mac recipes. Then I pored over each one in an attempt to create a diverse and delicious recipe roundup for you! Many of the recipes could easily fit into more than one category, so I had to make some judgment calls to place them in the category with the best fit.
Here's what you can expect:
Classic/Decadent (8 recipes) - all-around amazing, cheesy, vegan comfort food is the name of the game. These are the classics. Whether stovetop or baked, many of these recipes incorporate vegan butter and/or store-bought cheeses.
Creative (13 recipes) - similar to the recipes in the above category, most of these could be considered decadent but with a creative spin on the flavors and methods. If you're into mushrooms, peppers, vegan lobster and beer, or fried mac and cheese, this category is for you.
Healthy/Whole-Food Plant-Based (12 recipes) - this one is pretty self-explanatory. If you eschew store-bought vegan cheeses and prefer cheese sauces made from whole plant foods, use the link below to jump on down to this category! All of these recipes are oil-free and incorporate nutritious hidden veggies.
Quick and Easy (7 recipes) - looking a quick weeknight vegan mac and cheese to please hungry kiddos (or yourself)? You'll love these super simple recipes.
Sprinkled throughout you'll find nut-free options, and many of the recipes are gluten-free or easily made that way. Usually, it's as simple as using your favorite gluten-free pasta and substituting gluten-free breadcrumbs in the baked mac and cheese recipes.
If you try any of these awesome vegan mac and cheese recipes, I hope you'll come back and leave a comment to let us know your favorites.
Use the links below to jump to your favorite category:
1. Stovetop Vegan Mac and Cheese
This is my go-to mac and cheese recipe. It's ultra creamy, garlicky, 100% savory, and sort of like a grown up version of your childhood favorite! I usually add sautéed kale or broccoli for a bit of color and added nutrition. Make it gluten-free with your choice of pasta. Includes a nut-free option, too!
2. Vegan Mac and Cheese (Baked and Stovetop)
This one by Larisha and Andrew of Make It Dairy Free is everything you want in a decadent vegan mac and cheese. Bonus: it also includes beans and is allergy-friendly!
3. Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese
This baked vegan mac from Melissa of the blog Vegan Huggs is the epitome of comfort food. The buttery panko topping is enough to have you coming back for seconds, but on top of that, the sauce includes one of my favorite cheesy secret ingredients, pimentos!
4. Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese (Nut-Free)
This from-scratch baked vegan mac and cheese by Melanie of A Virtual Vegan is nut-free and would also be right at home in the "healthy" category thanks to the white sweet potato and cauliflower in the cheese sauce.
5. Extra Cheesy Vegan Mac and Cheese
This cheesy mac by Ruxandra of the blog Gourmandelle has the usual suspects like cashews and potato but also gets an extra bit of richness from full-fat coconut milk. I love the addition of green onion plus a few surprise spices.
6. Baked Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
This ultimate, comforting mac and cheese by Becky of Glue and Glitter features a classic vegan béchamel sauce plus store-bought cheese. I love that you only need 8 simple ingredients to whip this one up.
7. Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese
Calling all garlic lovers! This super creamy stovetop vegan mac from Eat With Clarity features homemade vegan cashew parm and two heads of roasted garlic.
8. Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese
With this one, Kristina of Spabettie was going for a comfort food recipe just like mom used to make.... and I'd say she nailed it! This is a classic vegan baked mac and cheese recipe with a buttery Ritz-style cracker topping that also happens to be gluten-free.
In the mood for vegan mac with flair? You're in the right place. From white truffle to poblano to vegan lobster, it's time for a bit of mac and cheese creativity!
1. White Truffle Mac and Cheese
If you're not sure how to select a good quality white truffle oil, or even where to find one, not to worry. Timothy will point you in the right direction. Mississippi Vegan's White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese is the stuff of dreams, with roasted garlic and three types of vegan cheese.
2. Ultimate Vegan Mushroom Mac and Cheese
For true mushroom lovers, this recipe is a marriage between my stovetop mac and cheese (in the Classic category) and this Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup. It calls for both dried and fresh mushrooms, plenty of garlic, and a bit of rosemary for an umami-rich vegan mushroom mac and cheese worth savoring. This one's by me, My Quiet Kitchen.
3. Vegan "Lobster" Beer Mac
Proof that we can veganize anything, this lobster beer mac from Vegan Travel Eats uses hearts of palm as a sub for lobster. And with cream cheese, beer, and miso in the sauce, you know it’s packing serious flavor. [drooling]
4. Cheesy Udon Noodle Bowl With Brussels Sprouts
Talk about creative! How about a little Asian flair with your cheesy noodles? This recipe from Cadry's Kitchen is a big bowl of comforting goodness, with udon noodles, sriracha, tamari, and miso. Ready in 25 minutes!
5. Vegan Green Chile Mac 'n Cheese
With roasted poblanos and a very pantry-friendly sauce, this green chile mac from Thyme & Love is a slam dunk! Gluten-free, too.
6. Smoky Mac-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Smoky plus sweet is always a winner, but smoky, sweet, AND cheesy? Even better! This smoky mac from Jackie of Vegan Yack Attack is a party in your mouth and can be on the dinner table in about an hour. Bonus: the sauce includes a hidden veggie.
7. Macho Mac and Cheese Nachos
Another one from Vegan Yack Attack! Imagine this... crunchy blue corn chips, creamy nacho mac and cheese, plus all of your favorite toppings, and it’s gluten-free!
8. Jalapeno Cheddar Mac and Cheese
This recipe from The Cheeky Chickpea is like queso meets mac and cheese and needs to be in your bowl ASAP. It's made with pickled jalapeños, green chilies, and Rotel. Come to Mama.
9. Creamy Truffle Mushroom Pasta
And yes, because mushrooms and cheese belong together, here's another dreamy mushroom-lover's mac! I really like the addition of truffle salt and fresh thyme in this recipe from ShortGirlTallOrder.
10. Vegan Squash Mac and Cheese With Curried Okra
Growing up in the South, I've always thought of okra as comfort food, so I think this pairing is genius! Very Vegan Val's recipe includes pan-seared okra seasoned with curry powder plus a squash-cashew sauce.
11. Lemon Poblano Mac and Cheese
A quick stovetop mac gets a burst of flavor from fresh lemon zest and juice. Spabettie's recipe then takes it to the next level with roasted poblano peppers. Ready in 25 minutes!
12. Bacon & Green Onion Mac & Cheese
Rebecca of the blog Vegan Blueberry adds vegan bacon and green onion to a deliciously smoky mac and cheese, and I'm here for it.
13. Mac and Cheese Hearts
What do you do with leftover mac and cheese? Well, obviously you form it into hearts, give it a crispy coating, and turn it into the cutest fried food ever. Click below to get the recipe from Vegan Dollhouse.
All of the recipes in this category are oil-free and made from whole foods (WFPB), meaning you won't find any vegan butter or store-bought cheeses in these options. These recipes are a genius way to get picky eaters to eat their veggies.
1. Plant-Based Mac and Cheese with Broccoli
This creamy plant-based mac and cheese from Nutriciously features a homemade cashew sauce and crunchy broccoli florets. Using simple ingredients like potatoes, carrots and nutritional yeast, it’s low in fat, healthy, and really approachable.
2. Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Rosa of This Healthy Kitchen found a great way to sneak extra veggies into her kiddos' mac and cheese. This sauce is loaded with butternut squash, making it super nutritious and flavorful. The color blends perfectly, so there's no reason for picky eaters to question a thing!
3. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
This nutritious mac from Jenn of the blog Veggie Inspired is soy- and gluten-free, luxuriously creamy, and kid-approved!
4. Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
This Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese from VNutrition is a perfect recipe when you want to add a little spice to your dinner. This pasta dish is made healthy by adding lots of cauliflower and spinach - plus it's gluten-free and totally delicious!
5. Nut-Free Vegan Mac and Cheese
This allergy-friendly vegan mac and cheese from Jasmine and Chris of Sweet Simple Vegan includes hidden veggies and opts for sunflower seeds instead of cashews. It's SO creamy, easy to make, and calls for basic ingredients you probably already have on hand.
6. Veggie-Packed Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
This recipe from Sarah of My Darling Vegan is secretly healthy, filled with all kinds of hidden vegetables, and gets an extra boost of flavor from sun-dried tomatoes and liquid smoke.
7. Vegan Baked Mac & Cheese
This classic plant-based mac and cheese from Teresa of A Plantiful Path is made with easy ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen. It gets its color from a bit of carrot, paprika, and turmeric, and is baked to cheesy perfection!
8. Vegan Sharp White Mac and Cheese
Inspired by a restaurant dish, this vegan sharp white mac and cheese from Veggies Don't Bite is a delicious, whole-food version of its super decadent counterpart. Sophia's recipe includes a creamy sauce with hidden veggies and a crispy hemp seed topping.
9. Chickpea Cheese Sauce
This all-purpose chickpea cheese sauce from Healthy Midwestern Girl could easily become your new favorite healthy cheese sauce. From mac and cheese to potatoes to pizza, go ahead and put it on everything!
10. Easy and Quick Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Mmmm, talk about fall comfort food. This plant-based pumpkin mac and cheese from Ve Eat Cook Bake takes just minutes to prepare and calls on the irresistible flavors of sage, smoked paprika, and nutmeg to complement the creamy pumpkin.
11. Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Susan of Fat Free Vegan created this creamy, garlicky, vegan cauliflower macaroni and cheese. Roasting the cauliflower first adds flavor to this light, low-fat casserole.
12. Nut-Free Vegan Mac and Cheese Sauce
This allergy-friendly cheese sauce from My Pure Plants takes just 20 minutes to make and is veggie-based, inexpensive, and sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Quick and Easy
The vegan mac and cheese recipes in the Quick and Easy category are perfect for those nights when you need comfort food and you need it FAST. Most are stovetop recipes that use simple, pantry-friendly ingredients.
1. Curry Mac and Cheese
This allergy-friendly stovetop mac from Rebecca of the blog Strength and Sunshine couldn't be easier! Not into curry? Be sure to check out her other 1-Pot Mac and Cheese recipe that's just as easy.
2. Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Mac and Cheese
This easy stovetop mac and cheese from Watch Learn Eat has ALL of the buttery, cheesy goodness you want in a mac and cheese (yum, Chao Original) while also being gluten-free. Ready in about 15 minutes!
3. Easy Vegan Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce
Amy of the blog Bear Plate plays it smart with canned sweet potato for this creamy vegan cheese sauce. It's comforting, melty, and ready in just 10 minutes.
4. Vegan Sriracha Shells 'n Cheese
And when you're really in a hurry, hummus to the rescue! This mac and cheese sauce from GoDairyFree uses sriracha hummus as a creamy, protein-rich base.
5. Gluten-Free Vegan Mac and Cheese
VEEG shares wonderful gluten-free recipes, and this cheesy mac is no exception. What sets this one apart is the use of tahini and plain yogurt to create a no-cook sauce! This one is also WFPB/oil-free.
6. Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
And because easy doesn't have to mean quick, how about slow cooker vegan mac and cheese? The Nut Free Vegan's recipe uses just 6 ingredients, including store-bought cheese. Toss everything in, stir, and walk away!
7. Homemade Vegan Boxed Mac and Cheese
Kid-tested and kid-approved, this recipe from Fried Dandelions is obviously healthier than the blue box stuff but comes together just as quickly! Can be made top 8 allergen-free.
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