vegan mac & cheese


A vegan friend of mine challenged me to create a recipe for vegan mac & cheese that didn’t taste like soy sauce. I pulled out all the glutamate stops for this recipe (broth, tomato paste, salt, brandy, etc.). The result is a rich, creamy vegan version!

Vegan Mac & Cheese


  • 1 1/2 cups cashews
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 teaspoons veggie oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 2 cups cooked diced butternut squash*
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 16 oz. macaroni, cooked al dente
  • 1 tablespoon margarine (I like Earth Balance)
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put three cups water in a medium saucepan to boil. Cook macaroni until al dente. Drain and put back in pot with a little bit of cooking water. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  3. Put cashews in a bowl and cover with 2 cups hot water. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  4. Peel, dice and steam butternut squash until soft.*
  5. Dice onion.
  6. Heat 2 teaspoons veggie oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Sauté onion until translucent.
  8. Add onion powder, garlic powder and tomato paste.
  9. Stir and let cook 3 minutes.
  10. Add 3/4 cup pasta water to saucepan and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes more.
  11. Take off heat and let cool.
  12. Drain cashews.
  13. Put cashews, broth, brandy, lemon juice, salt, turmeric, powdered mustard, onion mixture, butternut squash, and nutritional yeast in blender. Blend until smooth. Add tomato mixture. Blend. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to blend in batches. Be sure to blend batches together before mixing with the noodles.
  14. Mix 2/3 of cheese mixture and macaroni. Macaroni should be well coated but not soupy. Add more cheese sauce as needed. Otherwise safe and serve on vegetables!
  15. Use margarine to “butter” a 9×13 glass casserole dish.
  16. Pour noodles and cheese mixture in dish.
  17. Heat 2 tablespoons margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  18. When melted, add breadcrumbs, salt and onion powder.
  19. Stir until breadcrumbs, margarine and salt are incorporated.
  20. Remove from heat and spread over casserole dish.
  21. Bake casserole in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are browned on top.
  22. Enjoy!

* To save time for the butternut squash prep, Trader Joe’s sells bags of prepped, diced butternut squash.

2 Responses to “vegan mac & cheese”

  1. 1 shannon

    We made it – and between the two of us, we ate 3/4 of the pan in one meal. Yum! Good job, Katie!

  1. 1 vegan nachos « veg here

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