The ultimate Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese. Cheesy, saucy macaroni topped with an irresistible buttery & golden crispy crumb topping. No dairy, no nuts & easily made gluten-free. Prepare to get saucy!
It’s the best tasting vegan mac and cheese I have tried It’s nut-free! The garlicky crispy crumb top is so good and brings a lovely combination of textures It’s a real family favourite You can make it in advance, keep it in the fridge then bake it up when needed The cheese sauce is great in other recipes too, like cauliflower cheese, on power bowls, in lasagne, or anywhere else you need a cheese sauce !! Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe The ultimate Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese. Cheesy, saucy macaroni topped with an irresistible buttery & golden crispy crumb topping. No dairy, no nuts & easily made gluten-free. Prepare to get saucy!
290 g | 1 really packed cup yellow sweet potato cooked, cooled and skinned. If you can't find yellow sweet potatoes then use a regular white potato instead.
175 g | 1 packed cup | around ¼ of a small cauliflower cooked and cooled
4 heaping tablespoons | heaped ¼ cup white miso paste I use naturally aged organic Amano Shiro Miso (use chickpea miso to keep the recipe soy free.
Around 1¾ teaspoon salt It might seem like a lot of salt but it really helps bring out the 'cheesy' flavour. Add it gradually though to get it just right for you.
¾ cup | 12 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon mustard I used wholegrain, but any plain unflavoured variety will work
1 tablespoon tapioca flour see recipe notes if you need to sub this
1 cup | 240mls unsweetened non-dairy milk NOT almond milk - the flavour comes through too much & takes away from the cheesiness. Not rice milk either as it's too sweet. I like cashew milk best as it's rich, thick & neutral. If you need the recipe to be nut-free, soy milk would be a good choice.
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar you can use white wine vinegar instead but apple cider vinegar gives the best flavour
¼ teaspoon onion powder Do not omit, it makes all the difference with the cheesy flavour
¼ teaspoon garlic powder Do not omit, it makes all the difference with the cheesy flavour
⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika or chipotle powder
1 tablespoon vegan butter (optional - and bear in mind that if you use my vegan butter it is NOT nut-free)
400 g | 14oz macaroni you can use other pasta shapes, and use gluten-free if necessary
For the crumb topping
3 slices bread white or wholewheat, gluten-free if necessary. White tastes better but it's your choice
2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil (optional but recommended and bear in mind that if you use my vegan butter it is NOT nut-free)
1 clove garlic (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400°F
Add all of the sauce ingredients except the optional butter and salt to a blender and blend until completely smooth. If you have a smaller blender you might need to do it in 2 stages. Add the salt gradually to taste and blend a little in between each addition, tasting as you go. Salt really brings out the cheesiness so it is important to be generous with it.
Fill a large pan with water and bring to a rolling boil then cook the macaroni as directed on the packaging.
Pour the cheese sauce from the blender into a pan and warm through over a medium heat, stirring constantly until it is hot, glossy and the texture of cheese sauce. It should only take about 5 minutes. Finish with the butter if you are using it. It adds a lovely richness and extra glossiness! Just stir it in then remove from the heat.
Drain the pasta, return to the pan and stir through the sauce.
Quickly wash out and dry your blender, then break the bread into pieces and place in the blender with the butter or olive oil. The oil/butter is recommended for a crisper, more golden and more flavourful topping but if you prefer not to consume oil you can omit it. 1 clove of garlic is optional too. Blend until crumbs.
Spoon the saucy macaroni into an oven proof dish, sprinkle over the crumbs evenly then place in the oven and cook for 20 - 25 minutes or until it is piping hot and the crumb topping is golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.
Tapioca flour is my thickener of choice in this recipe because it gives the sauce a texture like a sauce made with cheese. It really is the best option. However, if you need to sub it then I think arrowroot powder would be the next best option, followed by corn starch.
This mac and cheese can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for a day or two before cooking if required. Just add an extra 5-10 minutes onto the cooking time. It also reheats well in the unlikely event you have leftovers