Whew! Two big tasks (an Index page and business taxes) all in one day. So glad to have those two checked off my list. Thank you for the comments yesterday – it helps to know the efforts were worth it.
About seven months ago, I wrote a post about a TERRIBLE Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli recipe. It was an epic fail. So bad that it took me seven months before I attempted to test another vegan mac ‘n cheese recipe. I’m so sad that I waited that long.
All that time, we could have been enjoying a different recipe, which according to VegNews is “the best mac ‘n cheese on the planet.” Notice they didn’t even say “best vegan mac ‘n cheese.” I haven’t tasted every mac ‘n cheese on the planet, but I would have to agree that this recipe is out of this world.
What’s even more amazing is the very “normal” (and affordable) list of ingredients. No nutritional yeast, no tofu, no soy cheese. In fact, you can find every ingredient at just about any average grocery store.
If it weren’t for my friend, Tracy (author of the Tracy’s Living Cookbook blog), it may have taken another seven months (or years!) before I tried another vegan mac ‘n cheese recipe. When she recently raved about this one from VegNews and said that her 17-year old son “scarfed it down,” I knew I had to try it.
I used gluten-free quinoa elbow pasta, which worked great. I didn’t have any gluten-free bread on hand, but I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work just fine for the breadcrumb topping. The result was incredible. Hubs was certainly impressed, and so was I.
Believe it or not, you can achieve healthy, rich, creamy macaroni and cheese without any cheese, butter, cream, or milk! I swear. I wouldn’t lie to you.
While the breadcrumbs certainly take it to the deluxe level, if you’re in a hurry you could just combine the sauce with the pasta and eat it that way (like traditional mac ‘n cheese).
I wanted the breadcrumbs to be very golden for the photos, so when it was done I put it under the broiler for just a few minutes. As you know, broilers can be tricky and things can burn before you know it. All of a sudden, this glorious dish had burnt breadcrumb topping.
I wasn’t about to start all over, so I scraped off the black parts, whipped up another batch of breadcrumbs, sprinkled them over the top, and put it back under the broiler (at a lower temp for less time). Voila! Dinner was saved.
If there are any restaurant owners out there looking to add some vegan and/or gluten-free options to their menu, this would be an excellent choice. It’s cheap and easy to make and will have your guests coming back for more. Speaking of which, I am DYING for the restaurants in my town to offer more vegan options.
Most of them don’t offer any at all. I’m not saying change your whole menu – just a few decent options would be great (and I don’t mean a garden salad with oil and vinegar). Are you out there, local restaurant owners? Can you hear me begging? Please?!
I would definitely serve this to non-vegan dinner guests. They would never guess that this is a vegan version of the classic comfort food. Have I raved enough about this recipe? I thought so. Just wanted to make sure you were thoroughly convinced that you must try it.
40 thoughts on “Vegan Baked Macaroni ‘n Cheese (Gluten-free)”
I’ve had a really hard time finding a mac and cheese recipe that I like since going vegan. This one has been bookmarked for quite some time, I’m glad to hear that it is delicious!
I made the mac-oh-geez from LTEV recently and it was really great as well. My kids all loved it too (and my youngest is a huge critic, only eating the straight noodle Kraft kind usually, can’t be elbows, lol!)
I definitely want to try this! I would love to find a vegan mac n cheese that my family loves.
Can I just say how awesome you are?! I cannot wait to try your mac & cheese recipe! I just recently have gone vegan and am truly finding it so much easier to do than I ever thought and it’s in a big thanks to you! Your recipes are amazing! Thank you!
Hi Lisa! Thank you for reading/commenting. Glad you are finding some good stuff here! For the record, most of the recipes on 86 Lemons (including this one) are not my own. I test recipes from other sources and share them if they are great. I think you’ll LOVE this one!
What could you substitute for the margarine? I am trying to do no oils.
Hi Kathy. Sorry, I don’t have a suggestion for that, but I did find this oil-free vegan mac ‘n cheese recipe that might be worth a try… http://goo.gl/rmlnB
You could maybe try grape jelly.
Yumm. Thanks for sharing this recipe, and also for all of the hard work you put into your Index page! I just perused it, and found recipes that I somehow had missed when I first browsed your blog via archives. Now I have to make this AND the recipe for veggie quesadillas!
Any ideas for a nut free substitute for the cashews? Can they be omitted?
Can you have seeds? Maybe you could try soaked raw sunflower seeds?? You could try omitting it, but it’s really what helps to give a creamy texture. I guess you might try subbing extra potatoes and carrots, too.
Oh Livvy! This looks SO good… I’m going to have to try this when I get home–visiting family out of town now. Thanks for sharing.
I adore this recipe. I came across it a few months back, and have been tempted to make it every single night for dinner. I do make bigger batches and it freezes super well. An awesome sub that I found, I sub out some of the cooking water with good beer. Amazing.
Hi! I found your blog today and I really love it. I was excited to make this Mac and cheese recipe, but I have to say I’m super disappointed. It tasted nothing like Mac and cheese and it got very dry after baking in the oven. I have to characterize this recipe as an epic fail :(.
Lesley, I’m so sorry to hear that. Did it taste okay BEFORE you baked it? I’m wondering if you might prefer it un-baked instead. Or maybe your oven runs a little too hot and you could reduce the baking time. There are so many awesome reviews of this VegNews recipe all over the web, so I’m surprised to hear it referred to as an “epic fail” :(
It was definitely “cheesier” before it was baked, but I have to say it still didn’t taste anything like macaroni and cheese. Thank for your suggestions…I’m looking forward to trying some of your other recipes :)
Just came across your blog. Love it! I also make this recipe. It’s delicious and way healthier than other vegan Mac recipes.
Great Mac N Cheese. I made it today for my kids. I haven’t been able to find a good replacement for good ole Mac N Cheese. Thanks for your great posts.
Thanks for the feedback Sarah!
I will try this for sure. Macaroni & Cheese was a dish that I loved before going vegan. I tried making vegan mac & cheese last month and it was awful. Vegan cheddar cheese is tastes terrible to me. I ended up throwing out the mac & cheese dish and the vegan cheddar cheese package.
Was looking to try this but found the recipe a bit confusing. The ingredients list “water” several times and I get that this is because water is mentioned several times in the instructions, BUT, it doesn’t say WHICH water amount to use when. If you could clarify this, that would be helpful.
Sorry about that – it’s fixed now :) https://86lemons.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/BakedMacNCheeze.pdf
My man and I made this the other night and it was TO DIE FOR…. Aaahahaksdhfkashdfsadf…. so good. So good in fact that I told him he couldn’t have the leftovers… mwahaha. Seriously though, thanks for making a damn good recipe.
Hi Jerilyn! Thanks so much for leaving feedback. Glad to hear it was a big hit! Just to be clear – that is not my own personal recipe. It’s from VegNews. I just tested it and shared it :)
Thanks for this recipe! It was amazing! By adding some chopped jalepenos I’m thinking this could make a great cheese dip. Think it would work by keeping it warm in a slow cooker?
Great idea, Tami! And yes, I think the slow cooker idea would work great.
My husband loves this!!!! An he is an extremely picky eater. I was also very impressed by how delicious this was, especially with adding nutritional yeast to make it even cheesier!!
Happened upon your blog by accident when looking for a vegan mac n’ cheese recipe. This was absolutely fantastic. My husband and I are not vegans… just looking for healthier options. This is a keeper and will get made MANY times in our house.
Love your blog… I look forward to visiting it many, many times.
Livvy, Made this last night! I have a note to triple the recipe next time!!!! Fantastic. I was wondering if you have the nutrition facts available. My husband is using a health vegan diet as part of his weight loss plan and is tracking calories.
Made this last night and it was absolutely TO DIE FOR!! I have tried many vegan mac and cheese recipes, all which were disappointment after disappointment. This, however, does not disappoint one little bit. Thank you for finally making a Mac and Cheeze that A. is easy to make B. Tastes better than the real deal and C. Does not require specialized ingredients! You’re the best!!
I agree, Savanna – this one is the mac daddy of vegan mac ‘n cheese recipes!
i found this mac and cheese about a year ago and i have not gone back. it has changed my life in a thousand ways. please please please make this. i have fooled so many omnis because the cheese sauce is just so accurate. using sweet potato makes it even more cheddar so give that a try!
Hi, I made this last night and it turned out amazinnggggg!! I will be making this again and again!!
I’m so honored that you and your readers love my recipe so much! I created this version back in 2008, and have since made it even easier, better, and healthier by removing the margarine, adding a secret ingredient to boost the protein, and some other changes. The new recipe can be found in my ecookbook, Comfortably Yum (bit.ly/comfortably_yum).
I adore your gorgeous photography! Keep up your wonderful work.
Happy cooking and joyful eating, =)
I look forward to trying this recipe. Most recipies with cashews requires that they are soaked in water to soften – do the cashews in this recipie need to be soaked in advance?
Tara, it’s not necessary, especially if you have a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix. However, it certainly wouldn’t hurt either.