How to Make the Perfect Vegan Mac and Cheese (Plus A Bonus)

Warm, chewy pasta.


Thick and creamy vegan cheese.


Put the two together, and you’ve got a fan favourite: vegan macaroni and cheese, or should I say vegan mac and cheese.


Since going vegan, I hadn’t tried a plant-based alternative to this classic comfort food until only recently. A local restaurant that specialises in serving macaroni and cheese. They allow you to choose your veggies and other toppings, then your cheese. And yes-- of which, a vegan house made cashew cheese is an option, and it’s DEEEEELLICIOUS! Trust me.


What if you have a nut allergy?


All Violife products are nut-free!


Also, there are many brands out there that sell boxed vegan mac and cheese. Brands like Daiya that are well loved by many and offer different shaped kinds of pasta and cheese sauces (which is great for variety’s sake). They are actually pretty saturated in oils and contain added sugar. This makes this indulgence a little more guilty than pleasurable.


Luckily, most boxed brands of vegan mac and cheese are soy-free *phew* and there are plenty of recipes online for making various types of mac and cheese to your liking, but with seemingly LIMITLESS OPTIONS, which one do you choose????


The following is a list of various pasta and cheese sauces I encourage you to mix and match, giving yourself complete freedom to find the PERFECT vegan mac and cheese for you!


Plus, a list of only the best boxed vegan mac n cheeses you won’t waste money on and a little surprise bonus recipe to use at the end. Let’s get to it, shall we?


Macaroni Pasta

First thing first. If you don’t got your mac, you sure as heck don’t got your mac and cheese.


While the cheese portion of this recipe is undoubtedly the most fun, the pasta portion can be pretty intriguing as well.


I’m not suggesting you contact your Italian grandmother to come over and help you whip up some twisty tubes from scratch (although, you should probably call her and say hi), BUT I am suggesting you take more time perusing the pasta sections at your local grocery or online store.




Because its fun!


Loosen up.


There are tons of options for shapes and even colours and designs that will make your already gorgeous dish prettier.


NOTE: Make sure that whatever you get is egg free :)


Some ideas

Ziti, farfafalle, shells, fusilli, elbows, orecchiette rigate, pipe rigate, casarecce, and penne are just a few pasta options to making your dairy-free dreams come true.


Pasta shapes


And if you want to get a little wild, use orzo, spaghetti, or even vegan linguine.


I love Orzo.


Why? You ask.


Why NOT?


I say to you.


I dare you to try it.


Alternatively, you can use gluten-free brown rice, quinoa or lentil pasta (for that added extra protein!) too.


Cheese Sauce




The best part.


Here we got nut-based recipes, we got soy-based recipes, and we got nut/soy/gluten-free recipes (that do NOT include dairy) for all of the various types of mac and cheese lovers out there!

What will you fancy?


Contains Soy  (Nut-Free)

Luckily, I have not come across too many recipes that include too much, or any soy, really. Not to completely bash this plant-powered protein source, organic soy is totally good for you. Highly processed versions, however, are not.


Which lead me to this recipe:

Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese by A Virtual Vegan


Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

Recipe Source:


The only added soy ingredient would be the plant-based milk if you wanted to opt out of the cashew milk alternative. Other than that, this recipe is super clean. Rice milk is deemed out of the question because it is too sweet. But other options like soy milk (of course), oat milk, flax or coconut milk work great! You can also use a vegan butter that is soy-based or oil-based for the crumb topping if you so choose.


Maybe add a little Violife Mild Prosociano Vegan Cheese Wedge grated on top?


Sounds like an exclusive deal to me.

mild prosociano vegan cheese wedge


Contains Nuts (Soy Free)

The following recipe uses cashews as their main ingredient. The most popular nut to use for vegan cheese sauce because it creates the perfect, creamy, and utterly smooth consistency you’ll need.

Keep in mind that you will usually need to soak the cashews for at least an hour ahead of time in most of the recipes you see.


The Best Vegan Mac And Cheese (Gluten-Free, Too!) by Detoxinista


vegan mac n cheese recipe

Recipe Source:


Claimed to be just as quick to make as the boxed, neon orange stuff, Detoxinista’s cashew mac and cheese sauce recipe work excellent over all sorts of noodles. She even suggests pouring this delicacy over gluten-free pasta or vegetables as a tasty, nutritious alternative.


NOTE: added turmeric makes the colour of the cheese sauce more vibrant and slides in some anti-inflammatory health benefits! Score!


Allergen Free (no soy, nuts, gluten, and NEVER dairy)

More sensitive to nuts and soy?


Or maybe you actively choose to avoid, nuts, soy and gluten for other reasons?


An allergen-free vegan cheese sauce for your mac ain’t no thang but a (vegan) chicken wang.


Merely snub out nut or soy milk for rice, quinoa, oat, flax, or coconut milk and choose a soy-free, nut-free vegan butter. Or better yet?


Choose from one of Vegan Cheese Shop’s many Violife vegan cheese products for more choices on flavour, easy melting, and faster cooking. Violife's core ingredient being coconut oil allows them to pass that allergen-free test with flying colours.


The BEST Vegan Mac and Cheese {Gluten-free + Nut-free} by allergylicious


bowl of mac n cheese

Recipe Source:


With a free range to use either pumpkin or butternut squash as a base (um, YUM), sub out vegan butter and vegan milk for chopped up chunks of a Violife Vegan Cheese Block flavour of your choosing.


Wow, there is no way that can NOT be completely smooth and creamy and oh so very good.


Toppings and Mix-Ins

Classic mac and cheese are excellent and all, there’s no doubt about it, but if you’re feeling especially adventurous: add some toppings! Your bowl of vegan mac n cheese is your canvas when it comes to being a creative vegan chef extraordinaire. See below for some ideas for wild combinations:


  • Spinach and Violife Vegan Cheese Flavour Original Creamy or Blu Cheese Block crumbles
  • Grated Violife Mild Prosociano Vegan Cheese Wedge
  • Hot Sauce
  • Vegan Pesto
  • Arugula
  • Vegan sausages
  • Vegan veggie burger crumbles
  • Broccoli
  • Ketchup
  • Vegan breadcrumbs
  • Roasted peppers and onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Bean Chilli
  • Chives
  • BBQ sauce
  • Sliced and cooked cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Paprika
  • Jalapenos
  • Truffle oil
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Sprouted grain breadcrumbs
  • Gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • Onions
  • Coconut bacon
  • Tempeh bacon
  • Chopped raw cashews, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, maybe even peanuts? Could you give it a shot? Roasted or salted might do the trick too.


    Serve it in style by keeping your mac and cheese in a black cast-iron pan, a nifty casserole dish, or even in a mug.


    Did you know that you can also cook your macaroni and cheese in a microwave?


    Just add the same ingredients to a cup in smaller amounts and cook within short increments of time, stirring in between to ensure the macaroni and cheese is of quality and thoroughly heated through.


    Get Even More Creative

    Win every cooking competition (yes, parties and potlucks do count) by turning your vegan mac n cheese into fried mac and cheese balls or a maybe even a grilled mac and cheese sandwich.


    Can you say impressive?


    Vegan Fried Mac and Cheese by Eat Figs, Not Pigs


    vegan fried mac and cheese balls

    Recipe Source:


    Vegan Grilled Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich by Your Vegan Boyfriend


    vegan grilled macaroni and cheese sandwich

    Recipe Source:


    Other great ways to use your vegan mac and cheese: on pizza, in ravioli, in a calzone, on fries, in a lasagna, on a jacket potato, pressed into a waffle maker, as savory pancakes with a hot sauce or ketchup syrup, in tacos, as a topping for hot dogs and burgers, in a burrito, in a casserole, as a pot pie, stuffed inside veggie burgers.


    Have an idea you don’t see?


    Please share it with us on our Vegan Cheese Recipe Insider’s Facebook Page!


    The Boxed Stuff

    If cooking isn’t your thing, or maybe you don’t have time for it, the following is a list of the best brands of vegan boxed mac and cheeses according to a little research I’ve done on the interwebs.


    The following boxed vegan mac and cheese options contain the cleanest ingredients and highest quality taste out of all other boxed vegan mac n cheese brands which is why I have not included Daiya on the list.


    Maybe I’m just slightly biased, hehe, but for those who are Daiya fans-- and there are a lot who are --go for it! Daiya Boxed Mac and Cheese, their Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac, Daiya Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie Cheezy Mac, and their Daiya Deluxe Alfredo Style Cheezy Mac all have great reviews!


    Cheesy Mac


    As for that other list:


    Boxed mac and cheese makes a great, easy weeknight dinner or side and has a decent shelf life so that when your best friend comes over at the last minute starving, you know just what to whip up to take the pain away.


    Your Added Bonus

    Vegan tomato soup.


    Oh yes. You must.


    Especially if you dare to make that vegan grilled macaroni and cheese sandwich.


    Dip that bad boy into a steaming hot cup of soup, and oh my goodness my mouth is watering just typing this.


    Maybe even pour it atop those mac and cheese pancakes or use as a sauce for your vegan mac n cheese ravioli?


    You could perhaps also pour a bit of this vegan tomato soup over your plain mac and cheese served in a plant or a bowl or maybe even that cast-iron skillet we talked about to add some instant tomato-ey flavour and a little extra creaminess.


    Not a bad idea.


    Not a bad idea at all.


    Vegan Tomato Soup by Allrecipes


    tomato saurce

    Recipe Source:



    You now have the tools, the essentials, the big okay from the mac n cheese gods to make the absolute best, most perfect vegan macaroni and cheese of your dreams.


    If it were me, I would so do fusilli pasta with a Violife/butternut squash sauce and add roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic powder, onion powder, and breadcrumbs. Maybe even a bit of fresh arugula.




    Whatever your mac and cheese recipe, feel free to stretch the limits on what might seem reasonable. I didn’t post that list of toppings and crazy eccentric pizza, waffle, ravioli, stuffed taco, burrito, and burger ideas for nothin’!


    What will you make?


    Could you leave a comment below and let us know?


    Take a picture?


    Upload it to Instagram and tag @vegan_cheese_shop for a chance to be featured on our page.


    Come up with your own super sweet n nifty recipe?


    Post in our Vegan Cheese Recipe Insiders Club on Facebook Group to share your ideas with all the other creative, food loving plant-powered people like yourself!


    Stay cheesy, my friends.


    Have suggestions for blog posts or cheese products?


    Have comments or questions about our service or site?


    Contact Vegan Cheese Shop for all your quality vegan cheese needs. Scroll up and click the contact button on the top left of your screen.


     About the Author

    Rebecca Jordan

    Hello! My name is Rebecca, and I am a lifelong foodie. Now, VEGAN foodie, aiming to provide the best, most fun advice I can on all things plant-based. Join me on a quest always to bring you the best. Always vegan and always food related. Cheers. My Instagram & My Blog

    Tags: dinner

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