Easy Cheesy Vegan Mac

BY : PUBLISHED : October 12th, 2016 UPDATED: August 5th, 2022

Penne macaroni and cheese in a white bowl.

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Macaroni and cheese was always one of my favorite meals as a kid. Whether it was the homemade or boxed, elbow pasta or limited edition character shaped, when it was mac and cheese night I knew it was going to be a good day. After adopting a plant-based diet I searched high and low for a similar version of this dish. This recipe has proved to be a cheap, easy way to achieve that same satisfying and filling dinner I had when I was a kid.

I try to incorporate nutritional yeast in many of my dishes whether it be for a little extra cheesy flavor on top of some veggies or to create recipes that mimic my old favorites like "cheesy" stuffed shells or this super creamy mac! I used penne for this recipe, but using shells and elbows provides an even more classic mac and cheese experience. Or, on the flip side -  pour the plant-based cheesy drizzle over some quinoa for a protein-packed twist!

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Easy Cheesy Vegan Mac

Lauren Bossi
After adopting a plant-based diet I searched high and low for a similar version of this dish. This recipe has proved to be a cheap, easy way to achieve that same satisfying and filling dinner I had when I was a kid.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 599 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 8-10 ounces pasta of choice ( I used quinoa penne)
  • 1 ¼ cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup of nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons of spelt flour (can sub for white)
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to box directions.
  • In a seperate frying pan, heat oil and flour in a saucepan on medium heat, whisking frequently.
  • Once fully incorperated, add milk, whisking constantly until a thick sauce forms (about 8 minutes).
  • Once combine, turn off heat and stir in nutritional yeast, spices and salt to taste.
  • Pour over prepared pasta of choice and mix thoroughly.
  • If desired, top with red pepper flakes for a bit of added heat. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutritional yeast is the best vegan cheesy flavor I've found. Swap in elbows or mini shells for a classic macaroni and cheese experience.

Nutrition

Calories: 599kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 35gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gSodium: 332mgPotassium: 239mgFiber: 20gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 148IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 269mgIron: 12mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

About Lauren Bossi

My name is Lauren Bossi; I run Track & Field at the University of Hartford in CT. I've got a passion for running and plant-based eats. When I'm not wandering around the aisles of the grocery store I enjoy cooking, baking, photography, pun-writing and tag-saling.

View all posts by Lauren Bossi

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