Vegan Mac & Casheese

Mac & Casheese
Recipe by Katie Mae
I think it’s safe to say everyone loves a warm, creamy Macaroni and Cheese. I know I do – that is if it’s a vegan Mac and Cheese recipe of course. The American favorite is traditionally made with butter, milk, and cheese, which is simply unnecessarily rich. This tasty alternative is made creamy and cheesy with cashews. I threw in some nutrient-dense veggies to add even more color, texture and flavor.
Makes 4–6 servings
Ready in 20 minutes (not including cashew prep)
Stores 5 days in fridge



  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 8 hours and strained
  • ¼ cup rejuvalac*
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ tablespoon stoneground mustard
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika or chili powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 16 ounces gluten-free macaroni
  • 2 cups broccoli, diced
  • 1½ cups frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste



1. Add the soaked cashews and rejuvelac to a blender, and blend until silky smooth. Transfer to a glass container, cover, and set on your countertop to ferment for 24 to 36 hours.

2. When ready to make the Mac & Casheese, add the fermented cashew cheese, nutritional yeast, mustard, spices, and lemon juice to a blender. Blend until the sauce has a creamy consistency.

3. Fill a medium size pot half way with water and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Set a timer so that you’re sure not to overcook pasta. Once the noodles are soft, use a colander to drain the pasta. While doing this, briefly rinse the pasta under cold water. Return the pasta to pot with a little bit of water to keep noodles from sticking.

4. While the pasta cooks, fill a separate pan with 1 inch of water and place over medium-high heat. Add a steam basket and broccoli florets. Cover with lid and bring water to a boil. Steam broccoli until they are bright green and tender.

5. Fold the sauce into the cooked macaroni. Turn the heat to low, and stir in the peas and broccoli. Let it cook for a few minutes to let the flavors blend and heat everything.

6. Serve immediately with freshly ground black pepper.



Soaking the cashews ahead of time, will help make the cashew cheese sauce creamier. However, if using a high-powered blender to process the cashews, it is not essential to soak them first.

Rejuvelac is a fermented liquid that enables you to culture the cashew “cheese”, which will give it a sharp flavor imparting more of a cheese-like flavor. If you don’t have rejuvelac, you can skip the fermentation step and just use water instead.

If you’re making this without rejuvelac, then the first step should be to blend the cashews and water with the nutritional yeast, mustard, spices, and lemon juice.

Did you like this recipe? If so, please share it. Your voice matters in spreading the plant-based message and transforming our food system. Salud!


  1. Matthew Ciuccio
    January 25, 2014

    I am making this tonight. Yummy.

  2. Katie Mumford
    January 28, 2014

    Hi Katie! This recipe looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it. At a cooking demo at true north you said you sometimes use nutritional yeast in this recipe. I was wondering how much you would use and when you would add it? It was really great to meet you. You are such an inspiration for me.

    • Katie Mae
      Katie Mae
      January 29, 2014

      Thanks Katie!! It was lovely meeting you too!

      I do love nutritional yeast in this recipe. I would use between 1/2 – 3/4 cup nutritional yeast. When I add nutritional yeast, I reduce the amount of cashews to 1/2 cup. Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Brenda
    June 3, 2014

    My husband is allergic to nutritional yeast, is there something else I can use or can this be left out?

    Thank you

    • Katie Mae
      Katie Mae
      June 3, 2014

      Yes Brenda, you can leave the nutritional yeast out. You could add another 1/4 cup of cashews if you’d like.

      Another trick I would do is add Rejuvelac in place of some of the liquid in this recipe. It’s a grain-based probiotic that helps to culture the cashews. I’ll be posting a Quinoa Rejuvelac recipe on the blog soon :)

  4. Mara Windstar
    November 13, 2014

    Any ideas on how I might be able to use raw cashew meal as replacement for cashews to make this?

    Thanks for some guidance!


    • Katie Mae
      Katie Mae
      November 23, 2014

      Hi Mara, Yes you can simply add the raw cashew meal to the blender with the other ingredients just as you would with the whole cashews. Hope you enjoy it!

  5. weasel
    January 4, 2016


    I tried it today, yummy, thanks for sharing…..

    Really enjoyed it

  6. Jordasche Kingston
    January 8, 2016

    Hi. I made this last night. While it was good, the sauce kept reminding me of Italian salad dressing. I think next time I’ll lessen the mustard. I think that’s what it was. Thank you for sharing.