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Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Amazing vegan mac and cheese, made with basic pantry ingredients! This simple pasta dish is extra creamy, flavorful and comforting. It's everything you love from regular mac and cheese.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup cashews, raw or dry roasted, unsalted
  • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced (1 medium)
  • 1/4 cup split red lentils
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 package (375g) macaroni
  • Broccoli or peas (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the vegan butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder and salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the diced potatoes, lentils, cashews and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until the lentils and potatoes are well cooked and the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook the pasta according to package's instructions. If using broccoli or peas, add in the last few minutes of cooking to cook until just tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the potatoes, cashews and lentils are done cooking, add to a blender (with its cooking water), along with the nutritional yeast and white wine vinegar. Blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Taste and add more salt, nutritional yeast or spiced as needed.
  • Pour the "cheese" over the drained pasta in its saucepan. Stir together until combined.
  • Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Notes

If you have a good blender, you may not need to soak the cashews. I didn't have trouble getting the sauce very smooth with my Vitamix blender. If your blender is on the weaker side, soak your cashews overnight or for at least 3-4 hours.
Feel free to add more garlic, salt or nutritional yeast to taste. Taste the sauce and adjust as needed, keeping in mind that once it's mixed with the pasta, the flavors aren't as pronounced.
The lentils are technically optional in this recipe. They add a little color and fiber. If you want to skip it, reduce the water. Try 1 1/4 cup of water and add more to the sauce if it's too thick once blended.