The Best Vegan Mac & Cheese

The best vegan mac and cheese in a white bowl topped with fresh green parsley.

Hey, Hi, Hello!!! Welcome to your weekend. This weekend’s food forecast: The Best Vegan Mac & Cheese! Seriously so excited to share this recipe with you guys!!

I’ve been a lover of mac & cheese for a very long time, since the first time I ever ate it probably. It’s easily one of my top 10 foods to eat, as it probably is for some of you too! What’s not to like about a creamy bowl of noodles. This vegan mac & cheese was made without nuts, carrots, potatoes, nutritional yeast, or any of the other usual vegan ingredients used to re-create this dish! This mac and cheese uses vegan butter, cream cheese, shredded cheese, and full fat coconut milk. There’s no shortage of creamy, cheesy flavor in this dish!

Creamy mac and cheese with sausage in a cast iron pan.

Customize Your Mac & Cheese Experience

This mac & cheese recipe can easily be modified to suit your mood or dietary needs:

  • CREAMY – sometimes your in the mood for full on creaminess and don’t want a crispy golden top! Skip adding the breadcrumbs and baking it in the oven and dig right in instead! You’ll be rewarded with smooth creamy sauce in every bite and save yourself some time!
  • CRISPY GOLDEN TOP – in the mood for the perfect golden topping to your mac and cheese? Top your rich and creamy pasta with breadcrumbs and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes at 400° and finish off it off by broiling it at 500° for 2 minutes.
  • LOAD IT UP – customize your dish by adding your favorite things such as vegan sausage, jalapeños, broccoli etc. The world of mac & cheese is your oyster!
  • GO GLUTEN FREE – If gluten isn’t your friend don’t invite it to the party. Use gluten free noodles, flour and breadcrumbs. Promise it turns out just as good, we often make it that way as my husband is celiac!

I hope this vegan mac & cheese hits the spot for you and you make it over and over again! We all need a bit of creamy goodness in our lives now and then. If you are looking for other creamy recipes look no further, here are a few other creamy She’s Plant Powered recipes:

Have a great weekend & be sure to rate this recipe if you give it a try 🖤

Creamy vegan mac and cheese with sausage in a cast iron pan.

The Best Vegan Mac & Cheese

The ultimate comfort food – mac & cheese made vegan without losing it's beloved creaminess. Eat it extra creamy or bake it with breadcrumbs for the perfect golden crispy top!
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Steph

Ingredients

  • 1 package pasta (I used Cavatappi pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or your preferred oil)
  • 4 links mild Beyond Meat sausage casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (full fat is best)
  • 4 tablespoons vegan plain cream cheese such as Sheese original
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup vegan shredded cheddar such as Parmela Creamery Old Style Cheddar
  • 1/2 – 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • fresh parsley (optional) for serving

Instructions

  • If you'll be baking your mac & cheese in the oven with breadcrumbs for the perfect golden crispy top, preheat your oven to 400°.
  • Cook your pasta according to package directions in salted water and set aside.
  • Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add oil once the pan is hot. Add mild Beyond Meat sausage, casings removed and cook for 5 minutes crumbling as it cooks. Once it is browned remove from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan you cooked the sausage add the butter and lower the heat to medium. Once the butter is mostly melted add the onion. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until soft and translucent.
  • Add the flour and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add coconut milk and simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes until the coconut milk begins to thicken. Add vegan cream cheese and lower heat to medium low. Add garlic powder, onion powder & paprika. Simmer over medium low for 3 minutes stirring often.
  • Add vegan shredded cheddar cheese and stir. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add cooked pasta to the pan along with 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Mix until well combined and add more reserved pasta water until the mac & cheese is to your desired consistency.
  • Add sausage back to the pan and mix to combine it into your mac & cheese. You can eat this delicious extra creamy mac & cheese as is or follow the next step to get a golden crispy top.

Get the Golden Crispy Top

  • If your pan isn't oven safe transfer the sausage mac & cheese to an oven safe dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 400.
  • Broil for 2 minutes at 500 to get the extra crispy golden top!
  • Remove from the oven, let it cool, top with fresh parsley & dig in to the best vegan mac and cheese!

Notes

  • I’ve made this recipe gluten free many times using gluten free pasta, flour & breadcrumbs and it turns out delicious every-time!
  • Baking the mac & cheese in the oven will dry it out a little bit so don’t be afraid to add more reserved pasta water to your mac & cheese if you plan on baking it in the oven!
  • This recipe makes for awesome leftovers! Store in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. 

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Another deliciously belly comforting dish that was a hit in my household! I didn’t do the breadcrumb bake part of the recipe. But this only means we got to enjoy this creamy meal that much quicker.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never added cream cheese to my mac before, love that idea!! Such a creative recipe 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This is such a great comfort food recipe. I love it, especially the idea to make a crispy surface with breadcrumbs 🤩

  4. 5 stars
    The ultimate comfort food RIGHT here! Thank you for this amazing vegan mac&cheese recipe. SO good

  5. 5 stars
    I love this Mac and cheese recipe! It is so indulgent and filling.

  6. 5 stars
    Oh, this vegan mac is absolute perfection! So happy I get to enjoy this again but plant based. And the breadcrumbs are a must! So yummy!

  7. 5 stars
    This mac and cheese this recipe is incredible!

  8. 5 stars
    k this is hands the super tasty!! my DD is super picky about her mac and cheese and would polish this off!

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