One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vegan Mac & Cheese Two-Ways

When it comes to vegan mac and cheese everyone is a critic! As a new vegan you’ll probably see a vegan mac and cheese recipe in every cookbook and on almost every blog – and this blog will be no exception!

Because of the diversity of recipes I typically never make the same mac and cheese recipe twice (I am a guinea pig after all!) So far I have two favorites: The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook’s Mac & “Cheese” Casserole and Vegan Dad’s Mac and Cheeze. If you like baked mac and cheese I would recommend you try New Farm’s version first and if you like your mac and cheese on the stove top then I would go with Vegan Dad’s version first. No matter which recipe you try first you should definitely try both.

Out of the two recipes the “cheese” sauce I love the most is my adaptation of Vegan Dad’s. It goes perfectly on cheese fries, nachos (just add a little cayenne and chili powder), over veggies or you can take down the amount of dry pasta you use by 1 ½ cups and add broccoli, peas, chickpeas and other veggies to make a filling casserole.

Another important thing to note about vegan mac and cheese is it never tastes anything like mac and cheese made with cow’s milk (unless you are using store-bought vegan cheeses like sheese, cheezly or follow your heart). But the best part is that it tastes 1000 times better. I’ve made various versions of vegan mac and cheese for my omnivore friends and relatives and they all loved every version. But I do always serve it to my omnivore friends with the preface that it will not taste like cow’s cheese.

I never make the same recipe twice but I also never follow the recipe to the letter when making a mac and cheese recipe. So below are my versions of both of these recipes:

Mac & Cheese Casserole Adapted from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook by L. Hagler & D. Bates

3 ½ cups dry macaroni, cook according to package directions
½ cup Earth Balance Margarine
½ cup flour
3 ½ cups hot water
2 tablespoon Bragg's liquid aminos
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
¼ cup canola oil (optional)
1 cup nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Whisk in flour and continue to stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Whisk in boiling water, Bragg's, garlic powder and turmeric.

Cook the sauce until it thicken and bubbles. Stir in oil (optional) and nutritional yeast until completely incorporated.

Add cooked pasta to sauce, transfer to a casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika and bake for 15 minutes. Then put under broiler for a few minutes until the top is crisp (checking often).

Creamy Mac and Cheeze
Adapted from Vegan Dad (

½ cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons macadamia nuts (about 8 whole nuts)
2 ½ cup unsweetened soy milk, divided
2 tablespoon canola oil
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 cup firm silken tofu
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons white miso
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon arrowroot

16 ounces brown rice macaroni or shells, cooked according to package directions

Place all ingredients (except 1/2 cup soymilk) in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup of soymilk and blend until incorporated. Add sauce to a large dutch oven, over medium heat and cook until sauce begins to thicken (about 5 minutes). Add pasta and stir until pasta is completely coated.

At first it will seem like there is way too much sauce for the amount of pasta used but as pasta sits the sauce with absorb and take on a perfect texture.


  1. Mm I should definitely try out Vegan Dad's mac and cheese. I definitely miss the comfort of Kraft mac and cheese (gross I know)

  2. I might try one of your mac n cheese variations. I have never made any but I want to. I tried to make a sauce with nutritional yeast in it once, I didn't like it so I have avoided it since then!

  3. I volunteer myself for any trial that may be needed in a taste test... I consider myself somewhat of a Mac and Cheese connoisseur! The Dijon mustard is an interesting addition in Vegan Dad's recipe...

  4. I'm always trying out new mac 'n cheese recipes. I love nutritional yeast big time, which is a bonus.

    I'm putting these on my list because they look awesome!

  5. Thank you very much for posting these! I made both recipes this week to figure out which one to serve my family on Thankgiving, and though both are very good, the baked mac n' cheese is my favorite!

  6. I've been eating the Macaroni & Chreese in a box from Whole Foods lately, and the sauce is way too thick, no matter how much I dilute it, but the omni friends love it!


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