This healthy and yummy homemade vegan mac and cheese recipe is easy to make and contains only whole food plant-based ingredients. Even the pickiest kids and toddlers will love it!

I’ve consumed a lot of mac and cheese in my 28 years on this planet. As a child, as a teenager, as a college student living in a dorm with access to nothing but a microwave, I consumed a ton of macaroni. 

When I was pregnant, one of the oddest cravings I had was macaroni and hotdogs covered in ketchup (all vegan, of course).

Macaroni just means comfort to me. I hoped I wouldn’t have to give it up going vegan, and luckily, I didn’t have to. 

Macaroni and Cheese without Dairy?

Okay, so obviously this recipe doesn’t have cheese in the traditional, dairy sense of the term cheese. However, vegan cheese comes from lots of different non-dairy sources. There are vegan cheeses out there made with ingredients such as nuts, tofu, coconut oil, and tapioca starchThere are also boxed shelf-stable and frozen vegan mac and cheese options available! 

The key ingredient in vegan macaroni and cheese is most commonly nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that comes in either flakes or powdered form. It adds a umami, subtle cheese flavor when added to recipes. It’s also a great source of vitamin B-12, (something we should all be supplementing, vegan or not). 

You may hear nutritional yeast referred to as “nooch” or “hippie dust” by those in the vegan community. 

I like to sprinkle it on pastas, avocado toast, baked potatoes, roasted veggies, or basically anything savory. 

Homemade Vegan Mac and Cheese

This homemade vegan mac and cheese comes together with a roux base made of butter, flour, and various seasonings. Then the roux is made into a creamy sauce and nutritional yeast, mustard, salt, and pepper are added before adding the cooked pasta. 

This macaroni and cheese recipe is kid-friendly and something you don’t have to feel guilty preparing for your littles.

Topping Ideas

This mac and cheese is yummy as-is, but if you’re looking to take it to the next level, here are some optional topping ideas:

  • drizzled bbq sauce – this is my favorite option for myself, personally. I’ll sometimes add jalapenos as well for a little kick. 
  • avocado slices – yay, healthy fat! 
  • green onions
  • steamed broccoli florets – call it mac and trees! 
  • sweet peas
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Vegan Mac and Cheese

This healthy and yummy homemade vegan mac and cheese recipe is easy to make and contains only whole food plant-based ingredients. Even the pickiest kids and toddlers will love it!


  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk (I found soy milk to have the creamiest end result)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 16 oz cooked pasta drained

Optional topping ideas

  • drizzled bbq sauce
  • avocado slices
  • green onions
  • steamed broccoli florets
  • sweet peas


  • In a large skillet, bring butter to medium low heat to melt.
  • Once butter has melted, add flour, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir with a whisk together to make a roux.
  • Increase heat to medium and gradually add milk 1/2 cup at a time. Whisk the milk in until it is well incorporated. Do this slowly so the milk and the roux make a creamy sauce base. Let me mixture slightly bubble as it cooks. This should take 5-8 minutes, depending on your stove burner.
  • Add the nutritional yeast, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined.
  • Add the cooked pasta and stir until all of the pasta is coated with cheese sauce.
  • Remove from heat and serve. Top with optional ingredients if using.
  • Best served fresh, but you can also add a splash of non-dairy milk or water when reheating to keep the cheese sauce smooth.

As always, I love to see you guys take these recipes and make them your own. If you use this recipe as is or use it for inspiration, I’d love to see your creation. Tag me @holefoodbakery and/or use the hashtag #holefoodbakery so I don’t miss it. 


Heather Coleman · December 9, 2020 at 11:43 am

5 stars
We just made this recipe for the first time, and I used almond milk instead (what was on hand). And the mac and cheese has a great creamy, smokey, and cheese macaroni flavor. I would highly recommend this recipe if you are switching to vegan or look for a vegan mac and cheese.

    heybrittney · December 9, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Yay! So glad to hear you enjoyed it, Heather! I’m excited to watch you and your family on this exciting journey to veganism. 🙂

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