To-Die-For Vegan Cashew Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe

Craving some vegan mac and cheese? This healthy recipe uses cashews instead of dairy to make it vegan friendly, creamy, and delicious! It uses cashews for that rich, fatty flavor, combined with nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste.

This to-die-for vegan mac and cheese recipe is quick, easy, healthy, and better for the planet than using cow’s cheese. Cashew trees are lighter on the land than raising cows because they provide wildlife habitat and prevent erosion. So give two big, creamy thumbs up for planet-friendly pasta!
Want to know other ways you can save the planet? Read this!

Here’s Your Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

Why rely on boxed mac and cheese when you can get a bit crafty with your vegan mac and cheese?
Serves: 4
Prep and cooking time: 30 minutes, plus soaking time for cashews



  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • ¾ tsp mustard
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1 (16-oz) box pasta (shells or macaroni)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Smoked paprika, for garnish (optional)
  • Fresh basil, for garnish (optional)




Rinse the soaked cashews and put them in a blender. Add enough fresh water so that they are just covered, then blend until very smooth, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice, soy sauce, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast, and vegan margarine.
Blend until well combined. Add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a smooth and creamy sauce.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Return the pasta to the pot and add the cashew cheese sauce.
Spoon into bowls and garnish with pepper, paprika, and basil, or whatever other toppings you love (sautéed onions, garlic, and cherry tomatoes work well!).
Pro Tip: Like baked mac? Put the vegan mac and cheese in a baking dish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350°F, or until slightly browned.
Recipe excerpted from Food Is the Solution: What to Eat to Save the World by Matthew Prescott – which blends art, design, photography, narrative essays, and other recipes to help us all enjoy more plant-based foods.
Copyright © 2018 by Matthew Prescott. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Matthew Prescott.

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Matthew Prescott

Matthew Prescott is the author of Food Is the Solution: What to Eat to Save the World. He's an advisor to the Good Food Institute, Senior Director of Food & Agriculture for The Humane Society of the United States, and a leading figure in the global movement to reform how we farm and eat.

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