Vegan Cajun Mac and Cheese! New healthy and flavorful twist on a classic American must have comfort dish.
Creamy, saucy, and incredibly delicious, this oil-free Vegan Cajun Mac and Cheese is packed with wholesome veggies, aromatic spices, and an optional kick of heat. This vegan spin on the classic dish will surely be your new favorite mac and cheese. It’s hard to beat the warm comfort food that macaroni and cheese brings. The whole family will be coming back for seconds!
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
Mmmm, this is crazy delish! We totally devoured this tastiness. Even Yasmeen couldn’t get enough. She was eating it two-fisted. LOL Little macs were popping out between her little fingers as she was eating this dish feverishly.
We added all three teaspoons of Frank’s hot sauce and cayenne pepper, and we were initially worried about feeding it to her because it does pack some spiciness. However, the heat didn’t seem to bother her one bit.
If you are unsure about the level of spiciness, you can easily temper the dish by scaling back the Frank’s hot sauce and/or cayenne pepper.
You gotta give this one a try! We freaking loved it! Dad devoured it like a champ too! LOL
Tips for Success:
- Frozen Cauliflower versus Fresh Cauliflower: You can use either fresh or frozen cauliflower. If using fresh cauliflower, cut pieces into small florets. We used frozen for convenience.
- Sauciness: You can control the “cheese” sauce to macaroni ratio by simply using 14 oz. of macaroni. If you want a little less sauciness, then use 16 oz. We used 16 oz. of elbow macaroni.
- Veggie Add-Ins: You can pretty much add in any veggies you wish. Peas and broccoli are always excellent choices. If you add in veggies, then reduce the amount of macaroni accordingly to avoid a drier dish.
- Cooked Macaroni: Shake off any excess water and allow to drain for a few minutes. Any lingering water that hangs onto the pasta will water down your sauce.
- Pasta of choice: You can use your favorite pasta in this dish.
- Cayenne Pepper: The cayenne pepper adds great depth of flavor that is typical for Cajun dishes. We do not recommend leaving it out. You may wish to scale back a tad for small children.
- Flavor Builder: The flavors in this dish build on the palate. Taste test 3 times to allow the flavors to build before adding additional seasonings.
- Pulse Herbs: We don’t recommend adding the oregano or thyme to the blender as they can intensive or become bitter when over blended. We recommend pulsing them in at the very end.
- Natural Peanut Butter: You will not be able to taste the peanut butter in this recipe, but it does add an underlying layer of flavor with a little fat to make the dish appear more indulgent on the palate. Be sure to select a peanut butter where the only ingredient is peanuts. You can leave it out if you wish or use another comparable nut or seed butter with the understanding that the flavor and texture could be impacted accordingly.
- Hot Sauce and Cayenne Pepper: This dish does have some heat to it. If you are concerned, reduce the hot sauce and cayenne pepper, then adjust the flavor accordingly. We used 3 teaspoons of hot sauce and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, it was spicy, but oh so flavorful.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
This dish can be frozen; however, it is best if served immediately after making or after refrigerating leftovers. Pasta does tend to get a little mushy after freezing.
Pantry Products Used:
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
- Frozen Cauliflower: We used a 14.4 oz bag of Birds Eye Frozen Cauliflower Florets. Feel free to use your favorite frozen cauliflower. Or use fresh cauliflower florets.
- Chili Powder: We used Penzeys Regular Chili Powder. It has great flavor, with a tiny kick that is not overwhelming. Feel free to use your favorite chili powder, just be sure to select a mild one and not one that has a lot of heat to it.
- Dried Thyme Crushed Leaves: We use Penzeys French Thyme. It has amazing flavor. If you can’t find dried crushed thyme leaves, you can use ground thyme, but use half the amount.
- Ume Plum Vinegar: We used Eden Ume Plum Vinegar. We get a lot of questions on ume plum vinegar. It is fairly inexpensive and adds amazing flavor. You can find it in most health food grocery stores. You can leave it out if you can’t find it, adjust your flavors accordingly.
- Hot Sauce: We used Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce.
- Roasted Red Peppers: We used Mancini Sweet Roasted Red Peppers. Feel free to use your favorite roasted red peppers or make your own.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Stock pot to cook the pasta
- Stock pot to boil the potatoes and cauliflower
- High-Speed Blender. We like this Vitamix Blender
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.
If you try this fun mac and cheese, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
Creamy, saucy, and incredibly delicious, this oil-free Vegan Cajun Mac and Cheese is packed with wholesome veggies, aromatic spices, and an optional kick of heat.
- 1 – [ 14.4 oz. bag ] frozen cauliflower florets *
- 3 cups Russet potatoes, peeled, small dice
- 1/3 cup unsweetened plain plant milk
- ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
- ½ cup water
- 3 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ume plum vinegar *
- 1 to 3 teaspoons hot sauce *
- 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari *
- 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter *
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (+/-)
- 1/3 cup roasted red bell peppers *
Sauce Herb/Spice Ingredients:
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onions
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon regular chili powder *
- ¾ teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper *
Pulse Herb Ingredients:
- ¼ teaspoon dried crushed thyme leaves *
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 16 oz. GF elbow macaroni (or pasta of choice)
- Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, set aside.
- Place the frozen cauliflower florets and diced potatoes into a medium stockpot, bring to a boil, gently boil until fork tender (about 10 to 15 minutes). Drain off the water, then place them in a high-speed blender.
- Add all the Sauce Ingredients and Spice/Herb Ingredients into the high-speed blender with the cooked cauliflower and potatoes. Blend on high until smooth and emulsified.
- Add the Pulse Herb Ingredients to the blender and pulse just to incorporate. Do not blend.
- Place the cooked pasta back into the medium-sized stockpot and pour the sauce over top, mix well to combine. Serve and enjoy!
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Serving: 4 to 6
This post contains affiliate links, and we may receive a very small commission if you purchase through those links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures! For more information, see our disclosures here.