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Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 26 Minutes
  • Total Time: 46 Minutes (+5 Minutes Rest)
  • Yield: 4-5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Bake up this creamy, dreamy, and cozy low-fat Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese for the perfect tasty casserole dish that the whole family will love. Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.



Boil Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cauliflower, trimmed into small florets
  • 2 cups Russet potatoes, peeled, small dice
  • ½ cup carrots, tiny dice
  • 1/8 cup cashews

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened plain plant milk
  • ½ cup vegetable broth *
  • ½ cup water (or broth)
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar (+/-)
  • 2 teaspoons white miso *
  • 1 Tablespoons reduced sodium tamari *
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (+/-)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Pinch turmeric (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/- to taste) *
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 12 to 14 oz. GF elbow macaroni (or pasta of choice)

Crumb Toppings:

  • ¼ cup GF panko (or panko/bread crumbs of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • Pinch black pepper (+/-)


Pasta Boil Instructions

  1. Fill a large stock pot full of water. Add some sea salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil then add the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Note: You want to coordinate the completion of the pasta cooking time with the completion of the sauce. If unsure, then just wait to put the pasta into the boiling water once the sauce is done. Just turn the sauce down really low or remove from the stove.  Boil the pasta until el dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, then transfer the cooked pasta into the sauce.

Crumb Topping Instructions:

  1. Make the crumb topping by adding all the Crumb Topping Ingredients into a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.


  1. Preheat the oven to broil. Place the oven rack in the center
  2. Place the cauliflower florets, diced potatoes, carrots, and cashews into a medium stockpot, bring to a boil, gently boil until fork tender (about 10 to 12 minutes). Drain off the water, then place them in a high-speed blender.  Add all the Sauce Ingredients into the high-speed blender with the cooked cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and cashews. Blend on high until smooth and emulsified.
  3. Place the cooked pasta into a baking dish, pour the sauce over the pasta, mix well, then sprinkle the Crumb Topping Mix evenly over top.Place in the oven and broil until the top is golden brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.  Watch carefully to ensure the crumble topping does not burn.  Then turn off the oven and allow the dish to sit in the hot oven undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.


*Tips for Success:

  • Cashews: This is a fantastic, flavorful recipe. We created this recipe specifically to be lower in fat compared to other mac and “cheese” types of recipes which use a lot of cashew cream.  However, if you are looking for a more decadent type of mac and “cheese” dish then you would need a recipe that uses quite a bit more cashew cream than this recipe.  We used only 1/8 cup of cashews, just enough to trick the brain that there is some fat in this dish while still being lower in fat.  If you wish, you can add more cashews to create a more decadent dish. Additionally, you can leave out the cashews (or use another nut or seed) if you wish, with the understanding that the flavors will change accordingly.
  • Sauciness: You can control the “cheese” sauce to macaroni ratio by simply using less macaroni if you want a little more sauciness.  We used approximately 13 ounces of elbow macaroni.  If unsure, use less macaroni as the pasta really drinks up the sauce and your dish could be drier than anticipated.
  • 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, then shake the pasta again before adding to the bowl.  Lift up the pasta with your fingers and wiggle with your fingers (to release extra trapped water) as elbow macaroni really tends to hold onto water inside the little tubes of pasta and you want to get as much of that out as possible. Any lingering water that hangs onto the pasta will water down your sauce.

 *Notes Continued

*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.

*Pasta of choice:  You can use your favorite pasta in this dish.  Bionaturae makes an excellent organic gluten free elbow macaroni made with rice, potato, and soy.

*Miso:  We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free.  Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil.  If you are going to live the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle, then you will quickly find that miso is your friend.

*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.

*Sea Salt:  Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.

*Servings:  4-5

*Storage:  Refrigerate and use within 5 days.