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Plated Vegan Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

Vegan Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 35 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 55 Minutes (+Rest Time)
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This healthy, oil-free Vegan Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese is perfect for the whole family featuring bold flavor and creamy goodness!



Boil Ingredients:

  • 1 – [ 14.4 oz. bag ] frozen cauliflower florets *
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly
  • ½ red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 cup Russet potatoes, peeled, small dice (1/2-inch cubes)
  • ½ cup (raw) cashews
  • Sprinkle sea salt

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth *
  • 2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari *
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce * 

Sauce Herb/Spice Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ to 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) * 

Other Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 oz. elbow macaroni (or pasta of choice)
  • 5 to 10 dill pickle slices, chopped *

Topping Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup panko crumbs (or bread crumbs) *
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
  • Pinch smoked paprika


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the Topping Ingredients into a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  3. Place the Sauce Spice/Herb Ingredients into a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
  4. Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, set aside.
  5. In the meantime, place the frozen cauliflower florets, diced potatoes, carrot, red bell peppers, and cashews into a medium stockpot, cover with water, sprinkle with sea salt and bring to a boil. Then immediately lower to a gentle simmering boil. Boil until the potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower are fork tender (about 10 to 15 minutes). Drain off the water, shake well to remove any lingering water, then place in a high-speed blender.
  6. Add all the Sauce Ingredients and Spice/Herb Mix into the high-speed blender with the cooked cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, and cashews. Blend on high until smooth and emulsified.  Taste test and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  7. Place the cooked pasta and chopped pickles back into a large bowl, then pour the sauce over top, mix well to combine.
  8. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, then sprinkle the Topping over the top.
  9. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 F oven for 20 minutes, switch to high-broil just to toast the top to a golden brown, then remove from the oven and allow to set for 5 minutes.


*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:  6