Stove-Top Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

In this comforting vegan mac and cheese, a smooth purée of vegetables, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavor), and turmeric (for cheesy color) coats the pasta in a golden, creamy, dairy-free sauce. Any leftover sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. The sauce can also be made ahead and frozen for fast weeknight meals—simply thaw and re-blend before using. Craving a crunchy topping? Simply spread the prepared mac and cheese in a casserole dish, sprinkle breadcrumbs over the, and broil in the oven until brown and crispy.

By Molly Patrick,


  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (1½ cups)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric or 1 tablespoon finely chopped turmeric root
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 ounces dried whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Combine the potato, carrots, onion, turmeric, garlic, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Place the cashews in a small bowl and add enough water to cover them. Soak for at least 10 minutes; drain.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cool water; drain again. Return to the saucepan.
  • Transfer the potato mixture to a blender. Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and ½ cup water. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  • Top the pasta with the desired amount of sauce, and toss to coat. Season with pepper.

Comments (57)

(5 from 27 votes)

Recipe Rating

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John Lacroix

So, Step 4 "Transfer the Potato Mixture to a blender", nowhere does it say to drain the potato mixture before transferring to the blender. Which way is it, Drained or undrained?

Pruett Kristina

Very good vegan comfort food.It almost tastes like mac n cheese but not quite😊

Kathleen McPhillips

No matter what recipe I try for vegan Mac n cheese…doesn’t cut it. Just about everything else vegan is delicious, but Mac n cheese not so much.

Donna clifford

Worst recipe since I have been using FOK for past 2 months. Nutritional yeast flavor is overwhelming. So far have added 1T smoked paprika,juice of 2 fresh lemons, juice 1 lime, 2T Dijon mustard, 1 tsp dry mustard,2 T dried garlic,1T onion powder and a can of drain cannelloni beans. It’s beginning to taste better but will try to find better recipe somewhere else. Sorry FOK, you failed on this one


I thought this was excellent! After reading a lot of comments saying it wasn’t flavorful, I was a bit leery. I’m glad I tried it. The only thing different I did was add some bell pepper strips to the vegetables while cooking them ( about 1/3 of a bell pepper). I removed them before blending. I liked the flavor it gave the sauce. I used the sauce to make Mac-n-cheese and also as a potato topping. I think I will be making this often! Delicious and very creamy!


I like how creamy the sauce was, but for us this wasn't good, not tasty. Thank you for the recipe!


This is a very good sauce. I blended it for one minute and tasted it. It was good at that point. I thought a poster's suggestion of Dijon mustard and miso was a good idea, so I added those and blended for another minute. Honestly, they're both good. This will be good on the pasta I'm making tonight and it will be good on the crucifers I'll be making in a day or two.


I added some dijon mustard and a bit of white miso to give the flavor a boost... and mask the nutritional yeast. It is not my favorite taste.

Lets Cook



Very good if you're not expecting traditional Mac and Cheese. It made about 3 cups of sauce which can be used for other dishes, but you only need about 1/2 cup or so for 4 oz. of pasta. So if you use 1 tsp of salt for the sauce, you'd only be using 1/12 of a tsp of salt or around 200 mg per serving if my math is right.


I love FOK and every recipe I have tried so far except this one. The sauce is gross and has an overwhelming potato taste. Had high hopes because I miss mac n cheese but I have had far better vegan cheese sauces. I've been vegan since before I heard of FOK so I'm not hating on the lifestyle, just this particular recipe.


Do you have a suggestion for a cheese sauce? I’m doing this for the first time


Sherry try Plantiful Kiki’s yummiest cheese sauce ever on YouTube!


Love, love, love this sauce! We pour it over all kinds of vegetables. We also make chickpea Mac n cheese to put on carrot dogs. Delicious!


Hello…I’m writing with an update on this wonderful recipe. My husband was recently diagnosed with “silent reflux”. He is required to eliminate onions, garlic, black pepper and a host of other foods either high in acid or contribute to acid. I just made this recipe replacing the onion with the same amount of cauliflower and just leaving out the garlic and black pepper. We are happy to say it worked! We will still pour it over chickpea pasta and he can dip baked tortilla chips. This is a wonderful recipe.


Sherry, clean cuisine has a delicious MAC and cheese sauce that uses sweet potato and nutritional yeast. I like adding a bit of Dijon and dry mustard.

Charlie Rose

I always make double batches of this in advance and freeze it. Then on nights when I'm too busy to cook after work, all I have to do it take it out of the freezer, wait for it to thaw, re-blender it/heat it up, and boil some water for the noodles. Warm, easy, delicious comfort food after a long work day is the BEST! :)


Enjoyed this recipe. Very different for me, being a cheese lover, but after a few mouthfuls I thought I will make this again. Poured it over broccoli and buckwheat pasta.


Hmmm, it needs more flavor. I added tomatillo salsa I had in the fridge. Much improved. With leftovers I might add fresh jalapeño and tomato for a Tex Mex flavor. It is a good base recipe.


Do you have Nutrition Information for these recipes? This one is for 2 servings & calls for a teaspoon of salt? That’s 1,150 grams of sodium!!! Healthy eating? Hello HEART ATTACK!!! The recommended daily allowance for a healthy heart is 1,500. That means you only have enough room for 350 grams for everything else you eat that day. (and that’s not counting the naturally occurring sodium in the other ingredients, the sodium that some nutritional yeasts contain, and the bread crumbs if used). I realize this can be made without adding salt or reducing it, but then how is it going to taste? I see this is a reoccurring problem in Vegan & Plant based recipes. I’m not trying to attack the lifestyle, as I am not a meat eater. However, I find it hard to find recipes out there that are heart healthy & Veggie based. Sorry, but no amount of vegetables are going to contribute to a healthy heart if they are doused in salt.


1/2 tsp sea salt has 932mg of sodium, if that is too much for you then use less.

Michelle coley

Amazing, easy and delicious recipe!! Definetly a keeper!!


This came out surprisingly better than I expected. It does not taste like macaroni and cheese but it has a unique flavor that is very appealing. Kudos to the creator of the recipe. Warning: The tumeric stains everything which I didn't know. Got it on my counter and clothes.


Hiya- just wanted to let you know that sunlight breaks down the curcumin (what gives turmeric it’s yellow hue) and this magically removes the yellow stain! Sometimes it takes a while- but just put whatever is stained in the sun, including clothing and pots and pants and whatever else, and the yellow will magically disappear. I’ve used indoor ‘sunlight bulbs’ as well- but those take even longer, for sure.



Karen Thompson

Great recipe




That’s awesome info! Thanks


If I wanted to bake this as a casserole, how long should I put it in the oven for? And at what temperature?


I’m new to plant based eating and slowly getting used to how different things taste. Recipes like this are really helpful. This cheese sauce was quite enjoyable with a little hot sauce. I used Konjac noodles to help curb my blood sugar. Will use this sauce on veggies tomorrow.


Wow! This is definitely the best vegan Mac and cheese I have ever tried! This recipe is delicious and quite an easy and quick meal. Thank you Forks Over Knives! :)

Bronwyn Lane

This is delicious. I served it on top of some cooked broccoli -

Rebekah Welch

Delicious! I use the Barilla Chick Pea pasta with this sauce. The sauce is super easy to make. I make two batches so we have leftovers to eat all week. I love this web site. It makes it easy to eat a plant based diet.

Valerie Danels

Family went nuts over this dish! Huge hit! I made the sauce the night before (both times - they requested it twice in one week) and it was so flavorful. Definitely recommend!!


Easy to make and tastes so good. Even better as leftovers. A little goes a long way so I froze the remainder to try in other ways later.

Kacey Trapp

I'm about to try this but just realized I only have walnuts and no cashews. Will the walnuts work?

Steven, FOK Support

You may wish to try it, Kacey! Different nuts and seeds can often be used as substitute, though taste + consistency/texture will most likely vary. Hope you still enjoyed!


Can the cheese sauce be frozen for later?

Steven, FOK Support

Sauces often freeze well, Elliot!


Add a can of Rotel ( chopped tomatoes w chili’s) for Mexican Mac and cheese!


Great idea!

Garland Schonauer

When I decided to become whole food plant based I struggled with losing my beloved Mac n’ Cheese. I have tried countless recipes to replicate my comfort food and almost gave up. This recipe was a life saver. Best chez sauce you will find and that’s a promise! I even use the leftovers blended with jalapeño to make nachos. If you’re on the hunt for an amazing replacement for a cheese sauce look no further. 10/10 hands down!


I have a family of 4 and we love this recipe. My oldest has severe non-verbal autism and is a Mac n cheese junkie. He tried this without any problems; it looks just like regular Mac n cheese and he almost ate the whole pan. Thanks for this recipe!


How much cashew butter should I use instead of raw cashews?


It’s about half.


Great and extra sauce used on avocado with salsa. Will try it on steamed broccoli.


Awesome recipe. The extra sauce is good to put on avocado accompanied by salsa. I have to try it on steamed broccoli.


The recipe wasn't clear that you needed to blend the vegetable mixture along with the 2 cups of liquid it was cooked in. I strained them and the mixture was very thick. The other reason for the 2 stars was the flavor. There really wasn't any despite the onions, garlic, and nutritional yeast. I think maybe the potatoes soaked it all up and neutralized it? Who knows but it was a waste of time, vegetables and nutrional yeast.


Try it again before you totally give up. For added flavor, you can sauté garlic and onion, then add it to the mixture before blending. Any recipe can be tweaked for flavor that suits your palate.

Johann Hepner

Anyone know if you can substitute a sweet potato instead of a rustic potato?


Here’s a link to FOK sweet potato Mac & cheese—slightly different.


Easy and delicious, loved it. Lots of extra sauce to use with some other recipes.

Caro Schuler

Sauce is very creamy, I added more salt and pepper to taste. I made one serving worth of pasta and added the sauce. The remaining sauce was about a ~24oz.

Stacey Coia Gabryszek

So good! And the cheese sauce comes in handy for other meals.

Amanda Kabat

Kids love it! My kids love mac n cheese, so we call this vegan mac, because they are not really the same, but this Mac will be creamy and satisfying. They even ask for it! Plus as we move into a more plant based lifestyle this is a great comfort food recipe we usually use lentil noodles and mmm.

aram brazilian

you had me at soak and blend the cashews!

About the Author

Headshot of Molly Patrick

About the Author

Molly Patrick

Molly Patrick is the founder of, a website dedicated to helping people eat more whole plant food and less of everything else. Through her writing, recipes, programs, and coaching, she inspires, motivates, and educates people all over the globe to prevent illness and disease with the food they eat. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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