You’ll love this baked vegan mac and cheese recipe with no nuts or nutritional yeast. It uses easy-to-make oat cream and vegan cheddar cheese to give it an authentic, rich cheesy taste. Creamy and comforting, this dairy free mac and cheese recipe makes a perfect vegan dinner or side dish.

How Do You Make Vegan Mac And Cheese?

As I researched how to make vegan mac and cheese, I noticed that many recipes called for nutritional yeast to add a cheesy taste. I use nutritional yeast in my instant pot vegan mac and cheese recipe, but now that I live in a high-cost of living area I can see that it can be a very expensive ingredient to acquire.

The best baked vegan mac and cheese casserole!
I could eat this entire baked vegan mac and cheese!

At my supermarket, nutritional yeast cost over $7.00 for 5oz. Some of the recipes I looked at use 2 whole cups of nutritional yeast. That seems like way too much to me so I decided to try and make a baked vegan mac and cheese without nutritional yeast.

I decided to use a combination of vegan cheddar cheese and oat cream, which was more affordable and I think tastes better. The cheese I used is Daiya vegan cheddar style shreds.

I used this Daiya vegan cheddar cheese to make baked vegan mac and cheese.

To make the crispy breadcrumb crust on the top of our baked vegan pasta extraordinaire, we used breadcrumbs mixed with a small amount of vegan butter.

The breadcrumbs I used are the Kikkoman Panko bread crumbs. I think any kind of breadcrumbs will do fine but for bigger crisps you gotta go for the panko.

Coconut Milk?

While many vegan recipes use cashew cream (made by blending raw cashews with water until liquid), I know there are folks out there with allergies, sensitivities, etc. That’s why I created this baked vegan mac and cheese no nuts recipe.

Instead of cashew cream. I use oat cream in this recipe. I tried using coconut milk, and to be honest it wasn’t bad, but I could definitely taste the coconut. I like coconut, but I feel like it doesn’t belong in mac and cheese. Oat cream is the way to go, by a long way!

I make my oat cream for the recipe by blending 1/4 cup of oats with 1 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil. Strain it through a nut milk bag and there you have it, oat cream ready to go in under 5 minutes.

If you do use coconut milk, use the canned stuff and check the ingredients to make sure the main ingredient is coconut or organic coconut and not something iffy like coconut extract or coconut milk (read: “watered down”). Low quality coconut milk will not have the proper fat content or taste.

What About A Gluten Free Dairy Free Mac And Cheese Recipe?

Baked vegan mac and cheese on a plate, it has a breadcrumb crust and is garnished with cherry tomato and basil leaves.

If you want to make this a gluten free dairy free mac and cheese recipe, you can simply replace the macaroni pasta with a gluten free pasta of your choice. Replace the flour with your favorite gluten free flour. The Daiya cheese I used is already gluten free, so no worries there.

For the breadcrumbs, Kikkoman makes their delicious bread crumbs in a gluten free version.

Vegan Baked Mac And Cheese

Creamy and comforting, this dairy free mac and cheese recipe makes a perfect vegan dinner or side dish. Nut free, vegan, and easily gluten free.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Vegan Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 369kcal
Cost: $5.28 RECIPE / $0.66 SERVING

Equipment

  • Frying pan
  • 9"x13" baking dish

Ingredients

For The Baked Vegan Mac And Cheese

For The Breadcrumb Crust

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, set aside.
  • In a frying pan, melt the ¼ cup vegan butter and whisk in the 1 Tablespoon of flour. Cook for about a minute to eliminate the raw flour taste, but don't let it brown.
  • Slowly whisk in the 1 cup oat cream (if using coconut milk, add the whole can). Add in the 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and ¾ teaspoon of salt. Heat until it begins to bubble.
  • Turn off the heat and add in the 1 cup of vegan cheddar cheese. Stir until fully melted in (if small bits remain unincorporated it's okay). Whisk in the 1 cup of water.
  • Grease a 9"x13" baking dish with some vegan butter and spread the cooked macaroni in an even layer. Pour the vegan mac and cheese sauce over it.
  • To add a breadcrumb crust, melt 2 Tablespoons of vegan butter in the microwave (about 20 seconds) and stir in the panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the buttery breadcrumbs over pasta evenly.
  • Bake the vegan mac and cheese at 400° Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, uncovered, or until the breadcrumbs are nicely browned.

Notes

  • Recipe nutrition is an estimate using special online databases of nutrition facts and is calculated automatically. Please note that if using coconut milk the amount of calories and fat will be slightly more than if using oat cream.
  • To make this a gluten-free baked mac and cheese, substitute: 
    • pasta for gluten free pasta
    • flour for gluten free flour
    • panko breadcrumbs for gluten free panko breadcrumbs
  • You can double the amount of sauce for an extra creamy baked mac and cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 466IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg

About the Author

Shannon Hakala

Recipe Creator

I'm Shan and I love sharing tasty & easy vegan recipes!

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