Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free, Nut Free)

GFGluten Free

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This Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese is so simple that you’ll want to make it all the time, and so delicious that you’ll have to! Gluten Free, Nut Free, and made with only 8 Ingredients.

If you were a child of the 90s, Mac and Cheese was probably a staple in your diet. I vividly remember mixing that neon orange powder into my fun-shaped noodles, trying to stir in every last bit (because a mouthful of that was absolutely the worst). Nowadays, I try to avoid boxed processed foods, and I definitely avoid dairy.

No one said anything about avoiding Mac and Cheese, though.

baked vegan mac and cheese in small white bowl

Here’s the hard part where I now have to convince you that this Vegan Mac and Cheese is the best. You see, there are about a million and two cheezy pasta recipes out there on the internet, each touting the same thing. There’s the cashew mac, the potato mac, the fat-free mac, the junk food mac…. You name it, it’s probably floating out there somewhere in cyberspace.

I’m actually a very humble person, but let me say this: I’m pretty sure I hit the nail on the freakin’ head with this one. Forget best of both worlds, this Mac is the best of all worlds. It’s thick, luscious, creamy, and nut free! So you don’t have to waste all your money on cashews and can share it with your friends with allergies. Oh, and I think it tastes pretty darn cheesy, too.

baked vegan mac and cheese in large dish

Not only is this Mac and Cheese AMAZING, but it’s affordable too! I actually posted a variation of this recipe in one of my budget-friendly Youtube recipe videos. However, this time it has an upgrade…because now it’s (1) baked, and (2) has a delicious and Gluten-Free Crumb Topping.

Let’s talk about that for a second, shall we?

baked vegan mac and cheese in small dish

Who knew that blending up sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, and a pinch of salt would create such a magical taste, man. So. Gooooood. If you follow the recipe, you’ll have some leftover crumble – but this is a good thing, in my opinion. Either sprinkle some extra on your pasta dish after you serve it, or save it for a later use! I think it would also be great as a vegan parmesan.

A Few Final Thoughts:

  • This recipe is easily made gluten free by using GF pasta, but if you can tolerate gluten, feel free to use any pasta that you desire. I usually use this chickpea pasta and love it.
  • If you are feeling lazy, you don’t have to bake this recipe. Simply make the cheese sauce, pour it over your cooked pasta, ét voilá! However, you are really missing out if you don’t make the crumb topping…just sayin’
  • I would really recommend sticking with Tahini for this recipe. You can use with another neutral “butter” like cashew or sunflower seed, but the Tahini really contributes to the “cheddary” flavor.
  • This recipe is best eaten fresh right out of the oven and will dry out with time. You could make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to one week, but I wouldn’t bake the pasta in advance.

baked vegan mac and cheese in white dish

If you’re looking for more comforting Vegan recipes, you’ll also love this One Pot Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff and this Loaded Vegan “Chicken” Noodle Soup! 

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂


Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese (Gluten Free, Nut Free)

This Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese is so simple that you’ll want to make it all the time, and so delicious that you’ll have to! Gluten Free, Nut Free, and made with only 8 Ingredients.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: American



For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 cup Russet Potato, peeled and diced into 1″ cubes (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, chopped into 1/2″ pieces (about 1 medium)
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Plant-Based Milk (Almond, Cashew, or Hemp recommended)
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Salt, plus more to taste

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil while you peel and chop your Potatoes and Carrots. Place the chopped veggies into the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the Carrots are easily pierced with a fork.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the crumb topping. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well-combined, then set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Drain the Potatoes and Carrots, then set aside. Briefly rinse out the pot, then re-fill with water and bring to a boil again.
  4. Once boiling, add the Pasta and cook according to package instructions. As you will be cooking the Pasta again in the oven, I would recommend cooking it for the minimum amount of time, so it is al dente.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375F, then prepare the Sauce. Combine the Potatoes and Carrots with the rest of the remaining ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce is thick and velvety. Add extra Salt to taste, if desired.
  6. Drain your Pasta, but do not rinse it. Return it to the pot and pour the Cheese Sauce over it, stirring until well-combined.
  7. Spread the Pasta mixture evenly into an oven-safe 8″x8″ pan, then cover with a generous sprinkle of the Crumb mixture.
  8. Bake at for 8-10 minutes, then broil on HI for 2-5 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crispy. Be sure to watch carefully so it doesn’t burn!
  9. Carefully remove from the oven and serve immediately, topping with more Crumb Topping as desired.


  • If you are gluten-free, be sure to use certified GF pasta. I use Banza and would highly recommend it!

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This Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese is so simple that you'll want to make it all the time, and so delicious that you'll have to! Gluten Free, Nut Free, and made with only 8 Ingredients. #vegan #plantbased #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #macandcheese #comfortfood #healthyrecipes #easydinner via

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. The taste was a bit odd at first, but it grew on me. I ate a whole bowl of it and licked the sauce lol. I’m not a vegan but am trying to transition slowly. This was so easy to make. I was reading the reviews & I guess Trader Joes Tahini is pretty potent, so maybe I’ll use less of that next time. Thank you, Caitlin. 🙂

  2. Caitlin

    This recipe is the best. It’s so simple and delicious. My husband loves it!!

    One thing though, ingredients are lost when you print the recipe and there is a page break. Depending on whether you print landscape or portrait you lose either the tahini or the nutritional yeast in the topping. I made this the first time from my computer and the second time from a printed copy only to realize later that I never used the tahini that was sitting on my counter.

  3. Finally tried this and was soo impressed at how easy and delicious it was! Also love how cheap it is! Definitely going to start making this regularly. Thank you Caitlin!

  4. I hope you don’t think I’m butchering your sauce but I actually left out the tahini and used the boiling water instead of milk–that way I could keep the recipe nut/seed free! It actually still tastes delicious and decadent. That may have also had to do with me using a larger potato (probably 1 1/2 cups). Still, everything was yum! I can see myself using this cheese sauce for many things. I used it in a quesadilla instead of cheese and it was pretty damn good. Thanks for this simple, delicious recipe!

  5. This is the best mac and “cheese” recipe I have ever made! I love it on its own and have made it quite a few times, but I decided to make it as the base of a chili mac last night. I just added a healthy amount of chili powder to the cheese sauce and dumped 2 cans of chili bean mix in with the pasta – turned out amazing!! Thanks for providing such great inspiration 🙂

  6. Should the carrots still be visible? Like little chunks? Mine wouldnt blend all the way

    1. No, they should be pretty smooth! It sounds like your blender may not be strong enough – in that case, I would suggest cooking the Carrots and Potatoes for a few minutes longer so they are *really* soft and mushy.

  7. What kind of nutritional yeast do you use?
    I have heard some brands are better and more healthy than others.

  8. Oh. My.. Gosh.



    I went vegan about 6 months ago and have tried soooo many recipes. They all taste like cashews and are chunky & weirdly sweet. This… was… PERFECT. Satisfied my childhood cravings, without the guilt.


  9. So so glad to see this post! I was recently diagnosed with IBS and can’t have gluten, dairy (which isn’t a problem because I’m vegan), onion, or garlic. What would you recommend in place of the garlic powder (or can you make it without the garlic powder)??

  10. If I could write a book about how much I love this recipe, I totally would! I absolutely love this recipe and make it (at least) once a week. I’m the only vegan in my family and can easily consume the entire batch in 2-3 days. It’s absolutely delicious, quick, and with the addition of some sliced sun-dried tomatoes on top, easily one of my favorite recipe! I’ve been using it since last year and don’t plan on trying any other recipes any time soon. All of your recipes are wonderful and you’re one of the best recipe developers/Instagrammers out there. Thanks for all that you do! You rock, Cailtin!

  11. OH MY GOD! I am so glad I gave this a try its so good. I did go into this expecting to get something that tasted a lot like Kraft. Im not vegan, but this recipe tasted so much better than I expected. This is defiantly going to be one of my dishes each week. Its so simple and easy to make and it doesn’t take much longer to make than a normal box Mac and cheese. I will definitely be trying more of your dishes because its and easy was to add veggies to my diet without having to force myself to eat them.

  12. I recently switched to a dairy-free diet for health reasons, but I really do love cheese, so I was skeptical about this recipe. It turned out very good! It tastes like homemade mac and cheese, which surprised me since the ingredients don’t seem like they’d produce a cheesy flavor. Some of my family members tried it and liked it, even though they eat dairy. Thank you for sharing this recipe! It will make my cheeseless life much more bearable!

  13. This was so good! I’m not vegan, but I’m in the process of tranistioning, and this was so realistic to the actual stuff. I tried another vegan mac and cheese and it was blech, but this was great! I did add a tiny bit of hot sauce, but I just prefer my cheese sauce with a bit of kick, and I felt that with the hot sauce, it did make it a bit more realistic. I’m going to serve this to my boyfriend soon and not tell him there’s no cheese in it. I bet he won’t be able to taste the difference,

  14. Hey Caitlin! I just made this but I messed up the measurements and had to adjust a little.. I think it still came out great! Thank you for making this recipe so easy 🙂 My boyfriend made some awesome 1st time vegan spicy sausage and fried onion on top of it *_*
    all the Best, Caroline

  15. OMG this is the best vegan mac and cheese recipe I have ever found!! I’ve made it several times now and it so good. I like to make it without baking it in the oven for a quick weeknight dinner. Thanks Caitlin for your awesome recipes!

  16. Have you ever subbed Hannah or Japanese sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes? Do you think it would turn out good?

    1. I have not! The “Cheese” would be a lot more sweet, so I think it would taste less authentic

  17. 5 stars
    I just made this and it is everything I was hoping for! I didn’t have any sunflower seeds on hand so I used cashews and it turned out just fine. Simply delicious! Thank you for this recipe!

  18. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I’ve tried a few vegan mac and cheese recipes and didn’t like them at all, but you nailed it with this one! I didn’t have any sunflower seeds so I just sprinkled some panko bread crumbs on top before baking. I look forward to trying this again with the sunflower seed topping. Do you use raw or roasted seeds? Thank you for this amazing recipe!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I use raw seeds, as we will be baking them again in the oven 🙂 those breadcrumbs sound great too!

  19. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe! I love how the sauce is vegetable based and doesn’t have a thousand ingredients. I accidentally broiled it for too long (5 minutes) and it burnt a little, bu it still tasted really good. Of course, it doesn’t taste exactly like cheese, but it has an amazing velvety texture and I love the crunch form the topping. Next time, I will add more salt, because I don’t think I added enough. I will definitely make this again in the future!