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. Recently my partner found out that he was allergic to cashews, which is usually what I use for my Mac and cheese, so when I went searching for alternatives and found this recipe from Caitlin I was so excited! I subbed the carrots and potatoes for frozen butternut squash just to keep it easy and it turned out amazing!! I brought it to a potluck for non-vegan coworkers and they all loved it! Will def be adding this recipe to my staples, thanks Caitlin! ☺️

  2. I’ve made this like 10 times now, I’m not even vegan but I prefer this to normal mac and cheese lol! The tahini really makes this, but I also sometimes add a tablespoon or 2 of extra virgin olive oil for more richness.

  3. Loved this recipe so much!! Did not take long to make and tasted incredible!

  4. This is by far the best vegan mac and cheese recipe I’ve ever made- seriously DELICIOUS! I highly recommend this (I’ve tried MANY different mac and cheese recipes and this is the first to get non-vegan family’s approval!) So glad I tried it and will definitely be making again soon!

  5. Loved this! Such a delicious tasty meal made from such healthy, accessible ingredients. Loved the consistency of the cheese sauce. I think I used too big of a potato so I had to thin the sauce out with a bit more water. YUM

  6. Just made this for me and my partner and really loved it! Not as heavy or rich as vegan cheese mac and cheese but really delicious and more nutritious too!

  7. Caitlin this was amazing! I didn’t have nutritional yeast on hand so I went without it and it was still incredible. Every recipe i’ve ever made from you has been amazing! I know you compare yourself a lot to other food bloggers but I have to say you’re up there with them! what i love about your recipes is how simple they are and that they never require too many ingredients or anything that I wouldn’t have at home already. Thank you! Saving this one for sure.

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, it really means a lot! Glad you’re finding the recipes accessible, that is our main goal!

    1. The potatoes are used to help thicken up the sauce, if you can do sweet potatoes you could potentially use those instead!

  8. Thanks for this beautiful recipe Caitlin! I made just the sauce to make Cauliflower Cheese and will absolutely use again. I might halve the tahini next time as the flavour was stronger than I expected. Otherwise, I love the thick, creamy texture 🙂

  9. Bula all the way from the islands of Fiji!

    This was one of the first vegan recipes I tried at home and it was AMAZING!! It was so creamy and delicious and just heart warming…one thing I did not add and am still in search of is nutritional yeast
    I did not add the nutritional yeast cause its really hard to find here (but it is around according to some of my friends) but everything else was just delicious! And the sauce! my goodness it was so good! … Thank you so much for sharing this, can’t wait to try more of your other recipes <3

    1. If you can ever get a hold of the nutritional yeast give it a shot! It’ll definitely help give it that cheese type flavor! Thanks!

  10. I finally got around to trying this recipe, and I’m just blown away! It’s soooo good, definitely an instant favorite 🙂 Ever since I went vegan, I always find myself coming back to your website for recipes, everything I’ve tried so far has been nothing short of amazing. Thank you for always keeping my meals wholesome, healthy, and incredibly delicious!

  11. The cheese sauce was GOOD but adding just a bit of spicy brown mustard to it really gave it a depth that was missing. Will definitely be making this again – thank you!

  12. Your recipe exceeded my expectations! It was delicious, and simple to make. My husband said he never liked mac and cheese even before we became vegans and kidded me about cooking this, but he ate 2 servings. I ate 3 and gave our neighbor a small bowl. I think mine ended up with more servings because I used a whole russet potato and a big carrot for the cheese sauce, and I don’t know how much macaroni, I just poured it out from the jar it was stored in. I have leftover cheese sauce too, which we’ll dip chips in. And leftover crumbs which we’ll put atop spaghetti with marinara sauce. I sent the recipe to my vegan daughter also. Thanks again!

  13. For the crumb topping on the mac and cheese, are the sun flower seeds raw or roasted? Thank you, I love your recipes!

  14. I am not strictly vegan, but I try to eat a mostly plant-based diet. Most of the time when a vegan recipe claims to be cheesy or taste like cheese, I find that not to be the case. This recipe on the other hand tastes just like cheese! More like a nacho cheese, but its absolutely amazing. It is so rich and creamy. You could also use the cheese sauce on nachos or potatoes.

  15. This is amazing! Just tried it (but i bought some bread crumbs because I was feeling lazy), but it’s amazing!! I didn’t expect the cheese sauce to be that good. I did make too much, though. How long will it last in the fridge?

  16. This was amazing! My favorite vegan mac and cheese so far. I had extra cheese sauce, so I added a little ground smoked chipotle pepper and chili powder, and it was even more delicious/realistic as a nacho cheese dip.

  17. I’m not going to lie, I don’t think this tastes much like mac and cheese (others seem to think so, so it may just be my tastebuds), but I really do love this recipe. Most vegan mac and cheese recipes are kind of complicated and time-consuming (due to soaking cashews), but yours is quick and simple and HEALTHY. I love throwing oven-roasted tomatoes in as well. Super tasty and satisfying. I always seem to have a little sauce left over too, which is nice to use as a cheese dip with tortilla chips. Thanks for the recipe!