No-Boil Vegan Mac & Cheese

GFGluten FreeNFNut FreeVVegan

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This No-Boil Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese is the ultimate fuss-free comfort food! Pasta, a creamy cheese sauce, and crispy buttery breadcrumbs combine to make this delicious dinner.

When I think of the ultimate nostalgic comfort foods, Mac & Cheese immediately comes to mind. It was pretty much a staple in my childhood diet – though more often from a box (which was still delicious) than homemade.

This No-Boil Vegan Macaroni and Cheese is basically just as easy as the boxed stuff, but made from flavorful plant-based ingredients instead! It only requires a few simple ingredients and straightforward steps – oh, and did I mention it’s secretly packed with veggies too?

INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN MAC & CHEESE

Ingredients for vegan mac and cheese in small white bowls arranged on a marble background. Clockwise text labels read nutritional yeast, potato, garlic, butter, non-dairy milk, cashews, non-dairy cheddar, salt, panko breadcrumbs, carrot, and lemon.

The combination of potatoes, carrots, cashews, nutritional yeast, and spices creates the perfect vegan cheese sauce for our macaroni! Potatoes and cashews add creaminess, carrots add a subtle sweetness and color, and nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor. If you want to make it extra indulgent you can also fold in some dairy-free cheese from the store.

If you’re a fan of buttery breadcrumbs on your vegan Mac (I sure am), we’ve got those too! It’s amazing how you can recreate a recipe with only a few simple plant-based swaps.

HOW TO MAKE DUMP & BAKE PASTA IN THE OVEN

Side-by-side photos of the casserole dish with pasta and cheese sauce before baking, next to the cooked casserole topped with golden breadcrumbs

This recipe uses the no-boil method: basically, the pasta and sauce cook together in the oven to get the perfect texture and combine all of the flavors even more. All you need to do is add a little more liquid to the cheese sauce so the pasta can cook in it, but don’t worry – I’ve done all the hard work for you.

  1. Blend the dairy-free cheese sauce in a high-speed blender until smooth
  2. Dump the uncooked noodles into a casserole dish, then pour the sauce on top. Fold in the dairy-free shredded cheese, if using.
  3. Mix and bake in the oven until perfectly cooked. Make the breadcrumbs in the meantime.
  4. Top with breadcrumbs and broil until bubbly and golden.

The texture combination of creamy noodles and crunchy breadcrumbs? Pure. Heaven. There’s nothing quite like a steamy bowl of cheesy noodles with a buttery crunch, if you ask me.

Close-up photo of wooden spoon scooping baked mac and cheese out of white casserole dish

COOKING TIPS + FAQ

  • Pasta: I used macaroni noodles in this recipe as they are the classic shape, but you can use any short type of pasta that you’d like, such as penne, ziti, shells, or rotini. You can also make this recipe with gluten-free pasta; brown rice and/or corn-based varieties tend to hold up better in the oven.
  • Serving suggestions: this baked mac and cheese is perfect on its own, but you can also serve it with a side of veggies (broccoli or peas are always a win), or a side salad for a well-balanced meal. If you want to add some protein you can also make my Crispy Tofu or tempeh!
  • Leftovers: like most pasta recipes, this one is best served fresh. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, though, and can be re-heated in the oven. I also like to reheat them with a little non-dairy milk on the stovetop to make them creamier, but you do lose the crunch from the breadcrumbs

Close-up photo of wooden spoon scooping baked mac and cheese out of white casserole dish

If you’re looking for more oven-baked pasta recipes you’ll also love this No-Boil Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff, this No-Boil Pesto Pasta Bake, and this Vegan Chorizo Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce! 

Finally, if you think this is the best vegan Mac, I’d love if you left a review below! You can also share your homemade version on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your creations 🙂

Print

No-Boil Vegan Mac & Cheese

Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese topped with golden breadcrumbs in white casserole dish with wooden spoon

This No-Boil Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese is the ultimate fuss-free comfort food! Pasta, a creamy cheese sauce, and crispy buttery breadcrumbs combine to make this delicious dinner.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

For the Mac & Cheese:

  • 1.5 cups (230 g) russet potato, peeled and roughly diced (about 1 large)
  • 1 cup (129 g) sliced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) soaked cashews or 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
  • Juice 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) non-dairy milk*
  • 2 cups (475 ml) filtered water
  • 16 ounces (450 g) macaroni*
  • Optional: 1-2 cups (85-170 g) non-dairy cheddar, for an extra cheesy pasta

For the Breadcrumbs (Optional):

  •  2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (100 g) Panko bread crumbs 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 450F and grease a 9×13″ casserole dish with oil or cooking spray. Soak the cashews in hot water, for at least 20 minutes (preferably overnight) if you haven’t already.
  2. Make the Cheese Sauce: Add the potato, carrot, cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, milk, and water to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for at least 60 seconds, until a smooth sauce forms. Note: I would not recommend tasting the sauce, as uncooked potato does not taste good.
  3. Assemble: Add the macaroni to the base of your casserole dish, then pour in the liquid. Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole (if using), then use a spatula or spoon to mix well. Cover the casserole dish using either a lid, foil, or parchment paper followed by aluminum foil.
  4. Bake: Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, then remove and use a spatula to stir the sauce and pasta together well. If you do not wish to top your macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs, stop here and enjoy.
  5. Breadcrumbs: while the pasta is baking, add the breadcrumbs to a small bowl and pour the melted butter and salt over them. Use a fork or spoon to quickly mix, until the oil is evenly distributed. Set aside until the casserole has finished baking as per step 4.
  6. Broil: Cover the baked macaroni and cheese with the breadcrumbs, then return to the middle rack of the oven. Broil on high, with the door slightly ajar, for 2 to 5 minutes, watching carefully so the breadcrumbs do not burn.
  7. Serve: Once the breadcrumbs are golden, remove the macaroni and cheese from the oven and serve warm. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and can be reheated in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in an oven / toaster oven.

Notes

  • Salt: if you opt to omit the dairy-free cheese, increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoons
  • Pasta Choice: this recipe works with both glutinous and gluten-free pasta. I recommend sticking to shorter shapes, as longer noodles will break apart more easily.
  • Blender: a standard blender holds up to 6 cups of liquid; if you find the mixture to be too much for your blender, set aside part of the non-dairy milk and mix it into the casserole dish with the sauce in step 3. If your blender is not high-powered, it might be better to grate the potato and carrot instead of dicing and slicing them.
  • Non-dairy milk: I used oat milk for this recipe, but almond milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk would also be great options too.
  • Nut-Free: use tahini instead of cashews, and oat milk for the non-dairy milk. I would not recommend soy milk for this recipe as it leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste when baked.
  • Oil-Free: Omit the dairy-free cheese and toss the breadcrumbs with only salt. The resulting dish will be less creamy, but the breadcrumbs should still brown slightly (though not as much as with the added oil).

Keywords: vegan mac and cheese, healthy mac and cheese, no boil mac and cheese, vegan macaroni and cheese

 

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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Comments

  1. Incredible recipe, flavor, taste, and time! From my Bowl always provides nutrious real food recipes.

  2. I made this for Thanksgiving yesterday, and it was a hit! My first time making homemade vegan mac and cheese and so easy! I was able to get the sauce made with a regular blender, too. I just chopped the carrots and potato into extra small chunks.

  3. Loved this recipe. So easy and delicious. I also added 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard to the sauce which really made it for me!!@ Thankyou.

  4. I’m going to be making this recipe this week but was wondering if you had tried it in an Instant Pot? I know it would be minus the bread crumb topping but I’d love to try it that way another time. Thank you 😊

  5. I have made a few of your dump and bake pasta dishes previously, but I just wanted to check that you meant 9×13 instead of 9×23 pan to fit it all in? Thanks and I’m excited to try this!

  6. I’d love to make this, but I’d like to know–is the 9×23 casserole dish as described correct? Or is this an error and it’s 9×13? Thanks!

  7. Made this for a cozy Saturday lunch and it was a hit for the whole family! Love how simply the recipe comes together!

  8. Just finished eating this for dinner! WAS AMAZING! These no-boil recipes always feel like witchcraft to me and every time I’m impressed that it results in the perfect creamy sauce. I didn’t have cashews on hand, so I used cashew butter (that I got for the Caitlin’s classic mushroom stroganoff recipe!!) and it worked great.

    You’ve gotta try this!