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.
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
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 450F and grease a 9×23″ 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).