Vegan Mac & Cheese (Gluten Free) is so creamy and amazing, I could eat this once a week! And it’s super easy.
Creamy, flavorful goodness. You are gonna love it. You don’t have to cook the noodles ahead of time, but you do have to do one thing the day before. The cashews need to be soaked over night (or at least several hours). And you need to either steam or roast the butternut squash (either way is easy).
I roast the squash because you only need one cup of diced butternut squash in the mac and cheese recipe, and Roasted Squash is so flavorful. I like to eat the leftover squash as a hot vegetable side dish or at room temperature on top of a tossed Green Salad. You’re not going to believe how good it is.
I was inspired by Robin Robertson’s “Butternut Mac & Cheese” recipe from Vegan without Borders. Robin’s recipes are amazing. You should own at least one of her cookbooks. I wanted to make my recipe gluten free, but precooking gluten free macaroni makes them mushy in the recipe. And it’s so much simpler to just cook them while you bake the casserole.
What You Need
You absolutely need either a full-size food processor or a good high-speed blender.
Vegan Mac & Cheese (Gluten Free) Recipe
Vegan Mac & Cheese (Gluten Free)
Creamy and packed with flavor, you won't even miss the cheese in this Vegan Mac & Cheese.
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (will be soaked overnight in water and drained)
- 1 cup diced butternut squash (will be steamed or roasted)
- 1 cup gluten free elbow macaroni (uncooked)
- 3 cups almond milk (plain, unsweetened)
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (this is what makes it taste like cheese)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup gluten free panko bread crumbs
- vegetable oil spray
Prepare the Cashews
Put the cashews in a bowl, cover with water and let them soak over night (or at least a few hours).
Steam or Roast the Squash
If you didn't buy the squash already cubed, peel, seed and cut the butternut squash into small cubes.
Option 1: The quickest way to make the squash is to steam it in a vegetable steamer. Steam for about 5-7 minutes until the squash is tender. Set it aside.
Option 2: Roast the squash. Drizzle in a little olive oil, place on a baking pan covered with parchment paper or aluminum foil in one layer. Bake at 425F degrees for about 35 minutes, turning the cubes over halfway through the roasting. They will get a little brown and be fork tender.
Make the Sauce
Heat the oven to 350F degrees (so it is ready when you put the casserole together and in the oven).
Drain the cashews. Place them in your food processor with about 1/2 cup of the almond milk.
Process until smooth.
Add the garlic and onion. Process until smooth.
Dump in the remaining almond milk, lemon juice, paprika, salt, pepper, mustard, nutritional yeast, and cornstarch, and process until smooth.
Put the Mac & Cheese Together
Using a deep casserole dish that is not too wide (I used an 8" x 8" x 3" casserole dish), spray the inside of the baking dish with oil.
Dump the uncooked macaroni into the dish.
Pour the sauce over the macaroni.
Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs over the top of the casserole. Spray with a little oil.
Bake at 350F degrees about 40 minutes until the casserole is set (not too jiggly), top is nicely browned and the macaroni is al dente (perfectly cooked and not mushy).
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Recipe Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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