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overhead of mac and cheese in white bowl with fork on the right and part of the serving bowl behind it

Cashew Mac and Cheese

This creamy cashew mac and cheese is vegan, oil-free, gluten-free and easy to make! Perfect as the main course or a side! Enjoy alone or add in some veggies.
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword cashews, dairy-free, gluten free, pasta, vegan, vegan cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 -8 (depending on if eating as a main or side)
Calories 405kcal


  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews
  • 12 oz gluten-free pasta (I used Jovial brown rice elbows; Feel free to use traditional pasta if not avoiding gluten)
  • 6 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 ½ cups filtered water
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (substitute with apple cider vinegar, if desired)


  • Veggies to mix in such as: broccoli, peas, spinach, kale
  • Toppings such as: black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, herbs, hot sauce, nutritional yeast flakes, vegan Parmesan cheese


  • Cover cashews in boiling water and allow to soak for 10 minutes. If you prefer, you can soak them in cold water for 4-6 hours instead.
  • While the cashews are soaking, begin cooking pasta according to package directions. 
  • While the pasta is cooking, add nutritional yeast, salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, onion powder and turmeric to a high-powered blender. 
  • When the cashews are done soaking, drain and rinse them with cold water. Add them to the blender followed by water, almond milk and lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. If the sauce seems too thin, note that it will thicken upon standing and after mixed with the pasta.
  • When the pasta is done, drain and add to a large bowl or back to the pot, keeping it off the heat. Stir in the cashew cheese sauce until well-combined. Serve immediately.



This mac and cheese is best enjoyed right away, but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals until warm throughout, stirring in between. The sauce won't be as creamy as the pasta absorbs the sauce as it sits. If you'd like, you can mix in a splash of plant-based milk when reheating it. If you don't need as many servings, you can cut the recipe in half to minimize leftovers, if desired.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Accuracy is not guaranteed. Information shown should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Nutrition was calculated using Jovial pasta. Nutrition was calculated based on a yield of 6 servings.


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fiber: 5g