This easy, vegan mac n’ cheese is ready in just 10 minutes thanks to a pre-made cheddar “cheese” powder!
It’s back to school time, and although our boys are too young for pencils and backpacks, we can sympathize with the food-related struggles many plant-based parents have at school.
Namely, how to make sure your kids don’t feel alienated when others are indulging in typical animal-product-heavy kid-food. You know, chicken nuggets, pizza, mac n’ cheese, and such.
No kid wants to feel like the odd man out, and you certainly don’t want them to feel like they’re being restricted.
Our answer – make delicious, plant-based versions of the classics!
Of course, we also know that most parents don’t have hours after work to spend whipping up elaborate cashew cheese sauces from scratch.
Enter the premade mac n’ cheese mix. This simple blend takes about 2 minutes to blitz together in a blender and then lasts for up to six months in the fridge.
Then when your babes are longing for cheesy pasta for dinner like their omnivorous friends at school, you can throw together a nutritious meal in less than 10 minutes using your mix!
This recipe is a favorite of both our boys and our husbands – #kidapproved #manchildapproved – making for a delicious weeknight family dinner and an easy, packable lunch.
Here’s the recipe!
10 Minute Vegan Mac N’ CheesePrint Recipe
For Mac N' Cheese Mix:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or oat flour
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp powdered mustard
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
For the Mac N' Cheese:
- 1 box Tolerant Organic Green Lentil Elbows
- 1 cup Mac N' Cheese Mix
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
- 1 cup plain, unsweetened plant-based milk
- Add all mix ingredients to the base of a food processor or high-powered blender and pulse until well mixed.*
- Cook elbows according to package, then drain.
- Blend 1 cup of dry mix with non-dairy milk, butter, and miso paste.
- Add to pot with cooked noodles and simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens.
Let us know if you try the recipe!
Weigh in: What food-related struggles have you faced with your plant-based kid at school?
This recipe sounds delicious! Is there a way to make it without oil?
Yup! Just leave it out 🙂
Thank you for this recipe! I’m curious to know which type of flour you use in the mix?
Do you have an alternative for the miso paste? We are soy free and so would look to sub with another umami flavour.
There are soy-free miso pastes! https://great-eastern-sun.com/shop/miso-master-miso/miso-master-organic-chickpea-miso/miso-master-chickpea-miso/
Looks good! How many cups of dry cheese mix does this make? Just curious so I know how many servings there would be overall. Thanks!
It makes about 2 1/2 cups! A whole box of pasta (which the recipe calls for) makes about 3-4 adult servings.
Hey what flour did you guys use? Is a gluten-free all purpose flour work?
We used oat flour. We haven’t tried gluten-free but we assume it would work – let us know if you try it!
Is there anything you can substitute for paprika?
You can leave it out!
Do you have a substitute suggestion for the cashews and/or yeast?
Hi Olivia, haven’t tried it yet but what about sunflower seeds if you are allergic to cashews?
Hi, just wondering if you think this dish would work with white beans e.g., cannellini beans instead of cashews? I’m thinking I could blitz the white beans with the other liquid ingredients when ready to make…?
Yeah– I think that would work? I made this the other day with roasted butternut squash and it turned out great. Would assume the beans would act in a similar way.
What could I sub the butter for?
Hi Nicole, you can leave it out for a less creamy taste or use a filtered coconut oil instead.
Hi! I’m curious to know the youngest age babe you’d offer this to? Thank you.
We’ve given this to our babes over 1. Thanks!
I’d love to make this for lunch today but we don’t have any miso paste. Should I sub something for it or just leave it out? Thanks!
You CAN leave it out- but it does provide a good umami, funky taste that’s similar to cow’s cheese.
We’re soy free here. What would recommend for the miso?
What about a soy free miso? There is a chickpea miso that you could use instead.
Great recipe! Don’t need to change a thing! Texture is great and tasted so yummy!
My daughter and I made this again for lunch. I added a steamed carrot and small potato to the mixture and blended all together. Not that it needed it, I just thought to get more veg in 🙂
JESSICA MARINI says
Made this last night–it’s really quite good! I think next time I made the powder, I won’t add the sugar or I’ll add less. It’s really sweet to me. Since I still have a good amount of the cheezy powder mixture left, is there something I can add to subsequent meals to cut down on the sweetness?
This recipe is great. I’ve been doing some playing with the flavors. I made it as written and used unsweetened oat milk when making the sauce for the pasta. That ended up being too sweet for me (reminded me of macaroni salad). The next time I added in some tahini and mixed some oat milk with vegetable broth when I blended to make the sauce and that cut down on the sweetness. I’ll probably omit the sugar when making the powder the next time and add in a little if it needs it when blended.
However, there was maybe 1/2 cup of the powder left today. I mixed that with some miso, a tiny bit of porcini mushroom powder, and 1/3ish cup oat milk with about 1 cup vegetable broth. I simmered this until it thickened a little and added a full bag of steamed broccoli and some leftover black beans. I served it with toasted cubes of sourdough bread. It made SUCH a good broccoli cheese soup!! YUM.
Why sugar? Can we leave it out?
Why not chickpea flour?
I read that note after I had already made it with chickpea flour. My kids like it, but just wondering what the difference would be between that and oat flour.
Also, could you add how many oz of pasta are in the box you used?
You can use chickpea flour if your kids like it! But we think it overpowers the taste.
What miso did you use? Going to try this tonight!
Is there a nut free version? Could help hearts maybe work, or is there something better you’d suggest?
What about sunflower seeds?
Super easy and creamy, however it tasted a bit too sweet for me. I’ll try making it without the sugar next time.
I made this recipe tonight for my kids and they loved it!! My husband and I did as well 😂 One of the best Max n’cheese recipes I’ve tried so far (and I cook a lot!). Highly recommend it. I added some green peas to theirs and that was dinner for the kids!
Can I make this for a 9 month old? Or is it too soon to give baby nutritional yeast?
You can make this for 9 month old
This might be a silly question – but with that much nutritional yeast, wouldn’t there be a LOT of B vitamins in this?
Yes, though B vitamins a water soluble and therefore not really a concern as far as upper limits. But, you could also use an unfortified brand if you feel like your kids get enough B vitamins through their supplements.
THIS RECIPE + SOYRIZO = WHOOOOOAAHHHH
I was really jonesin’ for some Annie’s Mac but didn’t have any and it’s 9pm …remembered this PBJ recipe and threw it together pretty quickly. So good!! Made it exactly as stated and added broccoli and peas 🙂 this will be a new staple!
This was delicious, thank you! I left the sugar out after reading other comments and it was perfect for us. My 1 yo loved it and was eating broccoli dipped in the sauce as I was preparing it 🙂