Creamy {Vegan} Mac & Cheese

Okay peeps. It’s about to get all hot up in here.

Because we’re taking our vegan cooking to a whole new level. Thus far, we’ve used tempeh for incred Brekkie Sammies, fried tofu in this scrumptious Udon noodle recipe. And now, we’re pulling out the nutritional yeast, tossing it into a simple sauce, and serving up Mac N’ Cheese so good, no one will believe it be vegan.


So, what the hey is nutritional yeast? That’s the first questions flashing through that brilliant brain of yours.

It sounds scary. That’s the first phrase flashing through that brilliant brain of yours.

No probs, baby doll. We got you covered.

Nutritional yeast isn’t like regular yeast. It’s actually a deactivated yeast which is sold in flake form (nab it from the bulk bins of Whole Foods or buy a big tub for about $7 from Lucky Vitamin). When you’re eating a plant-based diet, it’s important to watch for sources of B12, to ensure a proper intake of this vital nutrient. Nutritional yeast lends protein AND is often fortified with vitamin B12, so it’s a great ingredient to add to your vegan toolbox.

But this isn’t a choice about nutrition only. Nay. Nutritional yeast actually dissolves right into recipes and makes them taste like rich, creamy cheddar cheese-laden hunks of goodness.

Think I’m kidding? Oh, you dubious little minx, you.

I am not kidding.

We made mac and cheese tonight, tinted with the secret addition of carrots and orange bell peppers, and my children sang me praises. Little, cheese-ringed-lips rounding themselves around sacred songs that lifted me nigh unto nutritional yeast sainthood.

Think I’m kidding? I wasn’t. Until I remembered that none of the above sentence actually took place.

You clever little cad, you.


Creamy {Vegan} Mac & Cheese


2 tablespoons Earth Balance
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini*
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon Braggs aminos**
1 1/3 cup unflavored Soy Milk
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour***
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 cup sliced carrots
1/2 orange bell pepper
fresh ground pepper
1 package macaroni, cooked according to package directions then drained
1 package of Gardein BBQ skewers, heated according to package directions (optional)


While your macaroni is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Toss the garlic into the hot butter, cook for about 1 minute, then whisk in the tamari, dijon mustard, and Braggs. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy milk and flour, then slowly add the milk to your hot saucepan, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Whisk in the nutritional yeast flakes. Pour this hot sauce mixture into a Vitamix. Add the carrots and bell pepper. Puree. Pour immediately over your cooked macaroni noodles. Pepper generously. Add salt, if needed to flavor.

Serve bowls of mac and cheese topped with a Gardein BBQ chicken skewer.

ALTERNATE PREPARATION, FOR THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE A VITAMIX: Nab a can of baby food carrots when you're out shopping. Whisk the baby carrot puree into the sauce just after adding the soy milk.

* Ground Sesame Seed Butter. You'll find it near the peanut butter at Whole Foods.
** All purpose seasoning sauce. Found near the soy sauce at Whole Foods.
*** Ultra-ground whole wheat flour. Found in the bulk bins at Whole Foods.

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24 Responses to “Creamy {Vegan} Mac & Cheese”

  1. 1

    Priyanka on March 27, 2012 at 4:18 am Reply

    A perfect comfort food. Lovely pics it looks so tempting

  2. 2

    Emily C. on March 27, 2012 at 9:00 am Reply

    FYI, tahini is sesame seed butter but tamari is more like soy sauce.

    • Brooke replied: — March 27th, 2012 @ 9:56 am

      Thanks for the catch, Emily! i was a weee bit tired whilst blogging last night!

  3. 3

    Skye on March 27, 2012 at 11:12 am Reply

    I love nutritional yeast. And it’s so funny you’re always one step ahead of me- I was just looking at those Gardein skewers at the store yesterday! They do look good (I’ve tried their veggie BBQ shreds and they’re good too) and they sound excellent on top of some mac & cheese!

    • Brooke replied: — March 29th, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

      Oh Skye! I’m not one step ahead…we’re just kindred spirits in every way! HUGS!

  4. 4

    Wendy Trujillo on March 29, 2012 at 9:56 am Reply

    Hello Brooke, I am curious do you have the nutritional numbers for this dish?

    • Brooke replied: — March 29th, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

      I don’t, Wendy. If you’re interested, Spark People has a calorie counter where you can plug in a recipe and get calories, fat amounts, and other details. Kinda cool!

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  6. 5

    kelly on April 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm Reply

    i made this tonight for my family and we all LOVED it!!! so extremely easy and very delicious!

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  8. 6

    Stephanie on June 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm Reply

    Made this tonight. I have tried many vegan mac and cheese recipes but this is hands down the BEST vegan mac and cheese I have ever had ! Thanks so much for this amazing recipe !

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  10. 7

    Deborah on June 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm Reply

    OMG! This is soooo good. I used a jar of baby carrots and almond butter and a splash of sesame oil instead of tahini. Poured over spinach fettucine. Divine!

  11. 8

    susan on July 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm Reply

    I’ve been looking for a vegan version to try and this looks really good! I’m trying to avoid soy for the most part though – any suggestions on another milk that would work? Almond, perhaps? Anyone know if Hemp milk cooks well? Almond is so thin.

  12. 9

    Abby on July 27, 2012 at 10:47 am Reply

    Wait so do you use tamari or tahini? Or both?

  13. 10

    Elle on August 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm Reply

    I have the same question as Abby. Tamari and or tahini in the Mac and Cheese?

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  16. 11

    Cindy on October 20, 2012 at 8:37 am Reply

    I am excited to try this Mac & Cheese. I’ve been searching for the one and I hope this is it. I don’t eat any fake meats that aren’t organic. Gardien uses soy beans processed with hexane. Goggle it. It is nasty stuff not meant for food. FYI tofurkey is a safe brand. Only eat organic soy products otherwise it is GMO and processed with hexane.

  17. 12

    Victoria Krahn on July 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm Reply

    The major difference between soymilk and “regular” milk (predominantly cow’s milk in the United States; goat and sheep’s milk are other options) is that one is derived from a plant and the other from an animal. Although ethical, hypothetical, or debatable issues frequently arise when discussing this subject, this answer is going to deal strictly with the nutritional differences between these two kinds of milk.^*..;

    Take care <

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  19. 13

    judy on March 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm Reply

    So when do you add the Tahini? together with the tamari and braggs?

  20. 14

    daisy on September 30, 2014 at 9:04 am Reply

    how many calories is this?

  21. 15

    daisy on September 30, 2014 at 9:05 am Reply

    also can you use almond milk rather than soy milk (i have an allergy)

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