How many times has this happened to you? It’s pot luck night and you’re the only vegan in the group. You bring a dish but end up taking the whole thing back home again because everyone is afraid to try it. No more vegan shaming! This delicious vegan mac and cheese dish—courtesy of—tastes great and might even fool the naysayers at the dinner table. The secret to the cheese? It’s made of cashews!

Creamy Vegan Cashew Mac and Cheese

This recipe makes six servings and takes a total of 50 minutes to make (20 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to cook). Each serving has almost 14 grams of protein and less than two grams of sugar.

  • ⅓ cup coconut oil or olive oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • salt and pepper
  • 4½ cups almond milk, unsweetened
  • 10 ounces (3 cups) cauliflower florets, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1¼ cups raw cashews, chopped
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) brown rice elbow macaroni or regular elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs, lightly toasted (optional)
  • 3-4 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in yeast, mustard, tomato paste, garlic, turmeric, and 2 teaspoons of salt.* Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the almond milk, scraping up browned bits, and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the cauliflower and cashews; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook partially covered, until cauliflower is soft enough that it falls apart when poked with a fork (about 20 minutes).
  3. Working in two batches, process the cauliflower mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.
  5. Pour the cauliflower sauce into the empty pot and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.
  6. Add the drained macaroni and vinegar and cook, stirring constantly, until warmed through and the sauce is slightly thickened (about 3 minutes).
  7. If needed, use the reserved liquid to adjust consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If preferred, garnish each bowl with toasted panko breadcrumbs and chopped parsley.

*Although this recipe may seem to call for too much salt, the amount balances when the sauce and pasta are mixed together. The salt is an important part of the “cheese” flavor.

If you’re not sure about stepping out there and offering to bring “mac and cheese” to a holiday meal, go ahead and make it at home first. And remember that you can always adjust flavors and ingredients to suit your taste.

If you’re traveling this holiday season, be sure you have the Teladoc app so that you and your family will have 24/7 access to our board-certified physicians while you’re on the road. Teladoc can not only help diagnose and recommend treatments for a wide variety of common wintertime ailments such as flu, bronchitis, upper respiratory infection, and other non-emergency conditions, our doctors can also send prescriptions to a nearby pharmacy when medically necessary.

Get started with Teladoc

We hope you enjoy this mac and cheese recipe—and don’t tell anyone it’s vegan until after dessert.

Check out 3 healthy high-fiber snacks for a healthier heart

This portion of the Teladoc Health website occasionally offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is provided for educational purposes only. You cannot rely on any information provided here as a substitute for or replacement of professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Teladoc Health cannot assure that the information contained on this site always includes the most recent findings or developments with respect to the particular subject matter covered.

If you ever have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical- or health-related advice from your healthcare professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

If you are in the United States and think you are having a medical or health emergency, call your healthcare professional, or 911, immediately.