Mac & Cheeze (take 2)

VegYum Mac & Cheeze

I like trying different recipes for mac & cheeze. I make my own version most often, but I’m always up for improving and changing my recipes when I can.

Recently, I saw that VegNews had an interesting recipe. They use potatoes and carrots for the base (certainly healthier than my version) and cashews for the creaminess. I’m a huge fan of cashews to make sauces rich and creamy. So I made the recipe and was intrigued. The texture was AWESOME, the color was good, it was a little on the salty side… overall really nice. But it tasted a little too vegetable-y for my liking.

Now, vegan mac & cheese doesn’t really taste 100% like the non-vegan stuff. And that’s cool with me. I just want it to taste good, and to satisfy a craving for a creamy baked pasta dish, you know? My other post has more of my thoughts on that.

VegYum Mac & Cheeze

I decided to combine my recipe with with the VegNews recipe. I kept the potato and the carrots for the base, added some of my favorite flavorings, and left out some of theirs. For example, I took out the onion/garlic/shallots. I’m not the biggest fan of those things to begin with, but I don’t ever remember having mac & cheese taste like onions. I know I just said it doesn’t have to taste the same, but those just aren’t the flavors I think of when I imagine mac & cheese, you know?

Again, for easy link finding, here’s VegNew’s awesome recipe. And without further ado, here’s my interpretation:

VegYum Mac & Cheeze
Serves 3ish

8-10 Oz Whole Wheat Rotini
2 Cups Steamed Broccoli Florets
2 Pieces of Bread, toasted and ground to breadcrumbs

1 Cup Peeled, Finely Chopped Potatoes
1/4 Cup Peeled, Finely Chopped Carrots
1 Cup Water

1/3 Cup Raw Cashews
1 Tbs Miso (any kind, I like red)
1 Tbs Tahini
1 Tbs Lemon Juice (sub: 2 tsp White Wine Vinegar)
1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/3 Cup Earth Balance Margarine
1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1 to 1 1/2 tsp Salt
Black Pepper to taste
Paprika for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350º

Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Whole Wheat Rotini

Meanwhile, steam broccoli and set aside. I use my rice cooker. Simply put the florets in the cooker with 2-3 Tbs of hot water and turn the cooker on. Broccoli will be bright green and tender-crisp when done. Don’t forget about it in there–it’ll finish cooking before the rice cooker clicks off, so if you forget about it, you’ll overcook your broccoli. Mine takes less than 10 minutes to cook.

Make sure the carrots and potatoes are chopped very small; this will reduce the cooking time greatly. Place the chopped potatoes and carrots in small sauce pan that has a lid. Add the 1 cup of water. Boil covered until tender, 10-15 minutes.

While the potatoes and carrots are cooking, add the remaining ingredients to the blender (cashew, miso, lemon juice, mustard, earth balance, nut. yeast, salt and pepper). Once potatoes and carrots are done cooking, add them and their cooking water to the blender as well. Blend until VERY smooth. If needed, add soymilk or water 1 Tbs at a time to thin. Taste for seasoning.

Toast the bread and process into crumbs.

Toss the cooked pasta and broccoli with the sauce. Place in a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs, black pepper, and paprika.


Bake for 25 minute at 350º F until browned and bubbly. Serve.

I think I’ll make this version whenever I have potatoes handy. It’s a tiny bit lighter than my other version, but it still has a lot of flavor and creaminess. And it saves on soymilk, too!

VegYum Mac & Cheeze


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  2. Gemma

    Am in the midst of making this vegan yumminess, and seeking help, please.
    How much cooking water?
    And what do you do with the cooked potatoes and carrot?

    Sorry if it’s not clear — you cook the potatoes and carrots in 1 cup of water, and everything, including the water, goes into the blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients.

  3. shaun.marie

    Wow, this looks like the ultimate mac n cheez! I like that you used miso, mustard, AND nutritional yeast – very cheez-inducing flavors. I can’t wait to try this.

  4. Laura

    I didn’t have any cashews, so I used a few tablespoons of tofutti cream cheese instead, and it turned out great! Total comfort food.

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  6. Shelley

    i thought maybe the nutritional yeast taste was a little noticeable, but other than that it was really good, and that taste went away upon reheating. even my carnivore bf was diggin’ it. the only adjustment i think i would make is the sauce to noodles ratio – when you bake it as is the top layers don’t end up quite as creamy as one might like. enjoy!

  7. reilly

    I was just wondering how important it is to use red/yellow potatoes (as specified in the VegNews recipe) instead of a baking or russet potato?

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  9. evaberry

    I just made this sauce to make cauliflower and cheese and it is to die for! I was wondering whether you have tried freezing it? I have quite a lot left over…

  10. Wannabe

    Bless you! I made this last night and it was INSANELY good. I hate fake cheese of all kinds but my daughter has been begging for Mac & Cheeze for a while so I made this…I can’t believe how creamy and delish it was. Thank you soooo much!

  11. viedma

    I made this for dinner tonight and it’s absolutely lovely! The potatoes and carrots give the sauce a nice, thick body w/o a lot of processed ingredients. I also added a tsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and turmeric as I’m a spice junkie. This is my favorite vegan mac ‘n’ cheese recipe, thank you for sharing!

  12. Erin

    I have to tell you that I L.O.V.E. this recipe!!! I’ve made it 1 time a week since you blogged it! Even made it for a Superbowl party… EVERYONE fell in love with it! Thank you! Thank you!

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  15. Samantha

    This recipe is perfection! I couldn’t believe how thick the cheeze was, and absolutely delicious to boot.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe :]

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  17. Sandy Newman

    I made this tonight and it was excellent! I used macaroni instead of rotini, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. I would not say it tastes like mac and cheese (I’ve been vegan for a year now and I can’t find anything that really tastes like cheese), but as someone else said it is just a great creamy casserole. Next time I would increase the broccoli to 2 1/2 to 3 cups because we love it and I thought it could have used a bit more. Other than the fact that you use a lot of pots it is an easy recipe. I don’t know if I am allowed to say this but I thought it was much better than the “Mac Daddy” recipe in Veganomicon.

  18. Jason

    Just had this for a late dinner and have to agree with the consensus — awesome! I actually doubled the recipe and will be bringing some leftovers to work for lunch a couple of days this week.

    By the way, you mention tahini in the ingredients list, but don’t explicitly explain when to use it. I assume you simply forgot to add it into your list of what to add to the blender before the carrots and potatoes.

  19. Allison Rivers Samson

    Hi Lolo, I’m so excited that you tried my recipe and put your own twist on it. I’ll have to try your version some time, though I was intentionally not using nutritional yeast since some people don’t like its flavor. I love that you added miso. Your blog is fab!

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  21. reilly

    Okay, so I’ve made this recipe like four times so far, and it’s amazing! My whole omni family loves it and even requested that it be present on easter sunday!

    It seems pretty fool-proof, as well, I never have all the ingredients (like tahini or miso) but it always comes out fabulous! I even use tofu instead of the cashews sometimes, because my niece has a nut-allergy, and the taste and creaminess don’t change at all!

  22. LJ Haynes

    Awesome! I’ve made the recipe as is and I’ve also substituted onions and sweet potatoes for the carrots and potatoes. It still comes out great.Thanks for the lovely recipe!

  23. Nat

    Thank you SO MUCH for this fantastic recipe! I’ve been making my own version of mac and cheese for a couple years now, and though it’s very delicious, it’s not nearly as healthy as this, and it’s a bit heavier.

    I was truely blown away by this recipe. I didn’t have tahini so I used hummus instead, and it actually worked really well! I added a little more potatoes and carrots than was called for too. Though it’s a bit more work than my usual recipe, it’s definitely worth the effort. Thanks again!

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  25. Erin

    For all of the nut allergies.. another possibility is to use blended cannellini beans. I don’t have an allergy, but every time I buy cashews for a cream sauce, my husband eats them… they are his favorite :) I finally figured out that the beans make a pretty good substitute.

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  27. reilly

    I would just like to tell you again how much I love this recipe! Even though I love your mac n cheese recipe, this is the only one I make anymore – I love pretending it’s miracle food because it has vegetables in it.

    Now that I actually have some tahini, I actually prefer this without! So yeah: this is so so good, omnis love it, I want to roll around in this sauce.

  28. Chris

    Just wanted to tell you I finally got around to making this recipe, and me and the girlfriend loved it! Thanks for all of your great recipes!

  29. Lee

    Switched to vegan from vegetarian three months ago and love the recipes and blogs on the web and I am trying out loads of them.

    Not a huge fan of conventional mac and cheese, but I love this recipe. Added some onion to the potato and carrot, but otherwise did exactly as written. Hubby REALLY loved it.

  30. Sarah E.

    This was delicious! I was missing the potatoes, but it still turned out great! I am not a vegetarian or vegan anymore, but LOVE this dish and mix my diet up with vegan/veg recipes as well.

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  32. Kelly

    I just love VegNews’ Mac n’ Stuff, as my omni friend calls it. It’s missing a bit of the cheesy tang, but it makes up for it with the richness and creaminess, and it doesn’t end up tasting like nutritional yeast. I’d really like to try your combo recipe!

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  34. Val

    This was really yummy! I’ve made it about 5 times now, and I have added chopped up sundried tomatoes, and I use peas instead of broccoli. The peas are sweeter, which I like. Thanks for the recipe!

  35. Jessica

    Good ideas here…I use white kidney beans instead of potatoes or tofu to mock the consistency (blend them). Also, I really like sauteed crimini mushrooms, garlic and shallots added before baking.

  36. Christopher Magoo

    I just made this last night. Shared it with a friend who described it as tuna helper without the tuna. We liked it a lot but didn’t feel like it was a good mac & cheese analogue. But we loved it as what it was. Which was delicious!

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