The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

This is THE best vegan mac and cheese recipe. This dairy-free mac and cheese requires only 8 ingredients. Gluten-free option! (no cashews) In partnership with Daiya Foods!

The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

I know it’s a bold statement to say something is THE BEST. But, hear me out – when I say this is the best homemade vegan macaroni and cheese I’ve ever made… I really mean it.

This vegan mac and cheese recipe is created in partnership with Daiya Foods, makers of high-quality plant-based products free of dairy, gluten, and soy (great for folks with allergies). I absolutely can’t get enough of their boxed Cheezy Mac, but I challenged myself to make a homemade version.

Because sometimes all you need is a comforting bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese, you know?

side view of black pot of macaroni and cheese

Ingredients Needed for this Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

Making the BEST vegan mac and cheese at home only requires eight ingredients:

  • Elbow pasta. If you want gluten-free mac and cheese, use gluten-free elbows.
  • Daiya Foods Cheddar Style Cutting Board Shreds. You’ll need a whole bag for this vegan mac and cheese recipe. Want to mix it up? Replace some of the Cheddar Style shreds with Daiya’s Mozzarella Style Shreds. Or even Pepperjack Style Shreds for a heat kick!
  • Dairy-free butter.
  • All-purpose flour. Gluten-free all-purpose flour works here, too.
  • Salt.
  • Black pepper.
  • Garlic powder.
  • Non-dairy milk. Make sure it’s unsweetened. Soy, oat, almond, or any other non-dairy milk will do.

two bowls of mac and cheese with elbow pasta with a bag of Daiya Foods cheddar shreds

How to Make Vegan Mac and Cheese (Without Cashews)

I love a good cashew cheese sauce or queso. However, I am not the biggest fan of cashew mac and cheese. Why? When I want macaroni and cheese, I want it to be as close to the real dairy-filled version as possible. Cashew mac just doesn’t cut it for me!

Also, there are lots of vegans with nut allergies who can’t eat cashews. This recipe is dedicated to y’all! Thankfully, Daiya Foods Cheddar Style Cutting Board Shreds (and all of their products) are nut-free.

The process for making this easy vegan mac and cheese (with no cashews!) is simple:

  1. Make a roux with the butter and flour. You want it to be a light brown color.
  2. Add all spices and non-dairy milk while whisking. You’ll end up with a consistency like thick pancake batter.
  3. Add the Daiya Foods Cheddar Style Cutting Board Shreds until completely melted.
  4. Mix in your cooked pasta.
  5. Devour!

side view of mac and cheese with a spoon in the bowl

Tips for Making the Best Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Even though this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe is simple to make, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Undercook your pasta *just* a little bit, especially if you’re making gluten-free mac and cheese. This will help the pasta hold its shape once you stir it into the creamy cheese sauce.
  • Keep whisking as you add the non-dairy milk and cheese. If you don’t whisk, you’ll end up with a clumpy cheese sauce and a burnt pan. No thank you!
  • If you want a thinner cheese sauce, whisk in 2 1/4 cups non-dairy milk, then add more if desired.
  • Also, the cheese sauce will thicken a bit once it’s refrigerated (if you even have leftovers, which is not likely). Add more non-dairy milk if you know you’re refrigerated this vegan mac and cheese.

close-up of spoon in a bowl of cheesy mac

Looking for more kid-friendly recipes like this vegan macaroni and cheese? Check out these 20 kid friendly vegan recipes!

How to make:

The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese

This is THE best vegan mac and cheese recipe. This dairy-free mac and cheese requires only 8 ingredients. Gluten-free option! (no cashews)

Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese with parsley on top
8 servings 1x


  • 8 ounces elbow pasta (can use gluten-free pasta)
  • 3 tablespoons dairy-free butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 cups Daiya Foods Cheddar Style Cutting Board Shreds


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter. When melted, add flour. Whisk until browned and slightly bubbly, about 7 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder; whisk to combine.
  3. While whisking, slowly pour in milk. Continue to whisk until mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Add Daiya shreds; whisk until melted, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add pasta to cheese mixture; stir to evenly coat the pasta in the cheese sauce. Add a bit more milk if you want the sauce to be thinner.

Thanks to Daiya Foods for sponsoring this post! I love working with brands whose products I really love and would honestly recommend. Thank you for your support!