January 26, 2018

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli


Hi, comfort food.

We’re currently in the time of year where I really want to move out of St. Louis. Preferably to somewhere that’s closer to 70 degrees than 7.  I admit, I don’t handle winter well. 100+ degree days with sweltering humidity? Done. I am a champ when it comes to sweating all day long. But the moment there is a slight chill in the air? I want the fireplace on, the heat turned up and my thick, fuzzy socks. I’d much prefer a sweat lodge to an igloo.

Thankfully, we have resources for days like this. They come in the form of creamy vegan mac and cheese, with steamed broccoli for a little added nutrition.

pot of vegan mac and cheese with steamed broccoli

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

Vegan mac and cheese you say? Yup. Mac and cheese without the cheese. A decedent, velvety cheese sauce that coats the shells and broccoli nooks and crannies in complete deliciousness. If you’re like me and are always looking for more vegan but cheesy recipes, then this one is for you.

The sauce gets body from both cauliflower and cashews. If you’ve ever spent any time around vegan cheese sauce recipes, then you know these are both popular contenders. Why choose one when you can have both? The cauliflower lightens the entire thing up while the cashews provide yummy mouthfeel and richness. There’s also nutritional yeast, dry mustard, tomato paste and turmeric.

I’m currently working on updating my rolodex of kid-friendly recipes. Mostly because I have said kid who will be starting solids in a little under 3 months. While this obviously won’t be his first meal, I want to have a staple of kid-friendly recipes that are healthier than the fare I grew up with. So, I added steamed broccoli and plan on telling Van this one is cheese and trees. (PS- I’m working on interviewing baby-led weaning experts for a post in the next few months. If you’ve got questions, let me know.) 

This vegan mac and cheese is perfect for times when you don’t want anything really far outside of the box. Well, except dairy. And cheese. And healthier. And more vegetables and less butter. You too!? Enjoy.

mug of vegan broccoli mac and cheese up close shot of vegan broccoli mac and cheese
If you try this Vegan Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!


Vegan Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main, pasta,
  • Cuisine: italian, vegan, vegetarian


Vegan Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli! Creamy shells with steamed broccoli, a plant-based meal for both adults and kids. Easily gluten-free with gluten-free pasta. 

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main, pasta,
  • Cuisine: italian, vegan, vegetarian
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main, pasta,
  • Cuisine: italian, vegan, vegetarian


  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (I like triple-pressed, refined oil for a lesser coconut taste) 
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk 
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup chopped raw cashews 
  • 1 pound shell pasta
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar 
  • 3 cups broccoli florets


  1. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until warm. Add in nutritional yeast, mustard, tomato paste, garlic, salt and turmeric and cook until mixed though, about 1 minute. 
  2. Whisk in the almond milk, then bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add in the cauliflower florets and cashews and let simmer until cauliflower is very soft, about 20 minutes. 
  3. Add the cauliflower-cashew mixture to a blender or food processor along with the vinegar and puree until very smooth, working in batches if needed. Depending on the power of your blender, this could take anywhere from 1-2 minutes. You don’t want any grainy pieces of cauliflower or cashews, so make sure it’s creamy and smooth before proceeding. 
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot filled with salted water and able to be fitted with a steamer basket to a boil. Add the shells and cook, stirring often, until just tender, according to package time. Remove the shells with a slotted spoon (to keep the cooking water) along with 1/2 cup cooking water. Place the shells without the cooking water in a large bowl. 
  5. Bring the water back to a boil and fit with a steamer basket. Add the broccoli and cover, cooking until bright green and not overly tender, about 3-4 minutes. 
  6. Toss the hot macaroni with the cashew-cauliflower sauce until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, if needed/desired. Add in the broccoli and toss again, adding in any remaining cooking water to thin sauce, if needed. Serve hot. 


  • Serving Size: 1/6th recipe
  • Calories: 526
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 782 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 70 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 18 g

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to check out my other vegan pasta recipes: 20 Minute Vegan Pasta, Creamy Cauliflower Pasta, Creamy Cauliflower Pasta, Butternut Squash Fettuccini, & Tempeh Bacon Carbonara 

a long image of vegan broccoli mac and cheese

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.


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  1. I just made this tonight – the only thing I changed was adding in some canned white kidney beans to the sauce before pureeing (I had extra in the fridge I needed to use up!) This recipe was so delicious! Thank you!

  2. My first vegan try (using ingredients like the yeast and dry mustard), and it was a hit! I did not expect the taste to be so good. I did add a bit of onion powder to the mix.

  3. Does this recipe have some heat to it? All dry mustard I have ever found is quite hot. 1 TBS sounds like a lot, and like it would make the cheese sauce spicy hot. Or, do you know of a dry mustard brand that is not hot? Thanks.

  4. Made this for my kids tonight and it came out so good. The sauce is so creamy. Both kids approve!

  5. I used avocado oil instead of coconut. I only gave it 4 stars because I thought it lacked something, but I’m not sure what. When I first made the sauce, it was perfect, however, after sitting for an hour, much of the flavor seemed to have disappeared. (I did add a little miso to mine too….I might try adding more.) Overall, however, this is one of the best vegan Mac n cheez recipes I’ve tried. I also forgot to save the pasta water to thin out the sauce. It is possible that the extra thick consistency could have affected the flavor.(?) I will definitely try this one again though. It really is delicious…at least, at first.

  6. This looks sooo tasty! I’m allergic to dairy and I wanna start going vegan so
    I’ll definitely be trying this recipe out soon!

  7. I added Cayenne pepper to taste and it really brought out some flavor! I am planning on making this recipe many times for my family.

  8. Is the coconut oil necessary for the recipe? Can I replace it with something? I am doing high carb low fat vegan and trying to eat low to no oil. Thank you

    • Hi Melissa, coconut oil is great for adding body/texture to the recipe but you could try leaving it out and seeing how it tastes!

  9. Hello! I made this and it was delicious. I swapped out the cashews for a (almond, silken tofu, handful of zucchini blend) tasted so good. I’m making it again but this time without the coconut oil. It was a bit too strong Coconut taste. Thank you for posting

  10. Have you tried this without cashews/do you think it would still work? I have everything in the house except for those and I’d like to make it these evening.

    • Hi Amanda, I don’t think it would taste the same. The cashews give the sauce body and fat; which are needed to replicate the feeling of cheese in the pasta sauce.

  11. I just discovered you on Pinterest and “liked” your Facebook page. I have to say that I sure wish we didn’t have to have light grey type on everything now. I can barely read it. I’m straining my eyes. Then when I go to print your recipe, the tiny font size is really unreadable. Please remember that a large portion of our population nowdays are baby boomers. Our eyes are not what they used to be. Perhaps you could ask your web designer to make the type black and the font larger on the print pages. Thanks for your great recipes!

  12. Thanku, this was enjoyed by both my husband and myself . Probably the most authentic and closest to “Stouffers” but glad to have a healthier option with the added veggies and zero dairy!
    Will be adding this to our list of favourites!

  13. This was delicious! I was skeptical because I have made a vegan mac&cheese before and it did not taste anything like the real thing. This recipe had the consistency and flavor similar to mac&cheese and it impressed everyone in my family who had it. It also made a large quantity which was perfect for leftovers the next few days.

  14. This is a delicious recipe! Made it yesterday. But when should the vinegar be added? It’s not in the recipe.
    Also, I can’t get hold of dry mustard. How much Dijon mustard would be the equivalent?
    Thank you for your hard work, and all those yummy recipes!