Mac and Cheese, but Make It Vegan

This vegan mac and cheese is made with healthy ingredients like potatoes, carrots and cashews, and it's just as delicious as the dairy version you know and love.

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My kids love this dairy-free mac and cheese, and honestly, so do I, especially with a big drizzle of Valentina hot sauce. (We affectionately refer to it as “mac and cheesy with broccoleesy.”) Generally, it’s not a good idea to put potatoes in a blender because it pulverizes the starch molecules and they can become gooey. However, in this case, that’s exactly what we’re going for to replicate the gooey, stretchy texture of melted cheese. No need to chop the garlic in this one because it’s all going in the blender; the onion can be only coarsely chopped, for the same reason. It’s small mercies like these that make some recipes feel so much more doable, isn’t it?

Mac and Cheesy with Broccoli

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 lb (454 g) short pasta (we like elbows or shells)
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped into ¾-inch (2 cm) cubes
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and chopped into ¾-inch (2 cm) rounds
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ⅓ cup (80 mL) cashews
  • 1½ cups (375 mL) water
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) white or rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by putting the potatoes, carrot, onion, garlic, cashews, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes, or until the veggies are very soft. Pour the cooked vegetables, including the cooking water, into a blender along with the oil, vinegar, and salt. Blend until very smooth.
  3. Pour the sauce over the pasta and broccoli, and combine well.
  4. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat with 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) water to smooth out the sauce.

Variation with peas: Instead of using broccoli, add 1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas to the pasta in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

The Vegan Family Cookbook

Excerpted from The Vegan Family Cookbook, by Anna Pippus. Copyright © 2021, Anna Pippus. Photography © 2021, Anna Pippus. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Now that you know how to make vegan mac and cheese, learn how to make vegan sloppy joe.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada