Our Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese is the perfect plant-based Mac and Cheese recipe you've been looking for. A family-friendly, easy, and quick dinner for your busy evenings packed full of flavor and nutritional ingredients.
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you will most likely already have in your pantry. Our mac and cheese calls for a cashew cream base made with soaked cashews and water. Simple right? Then add a few more ingredients to the plant-based cream and you'll have a delicious and flavourful sauce.
We love this meal and we keep making it at home quite often for many reasons: It's dairy-free, you can make it gluten-free just by using gluten-free pasta, it's toddler and kid-friendly, and can be made in less than 30 minutes.
We decided to bring a bit of green into our Vegan Mac and Cheese by adding broccoli florets from our garden. Broccoli adds an extra texture making your meal even healthier and more complete.
Our Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese is:
- Family-friendly recipe
- A main-dish
- Quick to make, less than 30 minutes
- Easy to prepare
- Can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta and gluten-free miso paste.
How to make Vegan Mac and Cheese with Broccoli
Vegan Mac and Cheese Sauce
The sauce for a perfect mac and cheese needs to be creamy, cheesy and packed full of flavor.
- Creamy. Cashew cream is our favourite sauce to use when we are looking for a creamy sauce to add on our pasta dishes such as this Vegan Creamy Tomato pasta or our Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo. Our Mac and Cheese is made with a homemade cashew cream. All you need are soaked cashews and water. Leave the cashew nuts soaking for about 20 minutes in hot water, rinse them and blend with water to create the perfect creamy for your meal.
- Cheesy. When making a vegan mac and cheese, we found that the best natural ingredient to create that cheesy flavor are nutritional yeast flakes. Yeast flakes are a great source of vitamin B12 plus they add the perfect touch to your dishes. We add turmeric powder as well to give our dish the perfect colour.
- Flavourful. To make our meal rich and flavourful we add to the cashew sauce miso paste, garlic powder, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. All these ingredients together with the cashew cream and yeast flakes make a perfectly balanced in flavour and delicious sauce.
Our delicious Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese can be made in three simple steps:
- Prepare the sauce. Combine in a blender jug or food processor soaked cashews, water or stock, yeast flakes, miso paste, garlic powder, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until you have a perfectly smooth consistency.
- Cook the pasta and steam the broccoli. Using a large pot bring salted water to boil and add the pasta. Steam the broccoli for 4 minutes over the pasta water. Before you drain the pasta, save some of the starchy water for later.
- Combine all the ingredients. Mix the pasta, broccoli and sauce in a large pot or pan. For this recipe, we like using our stainless steel pan so we can finish cooking the dish in the oven. Adjust the consistency of the sauce with the reserved pasta water to your taste. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and grill in the oven until the breadcrumbs are toasted.
Best pasta shapes for Mac and Cheese
The traditional pasta shape used to make mac and cheese is macaroni pasta which is a perfect pasta shape for rich sauces.
Other pasta shapes that go well with the famous mac and cheese sauce are Cavatappi, used to make our recipe, Radiatore, Farfalle, Shells, Rotini, or Rigatoni. You can of course try other pasta shapes, simply choose one that can hold a creamy and rich sauce.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE NUT-FREE
We use cashew cream for our recipe, but we know that nuts represent an allergen problem for many people. As well, many schools won’t allow packed lunches containing nuts.
To make our Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese nut-free, substitute the cashew cream for oat cream. We use it in many of our recipes and it works really well when making this sauce too. Other options are using soy cream or coconut milk.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE gluten-free
- Substitute the regular pasta for gluten-free pasta. Nowadays is really easy to find a good selection of gluten-free pastas in big supermarkets or online.
- Make sure the miso paste you are using is gluten-free, as not all the miso pastes will be.
Mac and Cheese is a hearty and rich main dish.´We like serving this meal with a fresh leafy salad to balance our lunch or dinner.
Before serving, you can add some extra ingredients to the dish such as crispy onion, truffle oil, chili oil, chili flakes or even some more black pepper. Make sure you serve your mac and cheese warm.
Keep any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheat in a microwave or oven. If the sauce gets too thick, you can add some extra water before reheating or vegetable oil.
Vegan Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- 150 g cashews soaked
- 400 ml water or stock
- 4 tablespoon yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white miso
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 200 g broccoli cut in florets
- 300 g vegan pasta
- Combine in a blender the soaked cashews, water, yeast flakes, lemon juice, dijon mustard, miso paste, turmeric, salt and pepper and blend until you have a smooth consistency.
- In a large pot bring salted water to boil and add the macaroni pasta. Steam the broccoli for 4 minutes over the pasta water. Before you drain the pasta, save some of the starchy water.
- Mix the pasta, broccoli and sauce in a large pot or pan and adjust the consistency with the reserved starchy water. Transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and grill in the oven until the breadcrumbs are toasted.