Mac and cheese is something most people consider comfort food. It’s the warm melty cheesy goodness that makes life good.  And for many people that are making the transition to a vegan lifestyle, this is on the top of the lists of items people miss the most.

But, this doesn’t have to be the case! You can have guilt-free mac and cheese that is plant based.  Let me walk you through this easy and very delicious meal.

There are a couple of tricks to this mac and cheese recipe.  First is nutritional yeast, something you can find in most grocery stores.  Nutritional yeast is a dairy-free savory food seasoning that has a cheese-like flavor.  Our local store has it in the bulk section and should be a staple in your kitchen.  

The next trick is liquid smoke to round out the flavor and give this dish a smoked cheddar taste.  In fact, this combination makes this perfect for the non-vegans in your family. 

Here are a few photos showing how simple this sauce comes together.  

Once the non-dairy butter and olive oil start to sizzle, just add all of the dry ingredients.

You’ll notice the mixture turns into crumbles as the non-dairy butter and olive oil start to mix.  Let this crumbled mixture cook for a couple of minutes to bring out all of the flavors.

Now the fun part. Add 1 1/2 cups of non-sweetened almond milk and stir all those clumps together.  And, don’t forget that cap of liquid smoke!

Continue to stir and mix until this magically turns into a golden cheese sauce that is made from plant based products only and is totally vegan.  This really is magic and I promise this is light-years better than the package of fake cheese in boxed mac and cheese.

Want a few other options?  Here are some of the favorites add-ons for our family:

  • Add a cup of frozen peas for some extra color and flavor
  • Add a few tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • Franks hot sauce for buffalo wing flavored mac-n-cheese

Have you tried this recipe?  Tell me what you think.  What are some of your favorite add-ons?


Vegan Smoked Cheddar Mac and Cheese
Serves 4
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  2. 3 tablespoons flour
  3. 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  4. 1 tablespoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1 cap of hickory flavored liquid smoke
  7. 1/4 cup olive oil
  8. 1/4 cup non-dairy butter (Earth Balance works great)
  9. 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  10. 16 ounces macaroni dried pasta
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  1. Cook macaroni in a pot of boiling water. For best flavor, add a tablespoon of salt to the water.
  2. While macaroni cooks, preheat a non-stick skillet on medium high
  3. Add the non-dairy butter and olive oil to heated skillet
  4. When butter has melted and begins to sizzle, add all of the dry ingredients and mix with wooden spoon
  5. Add almond milk and liquid smoke to skillet, mix until mixture resembles a rich cheese sauce.
  6. Drain cooked pasta and add to cheese sauce. Mix together and enjoy!
Review Boise