Unless you were raised by macrobiotic hippies, you’ve had it. I’ve had it. And there’s no shame in saying it— we’ve all had macaroni and cheese out of the box.
My kid would plead with me to buy it, and I was thrilled when the vegan stuff came on the market. Maybe you don’t crave it anymore, but it sure is convenient to have some on hand for the kids or the babysitter.
But there’s no need to buy it, because you can make the instant cheese sauce mix yourself in just a few minutes! It makes enough to coat the equivalent of 5 store-bought boxes of instant macaroni and cheese.
This recipe was reprinted by permission from The Homemade Vegan Pantry* by Miyoko Schinner, © 2015. Photographs by Eva Kolenko, © 2015 Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Well-Crafted Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Mix
- 1 cup cashews
- ¾ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup oat flour
- ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon organic sugar
- 2 teaspoons powdered mustard
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until a powder is formed. There should not be any discernible chunks or large granules of cashews, so this may take 3 to 4 minutes of processing.
- Store this in a jar or portion out into 1⁄3-cup increments and put in ziplock bags and store in the pantry for a month or two or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
How to use this mix
Cook 1 cup of dry macaroni according to package instructions and drain. Combine 1⁄3 cup mix with 1 cup water or unsweetened nondairy milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk well and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute, then toss with hot cooked macaroni.
This mix is also a great answer for turning yesterday’s leftovers into a quick casserole. Just combine leftover pasta, potatoes, or grains, some veggies, and any other odd scraps you think might be a good fit and mix it in a casserole dish with some of the cheese mix and water.
You can add additional spices and herbs if you wish. Then bake it all up into creamy goodness. You can also use the mix to make quick sauces for veggies or add it to soups for extra cheesy flavor and richness—it’s quite versatile.
Visit Miyoko Schinner at Artisan Vegan Life and find our more about her cultured nut products at Miyoko’s Kitchen.
*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!
Sam (the Quantum Vegan) says
Oh MY. Just one more reason why I desperately need this book. I not-so-secretly LOVED the "blue box" when I was a kid and this is just the thing to tap into those memories without all the junk...
Hi is it possible to just add the powder right into the macaroni when it's done cooking? Like you would from the blue box stuff?
Thanks, looks great!
Daniel, I'm not sure about that; maybe try it with a little bit of the cooked macaroni to see if that works (you may need to add a bit of nondairy milk). Otherwise, I'd follow Miyoko's instructions right below the recipe box for "how to use this mix."
Would this recipe be lacking if I were to leave out the sugar? Also, what exactly does the tapioca flour do? I've never heard of it.
So perfectly gooey and cheezy - made this tonight for kids and hubby and mixed through steamed broccoli florets. All gone, bowls licked clean. Thanks for publishing this recipe!!!
That's an amazing endorsement of Miyoko's recipe; thanks, Louise! Though it's no surprise — Miyoko's cheezy inventions are nothing short of brilliant.
I made this tonight and it came out really well. I put breadcrumbs on top and baked it.
For those that inquired, you cannot add the mix directly to the pasta because the tapioca starch/flour (used as a thickener) needs to be activated over the heat. It took more like 3-4 mins to finally become a thick, creamy deliciousness. I made this but I think it's missing something. Maybe some miso added to the milk/mixture before it's heating up? Regardless, I'd make it again and again because it's easy and tastes great.
Ryan Leemon says
I've been a vegan for 5 years but am new to vegan baking so I'm not sure if I got the recipe right. Is it supposed to be really thick? Mine also came out more of an orange-ish color, which I don't mind-it's about the taste.
I'm going to try it again for sure, Mac N Cheese is just one of those comfort foods I gotta have every now and then.
Ryan, if it came out thick, that's the way the recipe's author (Miyoko Schinner) intended. If too thick for your liking, you can always thin it out with a little unsweetened nondairy milk. Here's another vegan mac and cheese on our site that's super simple and very comforting! http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/vegan-macaroni-and-cheese/
Bettina Barbier says
This looks yummy! My question is about the nutritional yeast - I have both powder and flakes, and the measurements would def. be different for both. Can you please tell me whether this is meant to be flakes or powder? Thanks!!!
Also curious to know whether anyone has added Earth Balance to this and how that went?
Tim Hordo says
Thank you for sharing this! I've been looking for something mac n' cheesy to introduce to my niece who's 9, because she isn't interested in all the "weird stuff" she reads on store bought labels, and always asks me about what I eat as a vegan. This will help her enjoy a nutritious mac n' cheese while learning more about our crafty vegan ways 😉
I hope your niece enjoys, this, Tim. You might also enjoy this fresh-made and super-simple mac and cheese: http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/vegan-macaroni-and-cheese/
Kris Becker says
I just made this and I followed everything in the recipe. Guessed I did it very well my daughter loved it she ate every bit in her plate. I used the bentilia pasta for a more healthy version. (well, atleast for me) Our family shared a happy meal today. I really appreciate this recipe.
Is there something I can use in place of the oat flour? I can't have oats
Jessica, try quinoa flour or a gluten-free flour blend. Hope it works for you!
Kristina Brown says
Is the amount for the nutriional yeast, powdered or flaked? thanks for your help!
Kristina, I don't think it would make that much difference, but most of the commercial brands look like small flakes. I hope this turns out well for you; a number of our readers love this recipe by Miyoko Schinner!
Would tumeric be a good substitute for powdered mustard if you're someone who loves tumeric? Or will the flavor not be properly "cheesy"?
Christina, I'm not sure turmeric would be a good sub — it has such an assertive taste. If you don't like/don't have/are allergic to mustard, simply leave it out ... I'm sure this recipe by Miyoko will still be good. VegKitchen readers love it!
Is there anything we can substitute for cashews? I'm allergic to cashews, but I don't want to change the taste too much.
Isabelle, I'm not really sure ... the only sub that might come close is blanched almonds, if you're not allergic to other tree nuts. Otherwise you migh try a couple of our other mac and cheese recipes:
This is the best vegan mac and cheese recipe I have ever made! Only suggestion for those making this is to not add as much non-dairy milk as it calls for... maybe 3/4th of a cup rather than one cup, I find one full cup makes the cheese choice sauce too watery. Miyoko should seriously box this up and sell it, it taste way better than any other box vegan mac and cheese currently on the market!
Can I use agar-agar powder as the thickener instead of tapioca flour? If so, how much should I use?
We just love this Mac and cheese. It’s a staple in our house. I just got a vitamin. Could I make the cheese in IT. Instead of food processor?