This vegan baked mac and cheese is smokey, creamy, rich, crispy on the top, and super easy to make! This is the ultimate in comfort food.
Who can go past a tasty, easy, and affordable meal?
A little different from the other traditional mac and cheese recipes out there with that twist of smokiness.
This recipe is made entirely of whole foods and can be made gluten-free by simply swapping out the pasta and breadcrumbs for their gluten-free equivalent counterparts.
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What is in plant-based mac and cheese?
I chose not to use vegan cheese in this recipe because they vary so greatly from country to country.
I wanted to make sure that the recipe is as accessible as possible with the ingredients that you can find at your supermarket.
So, here’s what you’ll find in a plant-based mac and cheese recipe:
- Olive oil
- Onion, fresh and granules
- Garlic, fresh and powder
- Nutritional yeast
- Smoked paprika (our smokey weapon)
- And your usual suspects, salt and pepper
That’s all you need to make this deliciousness! I’m sure you already have most, if not all of that in your kitchen right now.
Vegan mac and cheese with a difference
You’ll love the slight crunch and different texture from the breadcrumb topping.
The hint of smokiness from the smoked paprika adds a beautiful rich depth of flavour and it works so well!
I also use the base of my vegan white sauce a lot. You can experiment for yourself to see what works best for you.
Can you use other types of pasta in this dish?
As I mention below, you can use whatever pasta you like. I prefer to use no larger than the classic penne as it works best to keep it smaller for the texture you’re trying to achieve with a dish like this. And of course, a gluten-free pasta would work just as well, just be careful not to overcook it as it can easily turn into mush!
The types of pasta that would also work well are:
- Small conchiglie
Can this vegan baked mac and cheese be made gluten-free?
It sure can. Just switch the pasta to a gluten-free variety and cook as listed instructions on the packet.
You’ll also need to swap out the breadcrumbs for a gluten-free variety. Just make sure that they’re vegan as they sometimes have fish oil as an ingredient. This is for both gluten-free and normal breadcrumbs.
How long does this mac and cheese last? Can it be made ahead of time?
It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze this dish for later.
This dish can be made ahead of time. Just add a little extra water in the blender when mixing the sauce as the pasta will soak it up over time in the fridge.
Complete the whole recipe without baking it and put some foil or a silicone wrap over the dish. However, I find that it’s best to make the breadcrumb topping just before you pop it in the oven.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven and add 5 minutes to the baking time as it has come straight out of the fridge.
I hope you enjoy my take on the super popular dish that is mac and cheese — made vegan, baked, and smokey. Just the way I like it!
Other recipes you’ll love:
- 3-Ingredient Cabbage Pasta
- Vegan Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta & Bean Soup)
- My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)
- Creamy Vegan Leek and Mushroom Pasta
- 20-Minute Creamy Vegan Red Pepper Pasta
- Vegan Spinach Crepes with Pesto Mushrooms (Gluten-Free)