Plant-Based Mac & Cheese


If you could imagine your favorite meal at 5 years old, what would it be?

Macaroni and cheese is sure to feature on many of those lists, so this recipe pays homage to that nostalgia. With extra veggies hidden throughout, this Food Matters take on a family tradition is sure to impress the kids, with a nod of approval from adults too.

This healthy plant-based mac n cheese is the quick and easy recipe you’ve been longing for.


For the Cheese Sauce:

  • ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight in filtered water
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • ½ butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • ½ head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ - 1 cup restorative vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To serve:

  • 1 packet gluten-free macaroni pasta (quinoa or brown rice)
  • Brazil nut parmesan (optional but highly recommended)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni pasta and cook according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  3. Add the carrots, butternut squash, and cauliflower to the vegetable steamer and steam until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add steamed vegetables, rinsed cashew nuts, paprika, turmeric, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, ½ cup vegetable broth, sea salt, and olive oil to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add in more vegetable broth if you need it.
  5. Return to the pot with the pasta and mix well to coat the pasta. You can do this over low heat for 4-5 minutes to warm the sauce through, continually stirring.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of the Brazil Nut Parmesan for extra crunch and flavor.

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