This healthy dairy-free mac and cheese contains all the elements of a satisfying meal: a creamy sweet/salty sauce, thick-textured high protein pasta, and a tangy crunch from the mock bacon chunks. If you’re feelin’ it for a flavorful comfort meal, this dish is undoubtably the way to go. The nut-free cheese sauce in this vegan mac n’ cheese is made without cashews, the common go-to ingredient for vegan cheese. This recipe is also oil-free, plant-based, high in protein and can be made gluten-free.
This post may contain affiliate links that allow us to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Dairy Free Mac and Cheese
- 2 cups cooked high protein pasta I prefer chickpea pasta
- 1 cup broccoli chopped into bite-sized pieces
For the cheese sauce
- 2 large carrots peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 head celeriac or 1 celery stalk roughly chopped
- 1 butternut squash or 2 sweet potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika or other type of ground pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder or 1 Tbsp freshly chopped garlic
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cups unsweetened plant milk I prefer soymilk because it’s high protein
For the "facon"/mock bacon
- 4 oz extra firm tofu (1/2 container) chopped into very small squares or chunks
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread the sauce ingredients except for the milk on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or covered with parchment paper.
- Roast in the oven for ½ hour.
- Place the tofu chunks, soy sauce, maple syrup and pepper in a bowl and combine.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for ½ hour.
- While the vegetables are roasting, fill a medium saucepan ¾ full with water, and bring the water to a boil.
- Add the pasta, lower to low heat, and boil for approximately 10 minutes.
- Strain water from the cooked pasta and set aside.
- Remove the marinated tofu from the refrigerator. Add the broccoli and toss together.
- Bake in an air fryer at 400 degrees or in the oven/toaster oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove and set aside.
- Scoop baked vegetables into a Cuisinart or blender.
- Add the milk.
- Puree until smooth.
- Set aside. This is your cheese sauce. The leftovers can also be used to make an easy vegan cheese soup.
- Place the cooked pasta in a saucepan on low heat.
- Add 1 cup of the cheese sauce.
- Stir until incorporated. If it's too thick, add 1-2 Tbsp of the pasta water.
- Scoop into bowls.
- Sprinkle roasted broccoli and mock bacon (“facon”) pieces on top.