Vegan Stovetop-Style Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

A 100% vegan stovetop macaroni and cheese. The secret is a creamy sauce made with almonds, potatoes, and plenty of aromatics.

Note: For the best, smoothest results, use a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec) and press mixture through a chinois.

Recipe Facts



Active: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening or palm oil

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground paprika

  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown or yellow mustard

  • 4 ounces russet potato (about 1/2 medium), peeled and thinly sliced

  • 4 ounces roasted cashews (about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 teaspoons miso paste

  • 1/2 cup almond, soy, or rice milk

  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (such as Frank's)

  • Kosher salt to taste

  • 1 box (8 ounces) dry elbow macaroni


  1. Melt shortening in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until completely softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add paprika, garlic powder, and tomato paste, and mustard. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and mixture starts to sizzle, about 1 minute.

  2. Add potatoes and cashews and cook, stirring, until cashews are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add water, miso paste, and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until potatoes are fully tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Transfer mixture to the jar of a high-powered blender (see note). Add hot sauce and a pinch of salt. Start on low speed and slowly increase speed to high. Blend on high speed until completely smooth, about 2 minutes, adding water a few drops at a time as necessary to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with more salt.

  4. In a large pot, cover macaroni with cold water by 2 inches. Season heavily with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring, and cook, stirring occasionally, until macaroni is just tender (timing will vary by brand). Drain macaroni, reserving half cup of cooking liquid. Return macaroni to pot. Add sauce, set over high heat, and cook, stirring, until macaroni is evenly coated with sauce, about 1 minute, adding extra cooking liquid as necessary to achieve a creamy consistency. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
544 Calories
34g Fat
51g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 544
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 872mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 18%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 486mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)