Vegan Green Chili Mac ‘n’ Cheese

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Cast-iron skillet filled with Vegan Green Chili Mac n Cheese

I’m sure we all have horror stories of the mac n cheese of our yesteryear. For me it was almost always boxed, but in the rare chance that it wasn’t, it was certainly made with that processed block of horror known as Velveeta (*shiver).

This is not that kind of mac n cheese. This is unprocessed, wholesome, dairy-free goodness for those of us who still crave a bit of our childhood favorites without all the junk.

Macaroni shells for making Easy Vegan Mac n CheeseSoaking cashews in a jar for Vegan Mac n Cheese

Don’t be intimidated by vegan mac n cheese. I was a little skeptical at first because my initial attempts at cashew sauces were unsuccessful. But I’ve learned a few tricks here and there (how long to soak, how long to blend, what spices/seasonings to add) and I’m now a HUGE fan. It’s unbelievable how a jar of soaked cashews can turn into rich sauces, luxurious ice creams and bonafide cheesy goodness.

Plus, this particular recipe requires just 10 ingredients (minus the tortilla chips) and 30 minutes! It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Blender filled with ingredients for Green Chili Mac n Cheese

This sauce is infused with plenty of flavor thanks to cumin, chili powder and green chilies. Half of the chilies go into the sauce, while the other half get stirred into the final product. The result is oh-so dreamy.

Pouring vegan cheese sauce onto skillet of macaroni noodles

Skillet of Vegan Green Chili Mac n Cheese ready to be mixedUsing a wooden spoon to stir a batch of our Vegan Green Chili Mac n Cheese recipe

Once you stir the sauce with the noodles and the green chilies, it’s time for a little crunch. I toasted up some tortilla chips until golden brown then sprinkled them on top for another layer of flavor and texture. I was in love. Swoon.

You’re going to love this mac n cheese. It’s:

Creamy
Luxurious
Savory
Super Cheesy
Velvety
Perfectly spiced from the green chilies
Mega satisfying
& Altogether dreamy

Oh, and by the way, each serving has 19 grams of protein! WHAT?!!

Skillet Vegan Mac n Cheese made with Green Chilis and Toasted Tortilla ChipsSkillet filled with Green Chili Mac n Cheese for a simple vegan dinner

I personally think you could serve this to a non-vegan and they would totally dig it. They may be able to tell it’s not “true mac n cheese,” but it’s so creamy and flavorful and satisfying that they’ll have to be won over. This makes enough for 4, or 3 very generously, so invite a few friends and take them to vegan cheese heaven. Cheers!

Holding up a bite of Green Chili Mac n Cheese on a forkHolding a bite of healthy vegan Green Chili Mac n CheeseFork full of Vegan Mac n Cheese resting on a cast iron skillet

Vegan Green Chili Mac 'n' Cheese

10 ingredient, 30 minute vegan mac n cheese infused with green chili and topped with crispy baked crushed tortilla chips!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Using a fork to lift a bite of Vegan Green Chili Mac n Cheese from a skillet
4.79 from 125 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces large macaroni shells (gluten-free for GF eaters // I used pipe rigate)
  • 1/2 medium white onion (diced)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight, then drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (DIY or store-bought)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 4-ounce can diced chills (scoop half into the sauce, reserve half for the finished mac n cheese)
  • 1 cup tortilla chips (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional // for topping)

Instructions

  • If topping with tortilla chips, crush chips into fine crumbs and add to a baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Spritz with olive or avocado oil, sprinkle with salt and stir. Then bake in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Boil macaroni according to package instructions.
  • In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, sauté onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, stir and cook until soft and fragrant – about 7 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add onions and garlic to a blender with remaining ingredients, omitting the tortilla chips and adding only half of the green chilies. Blend until smooth, using the “liquify” setting if you have it to get it really smooth. Otherwise just blend for up to a minute, scraping down sides as necessary, until smooth and creamy.
  • Drain the noodles, set aside, and cover (with a towel). To the same pot you boiled the noodles in, add the cashew cheese and cook on low stirring frequently until slightly thickened.
  • Add the macaroni noodles to the cheese, along with the remaining green chilies and stir. Serve immediately, topping with crushed toasted tortilla chips and cilantro (optional).

Notes

*Adapted from the amazing Isa Chandra.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without tortilla chips.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 g Calories: 516 Carbohydrates: 72 g Protein: 19 g Fat: 17 g Saturated Fat: 3.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 380 mg Fiber: 5.6 g Sugar: 4 g

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  1. Michelle says

    It’s green chile season here in southern Colorado. Hubby went to Pueblo and brought back 2 bushels of Pueblo green chiles. Definitely going to be making this tomorrow!!!

  2. Sarah says

    Omg. Had leftover macademia nut cheese (that I made with cashews) from making your balsamic portabello pizzas (amazing also), so I threw that in the blender with onions garlic, spices and veggie broth. She transformed so well. Love love love this mac and cheese it’s magical!! Thanks for making my day a little cozier.

  3. Elissa says

    Just made this for a second time (this time with fresh Cubanelle peppers instead of green chilies), and it’s an absolute keeper. I like an additional tbsp of nutritional yeast for extra cheesiness, and I used Goya seasoning instead of salt for more complexity. A dream comfort food recipe for the lactose intolerant – thank you!

  4. Lisa says

    I modified with chicken stock (not vegan, obviously) as that’s what was in the pantry and added some hotter Hatch green chilies on top of the 4 oz of mild ones, and also sprinkled a bit more nutritional yeast upon serving. Made a great lunch and we have enough for another meal – woohoo!

    I bet adding some spinach at the end or sauteed green beans would kick it up nicely!

  5. Erin says

    Absolutely love this recipe, one of the best Mac n cheese recipes out there! I swear by it. Very very tasty. Will make time and time again. (When I’m not lazy and buy the packet mix that is!) Thank you minimalist baker for this delight.

  6. Jennifer says

    I love your site and am always browsing here and trying out your ideas. I have a cashew question. My family doesn’t always go for the sweet, nutty flavor of sauces they make. I love thier texture but they lean towards being sweet every time. I will admit, with a high speed blender, I usually just soak for about 30 minutes in hot water and then throw in, so maybe that is the problem.

    Will these be more neutral if I soak the full time or is there another nut that can be used that will lend towards a more salty, savory flavor?

  7. Hannah says

    I am trying to eat vegan and I have a nut allergy. This looks delicious. Is there anything I can substitute for the cashews?

  8. Gabi says

    love this sauce!! I put a little more yeast when i make it and for the cashews i just pour boiling water over it and switched it out once it got cooled. Taste amazing!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Great! Thanks for sharing, Gabi! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  9. Marta says

    I only have roasted cashews, is that okay? And do I still soak them, and if yes, for how long?
    Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work, just know the flavor will be different. Still soak for the same time, or until soft.

  10. Heather says

    This was excellent. I made the pumpkin mac and cheese last time and the vegan ricotta with the zucchini lasanga. I think this may be my favorite cheese sauce, very rich and creamy with a unique cheesiness. . I didn’t have green chiles but I didn’t miss them. I toasted some bread with garlic/oil and crumbled it on top. Next up is the Eggplant Mac and Cheese.
    Thank you for recipes I can count on tasting great.

  11. Rachel says

    Hi! I’m allergic to cashews but I’m also a lactose intolerant who loves mac and cheese. Are there any other nuts/ alternatives that I can sub for cashews?

  12. Derrian says

    We followed the recipe as told and I felt this recipe lacked seasoning still even after it was all done. Add some more salt and I would say add fresh roasted hatch chillies with some roasted tomatoes and mushrooms towards the end. It’ll definitely kick up the flavor. Also add some more salt.

  13. Janine says

    This was AMAZING!!! And oh so easy. I have been trying to go vegan (I’m vegetarian now) but my husband is a carnivore. He is lactose intolerant and has not been very open to vegan recipes. I didn’t even call this mac ‘n cheese, I just called it green chili pasta and he really liked it!!! Score one for the cook LOL.
    Thank you so much

  14. Toni Connolly says

    Hi My Name Is Toni and I was Just wondering how do you make this into one serving for one person please and thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Toni, you can adjust the number of servings in the recipe box and it will change the measurements for you. But depending on the type of blender you have, it may not be enough volume to blend. Hope that helps!

  15. Lauren says

    Do you think if i made this thanksgiving morning that i could travel with this/would be able to reheat in an oven a couple hours later?

  16. Jeri Youngblood says

    This is absolutely magical! My son is a very picky eater and he loved this. I am so pleased with how it turned out. I will definitely be a recurring dish in our home.

  17. Krisha says

    This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it a few times and it doesn’t disappoint. Thinking of making it for Thanksgiving, but wondering – do you think I could prep the sauce a few days early and freeze it until the day of? Would it defrost and heat well?

  18. Nicole says

    Dear Dana, whatever mac n cheese is, this one was amazing !!!! It’s been our first ever.

    Perfect dish for a snowy swiss evening !!!!!

    Thank you !!!!!

  19. DJ says

    This sounds scrumptious!! I was wanting to try this for a catering job in shooter cups. Obviously that would mean making it ahead of time and keeping it warm…any recommendations or tricks to keep it from separating or drying out?
    DJ

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, make the sauce a little thinner and ensure the ratio of sauce to noodle is a little more generous than usual!

  20. Jill says

    Thank you for this amazing recipe! We are new vegans and this will be on our regular rotation. Looking forward to trying your other vegan recipes.

  21. Jessica Nagy says

    Love ALL of your recipes. Making this for a friend next week who HATES onions. Okay to just omit or should I sub with something else?

  22. Joey says

    I made this recipe with only a minor addition : 1-tsp red pepper flakes added to the garlic and onions. Yum!!! Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to use this cashew/yeast “cheese” base as a starting point for other meals as well.

  23. Jonathan says

    Omg! Sooooo good. Gave it to some non vegans and they thought It was awesome. Then I told them it was vegan and they asked me to cook it again. I boiled the cashews for 10 minutes and it was so creamy when blended.

  24. Antonia says

    This is my first time making a vegan recipe. We are doing a vegan cookoff for work. In the directions it doesn’t say what to do with the vegetable broth. It also doesn’t say how to make the cashew cheese, just tells you to soak them. Can you help me?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Antonia, in step 4, where it says “Add onions and garlic to blender with remaining ingredients”- this is where you add the vegetable broth and drained cashews. Hope that helps!

  25. Huyen says

    Made without the jar of “chills” and kids loved it. Added carrots to the sauteed onion & garlic before adding to sauce and also added dash of turmeric. Usually would throw in additional hidden veggies but skipped tonight. Very creamy and tasty. Served with side of field roast sausage and sauteed onion/garlic/mushrooms. Easy recipe and will repeat for sure!

  26. Barbara Johnston says

    This was my first attempt at a macaroni with cashew cream sauce and I was happy with results. Texture was pleasing and flavor was great! Color was a little unappetizing looking, but I added 2 (jarred) roasted piquillo peppers to the mix, which brightened it up a bit. Personally, I didn’t think the corn chips really added much—probably wouldn’t add them next time.

  27. Marie says

    If I could give this recipe more than 5 stars I would. I made this for my daughter’s graduation party-OMG it’s delicious. It did get a little dried out while I kept covered in a very low oven to keep warm, but still….
    It was my first time making this particular mac and cheese, and this will be my go-to recipe from now on. It’s so creamy!
    Thanks for creating such great recipes, I have yet to make one that isn’t satisfying and delicious.

  28. carla clayton says

    I made the recipe exactly as shown. Wow! It was so delicious. I have made it twice now, the first time I didn’t blend it quite enough and it was a bit grainy, the second time better. Adults and kids all loved it. Thank you!

  29. Rosalie says

    I loved this recipe. This was the first vegan recipe I ever made, I added the whole can of green chilies into the sauce and then I added a can of green chilies and tomatoes into the Mac and cheese mix before popping it into the oven. So good!! My family liked it too and they’re not going vegan.

  30. Karen says

    For some reason the cheese sauce tasted sweet coming out of my blender (??). I added another TB of nooch, a 1/2 tsp of chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. I also put the entire 4oz can of green chiles in the blender. Tried again and it was PERFECT. We topped it with those Red Hot Blues tortilla chips that are spicy, and it was great. Will make again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing! I find sometimes nooch can have a bit of sweetness to it, which is why I tend to offset it with additional salt and/or garlic, which it sounds like you did!

      Also, next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xo

  31. Tamara says

    This recipe is beyond amazing! The first time I made it, I was blown away and now it’s part of my regular rotation.

  32. Mickie says

    This was delicious- another great dish! Out of curiosity, how does it have 19 grams of protein?? I kept reviewing the ingredients and I can’t find the protein source.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mickie, the protein comes primarily from the macaroni shells, cashews, and nutritional yeast. Hope that helps!

  33. Jennifer Whitman says

    This was amazing. I somehow didn’t have chips so god only knows how much better it could have been;-) I also didn’t have green chilis so I used 1.5 tsp of harissa chilli sauce and it turned out great. Thanks again for another great dinner!

  34. Juliana says

    Fantastic. It’s classed-up comfort food.

    I cheated with my cashews and microwaved them in a bowl of water for 5 minutes—they plumped up considerably and blitzed into creamy perfection (this might not work unless you have a high-powered blender).

    Would be excellent in a barbecue tofu bowl for the bold & daring.

  35. Kristyn says

    This is seriously so delicious!!! I had some tomatoes on their way out that I roasted with olive oil and garlic salt and I added those to the sauce. PHENOMENAL!! Thank you!!

  36. Suzanne says

    I’ve made this a few times now and my husband and I LOVE it! We tried subbing the green chili’s for canned jalapenos to add more heat and it made the texture in the sauce come out grainy and weird – so I don’t recommend that! But we just topped it with some Cajun and/or cayenne pepper for more heat and it was AMAZING! Definitely recommend using the optional tortilla chips as well! Adds a great crunch flavor!

  37. Juliet says

    Genuinely best vegan mac n cheese I have made. So great! The chilli somehow makes it taste even cheesier?! I only soaked the cashews for half an hour and it still came out fine (but probs less creamy than it should be). Thank you for this!

  38. michelle says

    This was the damn BOMB!!!!! The only thing I did to enhance the flavor was add jalapeño juice from a jar of pickled jalapeños and an extra dash of cumin, chili powder, and salt. I could eat this everyday!!!!
    For my daughter who knows the difference between regular mac and vegan mac, I just added one slice of vegan american singles, one slice real cheddar, and a small piece of swiss to the prepared mac n cheese and it tasted perfect! Thanks for this awesome recipe.

  39. Joy says

    This was SO GOOD. I was a bit traumatized by vegan mac n cheese after attempting a recipe from another popular vegan food blog that turned out so repulsive smelling/tasting that I couldn’t even stomach it, and I’m not a picky eater.

    This, however, was fabulous. Wonderful flavor and texture. I did feel it could use a bit more seasoning, so I added some extra chili powder and cayenne to fit my taste. But overall BOMB! Will be making again.

  40. Denise says

    This is my go-to Dairy Free Mac n Cheese. :) I LOVE it!

    Some changes: If I soak my cashews in very hot water, prolonged heat time isn’t as necessary and it still creams up beautifully. I also bake this in the oven instead of heating on the stove – then the panko crumbs get crunchy and yummy and I feel it heats through better and still thickens. Usually about 15 – 20 minutes will do the trick. :)

  41. Ellie Kretschmer says

    Just made this and it’s aaaaamazing. Had to go dairy and soy free for nursing and I will make this even when I can eat dairy again!

  42. Gayle says

    Hi Dana! I’m always curious when recipes called for soaked cashews, do you measure before or after their socked? The really plump up when they soak so I wasn’t sure.

  43. Emily says

    This recipe is awesome! I have made this a few times now. Always delicious! I like to 1.5-2 times the diced chilies and sometimes add some mushrooms to the finished dish that have been sautéed with some garlic, salt and pepper.

  44. Coya says

    I made this last night and loved it! I did make extra sauce and coated the cooked noodles in butter and then baked the whole thing with breadcrumbs on top for a few minutes…also used fresh jalapenos and cauliflower for some extra veggies :P My new-to-vegan food foodie boyfriend also really liked it. Typing this and having leftovers for lunch. Thanks for the yumm!

  45. Liz says

    Brilliant recipe! My teenage daughter asked me to let you know that this mac and cheese has ‘made her vegan life’ ?

  46. Sophie says

    So creamy and delicious! I used garam masala instead of cumin because I didn’t have any and it tasted similar to a thick, creamy curry sauce. I used Aldi vegetable stock cubes instead of homemade vegetable stock because I ran out of time. The liquid was a little runny so I had to add a little more nooch and cornstarch to thicken it up. To make it a nice ‘yellow’ i added some generous sprinkles of tumeric. All in all a beautiful vegan mac and cheese recipe that I’ll keep referring to!!

  47. Katie says

    This might be a silly question, but do you soak one cup of cashews and use all of it in the recipe or do you use one cup of soaked cashews? I know they get bigger when they are soaked!

    Thanks!!

  48. Mya says

    This is a huge hit for my husband and I! Your recipes are always simple, healthy and delicious. They’ve never failed us!

    I do have a question though! Can you sub arrowroot powder for the cornstarch?

  49. Jenn says

    Could you substituted canellini beans blended with unsweetened soymilk for the cashew cheese? I have a hard time finding nutritional yeast

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenn! I am not sure that would work, but if you give it a try, report back on how it goes! Additionally, you can get nutritional yeast here!

  50. Brian says

    I have never used soaked cashews. New to this. Some say 2-3hrs never over night. You say 4-6 hours or over night. Please explain your tricks for someone new to this.
    Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Brian! Soak the cashews in purified water for at least 4-6 hours overnight. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water by an inch and put in the refrigerator. Hope this helps!

  51. Jodi says

    Hi! Love your recipes! Wondering where the vegetable broth comes into play on this one. See if in the ingredient list, but not in directions. Sorry if I missed something. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jodi! Sorry if that wasn’t clear. You’ll want to add the broth in step four, when you add onions and garlic to a blender with remaining ingredients. Hope this helps!

  52. Jennifer says

    This is really good! I was a little alarmed by the color of the sauce after blending it (grey-green), but it changed to a much nicer cheesy color after cooking it on the stove. I loved how creamy the sauce is, and it stays creamy- it doesn’t get all thick & hard if you let it sit for awhile. Will definitely make this again, even for non-vegans!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried freezing it, but if you do, report back on how it goes! Happy Cooking!

  53. Emelie says

    I just made it and the taste is great! I added some creole spices for taste and more chilies. Also you get so FULL by this recepie , i have never ate vegetarian food that left me this full before. I think after exercise this would be a great meal or if you’re doing a lunch box for hiking. Just a small warning that if you don’t have a proper mixer i DON’T recommend using a stave mixer like i did because the nuts will fly everywhere and wreak havoc upon your kitchen! At least it made me laugh and taught me a lesson :)

  54. Andie says

    We have made a lot of vegan mac and cheese recipes with varying levels of success. This one was an out-of-the-park HOME RUN! We hadn’t even finished our bowls when my husband asked me to add more green chiles to the grocery list so that we could always have the stuff on hand for this recipe! Thank you for the amazing creation!

  55. sophia says

    I don’t know about where you live, but here cashews, even bits and pieces are $15. a pound. Even at a small amount, that’s too much money for sauce.

    • SFerd says

      If you live in the United States, Trader Joe’s sells raw ‘Cashew Pieces’ for $7/pound. Also, Sprouts frequently puts cashews on sale for $5-6/pound. Hope this helps!

  56. Tracy says

    Hi Dana!
    I love your recipes, and I’m not one to follow recipes for the most part! I’ve made this one a few times, and we love it (great for serving to non-vegans). I wondered if you use the ‘Better Than Bouillion’ products? I do (sparingly, since they’re high in sodium). But, I LOVE the no-chicken in this recipe….and most soups! Thanks for all you do!
    Tracy

  57. Cat G says

    Just made this for dinner and it was great but I don’t think I added enough salt. The green chilies are sooooooo good! I have some leftovers so I will bring them to work tomorrow. Will definitely be making this again ❤️

  58. Grace says

    This was incredibly delicious!! It was satisfying, creamy, soul-reaching goodness. My family is big on heat and Mexican flavors, so I added some red pepper flakes, and a can of drained/rinsed black beans. WOW. Was it good. Thanks so much for another splendid recipe, Dana!

  59. Karmay says

    Sorry if you mention this already- very excited to make your dish but I don’t see how you made the cashew cheese. Do you mind pointing me in the right direction

  60. Kelly says

    I just made this exactly how the recipe is written and HOLY MOLY IT’S INCREDIBLE!!! After going vegan, one of the things I missed was creamy Mac and cheese and this tastes just like the real thing! The chiles add a nice flavor and it’s relatively easy to throw together. Will be making this again and again!

  61. Kat says

    this is my first vegan “cheese” experience since limiting animal products and i am so happy with how it turned out!! i followed the recipe exactly,other than adding half a jalapeño to the blender (i like lots of spice), and it is so delicious. a good and easy !! recipe to introduce me and my family to dairy free “cheese”… thank you!

  62. Kaela says

    I just made this tonight for dinner and we loved it! Simple ingredients and very quick and easy to make. Thanks for another great recipe. Will be making it again and again. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would really recommend keeping the nutritional yeast in it! It’s what gives it that cheesy taste.
      If not, you could use a lot of spices!

  63. Brittany says

    Is there a way to avoid the nutritional yeast, but still have the same or a similar taste? Any recommendations?
    I’m trying to avoid yeast right now, and love your creative recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would really recommend keeping the nutritional yeast in it! It’s what gives it that cheesy taste.

  64. Laura says

    Hi! How do you make the cashew cheese for this recipe? I didn’t see it in the instructions and it’s a big part of it. Can you share that or do you have a separate recipe for it?

    • Laura says

      WOW Nevermind. I don’t know how I missed the part about remaining ingredients being added to the blender. Woops!! You can disregard that question haha. I didn’t see an option to delete it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Laura! Sorry it was not clear, but the cashew cheese instructions are in step 4! Add onions and garlic to a blender with remaining ingredients, omitting the tortilla chips and adding only half of the green chilies. Blend until smooth, using the “liquify” setting if you have it to get it really smooth. Otherwise just blend for up to a minute, scraping down sides as necessary, until smooth and creamy.

      • Laura Bond says

        I found it after I had posted my comment (silly me) but I couldn’t delete my question. Thank you for your response though, it is helpful :) I am making it tonight and will let you know how it turns out! Can’t wait!

  65. Teddy says

    I don’t have access to canned green chillies from where I’m from. Can I use the fresh ones? If yes, how many can I start with?

  66. Carol says

    This was the first mac and cheese I made after flipping the vegan switch. (Shortly after surviving a widowmaker heart attack, probably cheese induced!) Delicious! Although I made a note to use water instead of veg broth. Thanks for the reminder. Gotta make it again. So good

  67. JJ says

    Wonderful recipe! My kids gobbled it up and said it was the best Mac and cheese they have had. I added chopped tomatoes and cilantro. Thank you for sharing!

  68. Em says

    I love this recipe!
    I find that I don’t need to turn on the burner to get the cheese sauce to thicken, the heat of the macaroni is enough. Also I throw in some broccoli w the noodles have way through to add some veggies. Thanks again.

  69. Bianca says

    I am LOST FOR WORDS. this is the best thing ever and I will forever make this.

    I did use chipotle chilies instead, but I’m sure the green chilies are just as delicious! And I added some almond milk to thin it out a bit.

    But omg. You are amazing! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

  70. Bianca says

    Hi!

    If I happen to want this for dinner tonight, will it still be just as good if I only soak them for 3 hours? And do I use boiling water?

    Love you!

    Thank you

  71. Teresa says

    I just made this and I am so happy! I am a long-time vegetarian, but new vegan for health and animal rights reasons. The hardest thing for me (as with many people) as been giving up cheese. I’ve made several other “mac n cheese” recipes that I did not enjoy, but this one was fantastic! Even my meat-and dairy-eating hubby said it was good. I am going to definitely make it again! I’m thinking I might try it with chipotle peppers, too, to give it that smoky and spicy flavor. I did it without the chips, but I am guessing it would come out great topped with the chips and baked for a bit. When I try these modifications, I’ll report back! Thank you for all of your great recipes ! I just bought your cookbook, too!

    • Teresa says

      So I definitely recommend not baking the recipe. I doubled it and added carrots for color/sweetness. Then I put it in a baking dish and topped with breadcrumbs and shredded Treeline cheese (I really miss baked mac n cheese). Baking it totally dried out the sauce and dampened the flavor of everything! I also think the carrots did not work well because it was too sweet and detracted from the spicyness of the chiles. I’m beginning to think that good baked vegan mac n cheese is just not a thing because every time I try it, it does not come out well! So I will make this recipe again and again in its original form because it’s wonderful!

  72. Kyle says

    This recipe looks amazing! I want to bring it for a potluck party this Saturday and I’m wondering if you think it will still come out ok if I make it and put it in a casserole dish then reheat in the oven once I’m there?? It won’t be frozen or anything, just made 1-2 hours beforehand and then reheated. Would love to hear your advice! Thanks Dana!!

  73. Autumn says

    This recipe is amazing! I just made it, added some celery along with my onions and garlic before I sauteed them all. We all loved it so much!

  74. Sue says

    I tried this recipe for the first time. I have made a Mac and cheese that uses cashews for many years and so I thought I’d try something new. It didn’t have as much flavor as I wanted so I went back to my trusted, tried and true recipe. I added to your recipe juice of 1 lemon, 1Tbs. or so of tahini, 1 4oz. Jar of pimentos. And an extra Tbs. Of yeast flakes. I did not use cumin because I didn’t have any. This made it delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  75. Cari says

    I made this tonight. The flavor was pretty good but the texture didnt seem quite right- maybe I needed to soak the cashews a little longer.
    This is not a recipe that refrigerates well. It will become very dry, as a lot of cashew- based sauces do. So if you’re making it for 2 people it might be a good idea to halve the recipe because leftovers are not going to be the same.
    The only changes I made were adding a big pinch of salt and a small pinch of turmeric for color.

  76. Naomi says

    This recipe looks amazing! I’d like to make it ahead of time and serve it for Thanksgiving. Have you tried baking it the oven after preparing it on the stove? Do you think it will work? Thanks!

    • alyssa says

      I came here to ask this too. I’d LOVE to bring it for Thanksgiving but I have to travel a bit (about an hour) and don’t know what the best course of action would be. Leaving the pasta and sauce separate and combining when I get there? Following the recipe exactly and then heating it back up in the oven once I get there? I may have to experiment once this week but I’d love any suggestions from anyone who has made it in advance of serving! My family is also very close-minded toward vegan foods so I don’t want to risk making it “weirder” (in their eyes) by doing anything that would affect the texture too much.

      • alyssa says

        Oh, and I should add that this will be my second stop on Thanksgiving so any input on how to store it best for several hours (1 for the car ride, 3-4 at my first Thanksgiving destination) would be amazing!

  77. MelissaK says

    I made this for dinner last night and it was great! My sauce didn’t turn out quite as creamy as yours looks in the pictures; either a result from my blender not liquefying the cashews enough (it was still a little grainy), or I may have just needed to heat it longer on the stove to let it thicken up more. Either way, it’s definitely going in our regular dinner rotation!
    Even my non-vegan husband enjoyed it! Though after the first few bites he added some shredded cheese on top of his. But he did comment on how surprised he was with the “cheesy” flavor and consistency!

    This is my 2nd attempt at going vegan — the first time I relied way too much on processed meat/dairy alternatives and it got cost prohibitive. This time I’m coming at it with different motivation and doing a lot more cooking at home (marrying a man who loves to cook has also helped!). Your website has been a game-changer for me; I’m even going to bring some of your recipes to share at my first Thanksgiving dinner as a vegan! Thanks for everything you do!!

  78. Jessica R says

    I am so happy to have found these recipes! Went out to the grocery store and health food store yesterday, and picked up a whole bunch of stuff to use in vegan dishes. I am in pretty bad shape, so I am trying to improve my health by changing up my diet over time (I have yet to meet an unhealthy vegan lol) I’ve never really cared much for meat, but letting go of dairy is more difficult. I never knew that cashews could be used to make sauces like this. Just about time for me to head into the kitchen and give this a try. And for tomorrow evening, I’ll be making the vegan lemon fettuccine alfredo.

  79. Beka says

    Today marks my third time making this, and I think I finally have it right!

    So the first time I made it, I forgot the broth, but I also discovered that neither my food processor nor my blender has the power needed to truly liquefy cashews. The closest thing I have that grinds fine enough is the coffee grinder, and I’m not gonna use that on an entire cup of cashews.

    The second time I tried using cashew milk instead of cashews, and that worked a little better, but the sauce wouldn’t thicken up very well at all. I used a full cup of cashew milk and the full amount of broth called for in the recipe.

    Today, I made a roux to thicken the sauce, and it came out PERFECT. I used 2Tbsp Earth Balance and 2Tbsp olive oil (because I ran out of Earth Balance) and 6Tbsp flour to make the roux, then added the pulverized onion and garlic, chilis, seasoning, and 1 cup cashew milk and the broth. It thickened up BEAUTIFULLY and not at all grainy, so if anyone else is also burdened with inferior equipment, making the sauce this way is pretty simple!

    Thanks so much for this recipe, it’s definitely helping to curb my cheese cravings since I had to go dairy free <3

    • Nancy says

      I tried it your way! This came out so much better than when I used my immersion blender!! Thank you for this tip!

      I cooked the garlic and onion in about 4 tablespoons olive oil, then added 6 tablespoons of flour. Finally I added the cashew milk/broth and cooked until thickened. Then I added the green chillies, spices, and 1 steamed sweet potato, and used my immersion blender to mix it all up. I threw in some extra veggies at the end for kicks. Excellent!

      • Beka says

        Adding extra veggies is SO GOOD, I added sauteed zucchini to it the first time I made it to sort of detract from the graininess of the cashews and it was super tasty

  80. jenn says

    Hi all!
    I’m on the road to vegetarian-ism, then vegan.
    However I’m allergic to trees nuts. Please help with cheese sauces without tree nuts or almond milk.
    Thanks much?!!

  81. Christianne says

    I soaked the cashews for 7 hours, but something came up and I’m not able to make this tonight ? Any tips for storing? Would it work to drain them then put them in the fridge until tomorrow? Or just keep soaking until tomorrow?

  82. Nancy says

    This was my first foray into vegan cheese, and it was great! I’m not vegan and couldn’t find nootch at my local grocery store (and I was too excited to wait), so I put in some Parmesan cheese. Delicious! I didn’t get my sauce as creamy because used an immersion blender, but I didn’t mind. Can’t wait to make it again with some of the above variations (e.g. Adding more veggies). Might be good with some sweet potato or cauliflower puréed into the base.

  83. Sonya Baldwin says

    Oh. My. Gosh. Thats all I can say. I made another recipe from another blog last week for a cashew cheese and I was like meh. It was ok. Then I made yours tonight. #MindBlown I didn’t have the green chilis, so I added some Green Tabasco instead. Amazing!

  84. Dana says

    Thank You so much for this recipe. I wanted to let you know that I used it for a cooking demonstration last night for our towns “First Friday” event with a blues and bbq theme! Everyone loved it and I ended up with a list for 21 people who want me to email them the recipe. Thanks a bunch!

  85. Brianna says

    I’ve been intimidated by making cashew cheese, but decided to try this recipe and was pleasantly surprised! Thanks for making the process simple and easy to follow. I (like other readers) added a good bit of salt, but it turned out very yummy! The only thing is – my cheese sauce was the color of the pasta, even after adding a bit of paprika. How did you get it so yellow?

  86. Sheila Cunny says

    I’ve been following Minimalist Baker for years, and have yet to be disappointed by any if their recipes. The green chili Mac n chez was no exception! Totally easy, few ingredients and delish! I ended up adding more salt, but that’s because they don’t specify an exact amount, and I’m a salt-aholic. Love it and will make it over and over again now that I have a proper blender!

  87. Ami says

    Hi!

    I’m from England and I don’t think we can get “can diced chills”. If we can, then I don’t they’re called that here! Can someone suggest an alternative?

    Thanks!

    Ami

  88. Patrice says

    Just learning vegan ways. Is there something that can be substituted for the cashews in this recipe? We have tree nut allergies in our family, especially cashew & peanut allergies.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Patrice! Sunflower or pumpkin seeds may work in place of cashews, but we haven’t tried it and can’t be 100% sure. Report back if you give it a try!

  89. Heather B says

    Making this today for a vegan pot luck in a park & I am soooo excited! I love all of your recipes, haven’t had one turn out bad yet so I know this will be fantastic! Keep doing what you’re doing!!!! Thanks!

  90. Kirstie Kimball says

    OMG this is so good. I’ve made this so many times. I triple the spices (except the notch which I double) because I like a lot of spice. The base is SO flexible. I’m a huge fan of spicy mac so I love that I can change it up to be other spicy mixes.

    Variations I’ve made include:
    Adding buffalo sauce and putting some baked cauliflower florets into it
    Blistered poblano peppers subbed in
    Using the cheese sauce with chips and salsa
    Throwing in some “pulled” BBQ jackfruit

    Seriously. Amazing.

  91. Maricruz says

    First time making this I did substitute with Jalapeños and added sautéed mushrooms…..it was AMAZING

  92. Dora says

    This. Was. Delish.
    That being said…this has no resemblance to Mac n’ Cheese. I would call it more of a southwest alfredo sauce. His was my first time making any kind of vegan cheese alternative and I thought it was great, even though it didn’t taste like cheese at all. The spices were perfect.
    My version didn’t come out as smooth as the picture. I was using a regular powered blender which could be the reason why.

    Great recipe!

  93. Sarah says

    Well, this doesn’t taste like mac n cheese but it still ticks all of the boxes. The sauce is super creamy and very flavorful. In fact I think its more flavorful than the majority of mac n cheese I’ve had. It was super easy and quick to make. My family, who by the way loooove cheese, loved this mac n cheese and finished the entire pot. I asked them if I should make it again or not and they said, “definitely make it again!”. Success! Thanks for the recipe.

  94. Marc Sager says

    LIving in Panama, canned green chiles are not a thing. A substitution which worked well was salsa verde. Basically, it is a mild salsa with a base of tomatillos and green chiles.

  95. Anna says

    Omg I made this today and it is officially the best vegan pasta I’ve ever made. The pasta part reminds me of a baked alfredo ? I did make some changes: I used two slices of a small jalapeño pepper (definitely should’ve used more, but I was scared it would turn super spicy) instead of the canned chiles because I didn’t have any, and added around 3-5 tsp of glutinous rice flour (tapioca starch works too!) to thicken it quicker because I was impatient and hungry LOL (I still added the corn starch though)! I love how the nutritional yeast isn’t overpowering and adds a perfect amount of its flavor to the dish. Will deffffffinitely make again!! Thank you so muchhh ^_^

  96. Mary says

    In step four should I drain any excess water left from soaking the Cashews or should I blend that water with it?

    Can’t wait to try this recipe,
    Thanks so much!

  97. Kirstie Kimball says

    Holy shit. This is amazing. I doubled the spices, added 1/2 tbsp of chipotle and cayenne, because I love spice, and it’s so good.

  98. Erin says

    I can’t tolerate tree nuts, but I saw your recipe for nut-free “queso” and substituted that instead of making the cheese sauce in this recipe. (For anyone curious, a double batch did just fine for a pound of pasta.) The queso is delicious by itself, and it’s certainly delicious in this recipe!

    My husband is an omnivore, but I had him try this, as it’s one of our dinners this week. He could definitely tell that it wasn’t cheese, but it was a close enough facsimile (especially when you add the diced tomatoes and chiles from the queso recipe) that he’s excited to eat it. Happy to add both to our regular rotation!

  99. L says

    Such a delicious recipe I had to comment! I’ve made this at least 4 times already and have shared with family and friends. I always make a bit of extra sauce as I like my pasta really coated. My meat loving boyfriend also LOVES this dish and had no idea it was vegan.

  100. Ilona ecott says

    Hi Love the blog so much!

    Do you think you could bake this in the oven for a bit to make it crispy?

    Ilona :)

  101. Mallory Morales says

    Where are the instructions for the cashew cheese? This seems to be an important step in creating this recipe.

    Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! Step 4 has got you covered! Add onions and garlic to a blender with remaining ingredients, omitting the tortilla chips and adding only half of the green chilies. Blend until smooth, using the “liquify” setting if you have it to get it really smooth. Otherwise just blend for up to a minute, scraping down sides as necessary, until smooth and creamy.

  102. Kjersten says

    Made this for dinner tonight along with homemade guacamole, chips and salsa. It was very good! I do miss mac ‘n’ cheese and this isn’t the same – different than dairy mac ‘n’ cheese but very flavorful. My husband, two 16 year olds and 1 year old all had lots of “mmmmmm’s”. I did add extra chili powder, cumin, nutritional yeast, plus some salt, as my initial taste test proved it slightly bland for my tastes. I did also use the optional crush tortilla chips and cilantro (loooove cilantro). We will make this again. Thank you for the recipe!

    I do have a quick question. I’m curious why you didn’t
    Opt to use a nut milk such as almond milk or cashew milk in place of vegetable broth? I’m thinking the nut milk could add some additional creaminess?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! I have not tried making it with nut milk but if you give it a try, let me know how it goes! Nut milk would definitely add extra creaminess, but lacks the saltiness that vegetable broth has that makes this recipe just right! If you don’t have vegetable broth, you could also substitute for water with a little salt for taste!

  103. Julia says

    Thank you for my new favorite Minimalist Baker recipe! I made this last week and absolutely fell in love with how creamy and “cheesy” the sauce was- I even had lots of sauce left over for topping at the end, and for putting on left overs. I made this with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans, and I’m already looking forward to the next time I make it!

  104. Nicole says

    Hi Dana,

    Can almonds be substituted for cashews in a pinch?

    I made this a couple of times with cashews and it was great! I put it on quinoa (instead of pasta) with broccoli and bake it. It’s awesome.

    Thank you,
    Nicole

  105. Camila says

    This recipe sounds and look amazing! However, I do not have cornstarch at the moment, is there a susitute that will work just as well and not make the taste different?

  106. Joan says

    Hi. I’m new to your blog, and all the recipes I’ve tried have been awesome! Sadly, we tried this one last night and my husband was in charge of making it (maybe part of the problem?! ;-) ). The cashew “cheese” sauce was pretty grainy, and he said our traditional food processer didn’t make it smooth. I’m going to try this again to see if I have the magic touch because I want it to work! Any ideas on what else we’d need to do to help the texture?

    Thank you and keep up the awesome work!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Food processors don’t get these sauces creamy, unfortunately. You really need a high speed blender!

  107. Zoey says

    Hello :)
    I made this last night and it was so delicious! I love pasta! It’s a perfect comfort food. Plus it didn’t take long at all to make. I’ll be making it over and over again! Awesome recipe!! :)

  108. Trinity says

    My mother just tried to make this and both of noticed that it didn’t clearly explain to blend the cashews to make the cheese.
    She followed the directions and noticed that was missing and that is why her dish was not good.
    Maybe if possible you cam update the recipe.
    Thank you.

  109. Marsha says

    I made this before for my hubby whose favorite is mac and cheese, but he’s trying to be vegan now. He loved it!!!

    I made it without the tortilla chips last time, but want to try them next time. Aren’t they already salted and oiled and baked. Could just crushing them be enough?

  110. Charisse says

    Hi there how spicy is this recipe? I’d love to try it but my family and I don’t do well with spicy food. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      If you get mild green chilies it’s not too hot! And you can always cut back on them to reduce spice. Hope that helps!

  111. Trish says

    I’ve made a lot of vegan mac and cheese before, some good and some not so, some requiring a lot of steps and some easier. I’ve been on a mission to find a good recipe that my entire family enjoys. I have a 15 year old son that still loves mac and cheese although he’s not a vegan. The previous vegan ones I’ve made he’s eaten but hasn’t been a fan of them, until last night when I made your recipe! He devoured this and absolutely loved it! I have to say this was my favorite out of all the ones I’ve made. Not only was it super creamy and full of flavor, but it was incredibly quick to put together! I forgot to soak my cashews so while I prepared the onions and everything else I soaked the cashews in boiled water. Mission completed: No more scouring the web for a vegan mac and cheese recipe. This one is it! Thank you!!

  112. tami says

    where do you add the corn starch? i have looked at your instructions, but do not see where it says to add it? did i miss something?

  113. Jenny says

    I just made this for the first time. First time ever having mac and cheese. I had been thinking about it and looking forward to it all day. Came home in the evening and discovered I had but one garlic clove and no vegetable broth in the house!*

    And still it was: Amazing. Like every other recipe of yours that I’ve made.

    Thank you.

    * I just upped all the other spices, added some BBQ spice and dijon and lemon juice.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hey Natalie, I haven’t frozen or reheated this particular recipe but from my experience mac-n-cheese is best served fresh! Feel free to halve the recipe or if you do try freezing or refrigerating it, let us know how it turns out!

  114. letogogo says

    This turned out way creamier / cheesier than I expected – I was concerned about the stock base and almost used almond milk. I’m happy that I followed the recipe as it was, though. Really delicious.

    I followed others’ advice and added in some mustard powder and lemon juice. Also added in some turmeric for more color. AND the fake bacon bits (not healthy but vegan and so good).

  115. CheeseDaft says

    I used this as the basis for my first attempt at vegan mac & cheese. I’m a die hard cheese fan, not vegan, about 80% vegetarian on a good week (transitioning). I soaked cashews overnight, whizzed them up in a mini blender with a little soy milk, made a white sauce with veg oil, white flour (seasoned with white pepper, garlic powder and salt) and soy milk, then added nutritional yeast and the ground cashews. I loved it, creamy, cheesy, stick to the bones goodness. I sprayed it with a little truffle oil and chilli oil. Sadly the rest of my family were less impressed, but I’m happy to have a dairy free alternative to one of my favourite meals.

    White sauce tip from the late (& IMO great) Keith Floyd: hen making white sauce, there’s no need to fry the flour in oil then add the milk, you can add all three ingredients cold to a saucepan and bring to a simmer gently, stirring occasionally.

  116. Michelle says

    Adapted from my other favorite mac and cheese recipe, this dish is delicious! I’ve made it tons of times and it always turns out perfect (which I always know is going to happen with any of your recipes that I make). I’m having this for dinner again tonight, as a matter of fact, and I can’t wait…yum :)

  117. Q says

    I must have gone through a dozen mac and cheese recipes when I first went vegan, but as soon as I tried this one, I knew it was The One. My college roommate, who gamely tried all the rest too, agreed immediately- and she’s serious about her cheese. We must have made this recipe at least twice a month, and we always cleared out the entire pan in one sitting. I’ve made this dish for dozens of friends and family members, and I haven’t found anyone who doesn’t love it. I’ve tried out some vegan box mac and cheeses as they became available, since this does take a bit of planning with having to soak the cashews before-hand, but nothing has come close to this recipe’s texture and flavor! Hands-down one of my favorite recipes of all time, and always the one I go to when introducing someone to vegan food for the first time.

  118. Jessica says

    Does this warm up well? Asking because I am newly trying to go more plant-based with my diet and know that other cheesy dishes with real cheese, when homemade, tend to have a weird separation thing and are gross when warmed up.

    Thanks :)

  119. Johanna says

    I made this last night for dinner and WOW, best vegan Mac and cheese hands down! So simple to make too! Some modifications: I added garlic powder, sea salt, red pepper flakes, extra chili powder, and extra nutritional yeast to taste. This will be a staple recipe in my home! I think next time I’ll add some sautéed leafy greens. :)

  120. Aifric says

    It’s not mac and cheese weather but I was craving it yesterday and I’ve not yet found a vegan mac and cheese recipe that I really loved. A google search later and I found this gem. This recipe is amazing!!!! It tastes so good that I’m going to make it again today. I love creative cooking and this doesn’t sound like it would work but it really does.

  121. Kirstin says

    Ok I did something wrong with the cashews. The sauce was not creamy but liquid-y and chunky. I soaked the cashews for almost 24 hours! Is is because I refridgerated them when they were soaking?

  122. Beth says

    Made this but was hoping it would be like Mac and cheese, not Mexican Mac and cheese. Still was great and I’m sure I’ll make it again. However, does anyone know of a recipe that’s cream and Cheese tasting. Please help!

    • Aifric says

      I thought it was the closest to a real mac and cheese that I’ve tasted. I added nutmeg, which added a sweetness to the sauce and cut down on the chilli. Smoked paprika could be nice too but I’ve not tried it.

  123. Andrea says

    Made this recipe tonight and was above impressed with the flavor! The green chiles and cilantro really set it apart from other vegan mac and cheese I have made in the past. Will absolutely be making this again. Thank you so much for all of your delicious recipes. This is one of four that I made today to stock up for the week. I may never look elsewhere for delicious plant-based recipes!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Alexandra + Tina! Yes, we haven’t tried it, but roasted cashews should work for this! Although, cashews are most nutritious in their raw form. I would still soak them just to ensure they’re soft for blending! Hope this helps!

  124. Alyssa says

    Hi! Can i use a food processor for this? My blender isn’t the best for this kind of stuff. Cant wait to make it :)

  125. roxanne says

    Hello. I’m going to try and tackle this and another recipe of yours that calls for raw cashews. I have a large bag of roasted salted cashews. do you think i could soak the cashews to rinse off the salt & just use those?

  126. Courtney says

    OMGoodness!! I finally found a delicious vegan mac and cheese recipe..let me tell you, Pinterest is filled with horrible recipes! But this is amazing. My fiancé and I make this dish at least twice a week.. it makes you feel great, fills you up, and lets you feel like you are indulging in some real mac and cheese. When we are feeling naughty we add a little goat cheese to make it even creamier. All I have to say is thank you Dana, thank you! I cannot wait to try more of your recipes after being wowed by this one.
    -Courtney

  127. Kate says

    Hands down BEST Mac-n-cheese ever! This version is better than any Mac-n-cheese that’s not vegan!! It’s hard to believe that there isn’t any cheese in this delicious dish. I followed directions but added a dash of cayenne and garlic powder (plus the 3-4 cloves of fresh) to the recipe to give it a little extra kick. I baked the dish @ 500 for 15min just to brown the top. Added cilantro was lovely. It needed a little extra salt, but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. I will look forward to serving this dish to my non vegan friends just to see their reaction.

  128. Kplan says

    I’m confused. Step 5 says “add the cashew cheese” — but nowhere above do I see anything about cashew cheese. You mention to soak the cashews overnight, but nothing about cheese.

    BTW: soak raw cashews for 5 mins in hot water alleviates the need for soaking them overnight.

  129. Dannah says

    This recipe is perfect. First of all, it doesn’t taste strongly of nutritional yeast; unlike most vegan cheese sauce recipes, you can serve this to non vegans and they’ll eat it up. Literally. It’s kid-friendly. My toddler and one year old are stuffing their faces as I write this. The flavor is subtle, but delightful. I’m in love.

    I added a third tablespoon of nutritional yeast and I found that this batch of sauce was the perfect amount for a full pound of cavatappi pasta. Thanks so much for a truly wonderful recipe!

  130. Caroline says

    This was good! The only thing I would change next time is following the directions, haha, as I used more pasta than was called for (had a bigger box and wanted to use it up) so there wasn’t too much sauce to go around. But it was very good. My dad- who is not a vegan, and neither is anyone else in my family- said that was “great stuff” and that I should make it another time for the whole family.

    • Caroline says

      Now that I am eating this again (leftovers) I have realized that using more pasta and therefore having less sauce in comparison can also be really good. It is a very mild and comforting taste, and almost reminds me of the Amish noodles- buttered noodles with buttery crushed crackers on top- I used to eat before becoming vegan.
      So while I’ll definitely make this with more sauce in the future, I think many people might enjoy this lighter and very comforting version as well.

  131. Whitney says

    Thanks for the yummy recipe! I tried it the other night and thought it was awesome! I just added some salt, because I thought it needed a little something, and that did the trick. I also felt like the cilantro and tortilla chips were essential to making it so good. This will definitely be made many times in my household. Thanks!

  132. Emma says

    Oh my god. I was a little skeptical about this but thought I would give it a go and I’m so glad I did!

    I made a few minor changes: I didn’t use the chillies as I didn’t have any spare and instead of the ground spices I just used the equivalent amount of a season all mix by schwartz.

    Wow, I will definitely be making this again, it was so creamy and full of flavour, thanks for posting such a great recipe!

  133. Jennifer says

    Hi. This sounds yummy. We used a very sharp cheddar when I was growing up to make baked Mac & cheese. I am curious about why all the vegan M&C recipes I find call for nutritional yeast. What role does it play in the characteristic of the end product?

    I love cashews, but I seem to have inherited an unpleasant digestive issue if I consume many. I will just say that it’s a bit like the lactose intolerance symptoms and leave it at that. ;) I may try to make a roux as called for in the baked M&C of my youth, but use soy or almond milk and vegan cheese.

    Now that I am working toward eliminating dairy products (and other animal products) from my diet due to the cruelty involved, cheese has been probably the hardest to drop. I find so many legumes that are great (and healthy) meat replacements. Baby Bella mushrooms can also give a very satisfying flavor when boilednto make broth. It get a richness similar to beef broth, and is slightly nutty. Meanwhile, you don’t have saturated fat that beef would. It would be a good base for French Onion soup, with vegan cheese on top if desired.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Nutrition yeast is a staple in vegan mac n cheese sauces because it lends that yellow color and cheesy flavor!

  134. Bonnie says

    Little known in the United States…that 350 million Orthodox Christians around the World are vegan over 6 months a year for religious reasons (fasting). I look for recipes like this one for sharing with friends and family!
    I also live on a small Colorado farm with Chickens and goats. My daughter has adopted 6 children (their own bio daughter’s are young adults now) and goat cheese and milk, fresh eggs help a great deal. These are happy animals who run free! They are in the barn at night or during freezing weather only. Mother goats can be milked when mother goats are weaning babies because they become gorged. It’s a relief to be milked.

  135. Judy says

    I’ve made this many times and it is great. Just have a question, can this sauce be used for nachos also or would you change anything?

  136. Michelle says

    I just made this recipe and it turned out fabulous!!
    I did add extra green chilis for a little extra kick.
    My carnivorous children age 20 and 22 devoured this yummy dish ; )
    Thank you

  137. Gina says

    Hi,

    Not sure if you’ll get time to read and reply (also not sure if it’s been asked… Mobile phone scouring of comments is a chore in and of itself) but I was wondering if the green chillis would make this too hot for my youngin’s (the littlest one seems to dislike anything with too much kick… He’s only 16months so I’ll give him time). Or is there a replacement I could make for there’s (like take out their portion and add some other veg)?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    GCN

    • Emma says

      Hello,

      I just thought I would say that I made this without the chillies and it was delicious and still full of flavour! I’m sure you could replace them with something else but just not including them worked fine for me :)

  138. eva says

    was nervous to try this, as i had never attempted a vegan cheese sauce before, but it was soooo easy & good! added sambal oelek chili paste for a little kick <3

  139. Anne says

    I finally had a chance to make this, turned out to be super easy! Even my vegan-critical-BF loved this dish. He kept asking if I was sure this was vegan.
    I loved the spice, just the right amount. However, I started with half the recommended broth and that turned out to be enough for us. The creamier the better :)
    I can’t wait to make this mac and ‘cheese’ again when my vegan sister visits.

    Thanks for sharing!

      • Drew says

        I think he meant traditional pasta (made with egg yolks). All dried pasta you buy at the store does not contain eggs, just some kind of flour and water. Although most grocery stores sell “fresh” refrigerated pasta now which is yellow in color and does contain eggs.

  140. Chi says

    I made these again for visiting family and they loved EVERY SINGLE BITE!! It’s so delicious. My father in law (who isn’t vegan) said if I didn’t tell him this was vegan he wouldn’t have known. Gosh, you’re such a life-saver.

  141. Manon says

    I’m looking for a variation of nutritional yeast, i’d really like to try this recipe with every exact ingredients, but i’ve look for nutritional yeast everywhere, and my little town doesn’t carry it (really sad about it). So i was wondering if I can just put something else that will taste a bit like cheese but isn’t, i really want to keep this mac & cheese vegan! xox

  142. Sakura says

    I absolutely adore this recipe, it’s been a genuine life saver for me. I gave up dairy for both ethical and health reasons at the beginning of this year (I was previously vegetarian) and I will admit I was a real cheese addict. Most cheese substitutes don’t work at all for me, they just don’t hold a candle to the flavour of actual cheese, but this one is wonderful (though I admit I double the amount of nutritional yeast and add a spoon of wholegrain mustard for a stronger taste!). I love it so much that I actually use this sauce for multiple recipes that previously would have included cheese, such as a version using only 1/2 cup of water on homemade pizza to replace the cheese. It’s amazing and I love you for it.

  143. Mallory says

    This was excellent and very creamy! I omitted the chilis and tortilla chips and added salt, lemon juice and mustard seed to the sauce. It was so tasty and very very close to real mac n cheese. I will be making this for my non-vegan family members this Thanksgiving.

  144. Annie says

    I made this last night as my make/bake-new-vegan-nom-once-a-week tradition– it was sooooo good. Made so much I shared with a friend who lives in my building and he thought it was amazing and was surprised to learn it was vegan.
    I had to sub a few things I didn’t have on hand:
    Salted pasta water for veg broth
    Smoked paprika and cayenne for chili powder
    1 whole onion instead of half
    So creamy. So perfect.

  145. Christy says

    Hi there Dana! Can I ask what size Lodge skillet you always use? I’ve been wanting to get one and yours seems to fit all sorts of things perfectly! Thank you!

  146. Erin says

    Hi, My daughter has many food allergies. I have been looking for a mac and cheese recipe that is dairy free. Unfortunately, she’s also allergic to tree nuts as well as many other things. I know this may be a ridiculous question, but do you know if I can substitute the cashews with?

    Thank you!!!

  147. Kate says

    Dana,

    I need to cut out dairy and soy for breastfeeding my babe right now and this recipe was such a gem to find! My husband usually rolls his eyes when I make something “healthy” or vegan and he LOVED this. Excellent recipe.

    Thanks!

  148. Charlotte says

    I love this recipe!! Thank you so much, so tasty! For an extra boost I add in tofu frankfurters cut into small pieces.

  149. Katie says

    I was super skeptical about this recipe, but the picture looked delicious so I thought I would give it a try! I’m not vegan, but I do have an intolerance to dairy that I like to disregard, so I figured this would be a good recipe to cut down on dairy. This mac and cheese is awesome! It has tons of flavor and its super creamy! I omitted the green chilis because I’m terrible with spice, and used hot paprika instead to kick up the spice a bit and then just used more of the paprika, cumin, and chili powder and it came out perfect! Also, I didn’t use nutritional yeast because I couldn’t find it in the grocery store and it still tasted great! Awesome recipe!

  150. Regan says

    I made this for dinner last night and it was great! The green chilis add a little bit of a kick which was delightful. I added a little but of dijon mustard, lemon and salt to compliment and enhance the already delicious sauce.
    Whipped up some of your Pistachio and Almond ice cream post dinner – also fabulous.
    Quite the cashew filled evening….

  151. Ben says

    This was delicious! I just gave it a try about an hour ago. No changes necessary; delicious as-is. This was my first attempt at mac-n-“cheese” since going vegan and it was a simple, quick recipe that turned out fantastic. The added bonus is that I don’t have the after dinner sweats, which used to be a given with homemade mac-n-cheese. It’s so clean! Thank you

    • Ben says

      That’s too bad. Do you think you cooked the sauce long enough on low-heat? I’ve only made it once, but it seemed to come out right. It might be worth trying again and seeing if you have better luck.

  152. Janie says

    Wow! I just made this pasta recipe and love it. The creaminess is so much better than even I was expecting. Plus, it was SO SIMPLE and easy to whip together! I added roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts. As a college student, this is definitely going to become a staple recipe, since I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand anyway. Thank you!

  153. Laurel says

    I have a bunch of hatch chiles in my fridge that I’m dying to use. Any ideas on how to use them instead of the canned chiles without setting my mouth on fire? I can’t do anything beyond your typical medium salsa spiciness level, and I don’t have a scale, so volume measurements would be great!!

  154. Kristen says

    Welp, the family has asked for this AND your vegan dinner rolls(AHMAZINGGGG) for the second night in a row. Probably because they hate it…

    Thanks so much lady!!!! You’re behind the majority of our meals here in my home :)

  155. Satu says

    Having never eaten real american mac n cheese, I can’t compare this to the “real stuff”, but Oh My how creamy and delicious! We don’t have canned chilies here, at least not in my regular grocery store, so I used fresh ones. Yummy!

  156. Pros a says

    I’m severely allergic to nuts and I really want to try this. What can I replace the cashews with?

  157. Lekan says

    This recipe is so creamy, tasty, and filling. I don’t usually feel like that after eating mac and cheese. I was def worried eating a vegan mac and cheese for a meal but this was well worth it.

  158. Erin says

    Umm, WOAH. Let me preface this by saying I am not vegan. I LOVE MEAT. (I love vegan recipes because of the amazing creativity& added health benefits) By unfortunate luck, my mom doesn’t like cheese & my boyfriend is lactose (woe is me, I know). I tested this out on my mom tonight and she & I LOVED it. So much flavor!!! I subbed roasted yellow & red peppers since I forgot chile’s, loved the flavor it added. Putting it in regular rotation. Thank you! (I also made your black bean brownies the other day and cannot stop eating them)

  159. Libby says

    OMG love this idea- will be making a giant pot tonight

    You’re killing me with your spelling of Green Chile though :( The New Mexican in me is cringing!!!

  160. Alex B says

    This was amazing. For the sake of actual minimalism, I didn’t use the omniprocessed corn starch, I replaced it with arrowroot powder. I didn’t have chiles, so I just sauteed some fresh habaneros with the garlic and onion. I tossed a few green onions in while I was heating up the “cheese” sauce too. Very happy with this!!!

  161. Shawna says

    Hi!
    I don’t have canned chillis. I do have some fresh Serrano chillis. How many of those should I use? Earlier you mentioned that roasting them would improve the flavour so how long and at what temperature should they be roasted!
    Thanks for your help!

  162. Ginger says

    This curled my toes! I loved this recipe and made it for myself for my day after bday celebration! Sooo delicious! You guys are great! Thank you!!!

  163. Tams says

    I was so very skeptical that this would be good. Mostly because a week earlier I had tried a vegan Fettuccine Alfredo recipe (source shall go unnamed) that wasn’t the least bit convincing. You could have sealed drywall cracks with it.

    Oh me of little faith! Tested this out for some vegan-ish friends last night and was stupefied by the results. Tried it right out of the blender. Absolutely delicious. I took a few detours with the seasonings (I added garlic powder, half a chipotle pepper, some oregano and added some creamy refried pinto beans for a next level thickness and body) but I remained loyal to the rest and the final product was a showstopper. Not only did my friends enjoy it with gusto, but when my discerning meat-devouring fiancée returned home after work, tired and famished, he had one bite and could not stop until the rest was devoured. He had THIRDS. If there was any more remaining, he wouldn’t have stopped.

    So thank you, truly, for a spectacular recipe – one that will go into heavy rotation for many meals to come!

  164. Angie says

    Does it say somewhere how to make cashew cheese? Or could you tell me how long you soak it, and how to make it?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      the directions should be there. Simply soak your cashews overnight in cool water or for 1 hour in very hot water. then drain and proceed as instructed. good luck, angie!

  165. Jacque says

    This was great! I mixed it with frozen hash brown potatoes and baked it into a green chili has brown casserole. I too love Isa’s recipe and ended up adding a little bit of white miso for some tangy goodness. Thanks for a new family favorite!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Soak your cashews overnight in cool water, or top with boiling hot water and soak for 1 hour. Then drain thoroughly and you’re good to go!

  166. MPaula says

    Is it just me or do those pasta shapes seem tortured? Recipe looks great but I do not want to inflict danger on innocent pasta!

  167. Krystle says

    Thanks for the recipe. Made it this week for work lunches and it was delicious!! I’ve never attempted a vegan cheese sauce but I’m very impressed with the flavor!
    I added some blanched slivered almonds for the crunchy topping (Since I didn’t have chips).
    I think next time I’ll add Some jalapeno for an extra kick and chipotle pepper!

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  169. Simone says

    Just made this for lunch & loved it. Lots of flavour & as well as nice & creamy. Have tried lots of different recipes that have ranged from “yuck’ to “its not to bad”.
    Only made half a batch in case I didnt like it. Will definitely be making a full batch next time.

  170. Rica says

    Hi there.
    Thank you for this great recipe.
    I’ve been vegan for 5 months now and I absolutely love it. I have never made anything like vegan mac and cheese before, but it turned out great. The recipe was super easy and delicious.
    Both my non-vegan brother and mother loved it. I will definitely make this again :)
    Thank you!!

    Best wishes from Germany ;)

  171. Claire says

    What kind of blender do you use? I used my Cuisinart food processor and had the same problem as a few others. Thanks!

  172. Meiko Haushalter says

    Just a nitpick, but having lived in New Mexico for 20+ years…where the chile is the state vegetable. It’s green chile, not chilie or chili. Plural would be chiles. Chili is your classic Texas bean-and-meat stew (chili con carne).

  173. Celeste says

    I really want to make this, but we just found out our daughter is allergic to nuts (Especially cashews. I know, I’m devastated). Do you think sunflower seeds could work in place of the cashews?

      • Celeste says

        It was great! It worked perfectly and everyone loved it. I forgot to soak the sunflower seeds in time though so I just boiled them for about 30 minutes. I’ll probably make this more than once. Thank you!

  174. Olemarlese says

    Looking forward to making this tomorrow.
    I’m curious though, why did you leave out the miso paste used in isachandras?
    I find that it has a really cheasy flavor on it’s own (tastes like fondue) and the recipe could propably benefit from it.
    Just asking if there is a specific reason why I should avoid it?

  175. caitlin says

    I’m an enormous Minimalist Baker AND vegan mac fan, but this was just a big thumbs down. It was the kind of recipe where I blended everything and then kept returning to the recipe to see what I must have left out ’cause it had to be missing something to be as bland as it was. I’ve had enormous luck with mac recipes from The PPK and Isa Does It, so I’ll probably stick to those in order to save my cash in cashews.

  176. Sherry (BTLover2) says

    This was delicious! Every single recipe I have ever made from your site has been incredible! My Pinterest board is filled with your recipes. Every time I pin one, I laugh and think, “Of course it’s from Minimalist Baker!” The photos and the food — so darn fabulous!!

  177. Vicki Montague - The Free From Fairy says

    I am wondering if you need the nutritional yeast as I avoid yeast? Otherwise this looks like a wonderful recipe!

  178. Jacquie says

    Could I omit the green chiles? I know my fiancé won’t even try it if there is anything green! Can I add something else to still give it a spice/kick!?

  179. Alex says

    I was wondering why none of the vegan mac and cheese recipes I’ve tried had the right texture…it’s all about soaking the cashews! GENIUS.
    and the texture of this sauce is PERFECT.

  180. Emma says

    I made this today, and good lord was it wonderful! My non-vegan family ate it and all went back for seconds. I added the tortilla chips on top, and that combined with the green chilis had my sister calling it a “vegan Mexican bake” (I didn’t bother to tell her that it wasn’t actually baked; I’ll let her think I worked harder than I did). Definitely a winner, thank you!

  181. Lorissa says

    I just finished making this and it’s really great! Good flavor and texture. My 4 year old (who’s pretty picky) ate it up. Fantastic! Thanks so much for a delicious recipe!

  182. Felicia says

    Okay, this looks AMAZING and I want to try it immediately! Only, I have a problem.

    I want to make this for me and the bf, but I hate cashews and he can’t eat them. Is there another nut that could be substituted? Or maybe a mix of sometimes like another nut and mashed potato or something? I’d really love to make this.

    Thanks!

  183. Emily Rose says

    Hi, do you think it would also work with cashew meal instead of whole cashews (I have cashew meal already in the cupboard)? When making cheese sauces I usually have a hard time getting the cashew meal to smooth out and it ends up somewhat gritty which I don’t like, the taste is there just not the texture, although I haven’t tried blending it. What do you think? This recipe will be my next attempt by the way :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’m not sure, but it’s worth a shot! I’m sure it’s fine. Just don’t soak it for as long since it’s so fine. Then rinse it through a fine mesh strainer.

  184. Jess says

    I’ve been cooking more lately instead of just eating frozen meals. I wanted to try this out, but was unsure about my cooking abilities (and my itty bitty old blender). But I just made this, and it turned out fabulously tasty! And now I’m excited to find more recipes that use cashews as a substitute. Thanks y’all!

  185. Chioma says

    Love love this recipe! So simple, so cheesy, so good!! We’re making it again tonight….husband requested, so I know it’s just that good. Thanks Dana. I truly have a healthy obsession with your blog. ; )

  186. Stephanie says

    Is there any way to use cashew butter instead of soaking cashews over night? Don’t have a blender :(

  187. Kendell says

    I made this today, and it is amazing! Didn’t add the tortilla chips, though, which may be why I had to add quite a bit of salt to taste. I also served it wtih sriracha for some extra heat. Thank you for the awesome recipe!!

  188. Elizabeth says

    I’m allergic to yeast… are there any alternatives to the nutritional yeast that I can use? I saw that people have suggested using miso in other recipes, but I’m allergic to soy as well.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, just use a lot of spices. That’s the only thing I can think of. If I think of something else. I’ll let you know!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Diced green chilies typically come in a can in the Mexican section of most grocery stores. But you can also buy green chilies and roast them yourself :D

  189. Leslie says

    I have a dairy intolerance, and have been “cheese-free” for over a year now. I just wanted to say “thank you” – Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this recipe because – OMG – it totally satisfied that cheese craving I have had for the past year! I ate two huge plates of it – I was so full, I thought I would have to roll myself away from the table. It is honestly one of the best dishes – ever! I can’t stop talking about it. I even shared it on Facebook! The only thing is, I soaked too many cashews, so I am hoping I can save them for another recipe – and I also used too much pasta (12 oz instead of 10 oz) so it wasn’t as creamy looking as in your photos. But still – even my boyfriend who had been poo-pooing the recipe for a week (took me that long to convince him to let me make it) ate 3 plates and deemed it a winner. Thanks again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      haha, he was “poo pooing” the recipe. So funny! SO glad to hear you guys enjoyed this recipe. It’s literally one of my favorites to date! Thanks for sharing your experience. SO glad that it satisfied that deep down cheese craving you were having. Cheers!

  190. Phoebe Lapine @FeedMePhoebe says

    This looks fantastic-hopefully I’ll get a chance to test it out soon. :) Have you ever tried adding sweet potato/squash/pumpkin? I wonder if that would work, also.

  191. Michal says

    I swapped the veggie stock with a Thai culinary stock sold at Wegmans, and was out of cumin and subbed in curry powder. added salt to taste and it was amazing.

  192. Mia says

    Made this last night (it was my first time using cashews as a substitute) and LOVED it. It reheated well for lunch too! Thanks for giving me the push to try to get some vegan and GF recipes in my diet!

  193. sarah says

    I just made this and it is deeeeeeeelish. However, grainy like texture from the cashews even though it blended forever. They soaked for 8 hrs. I guess next time I will soak for a day.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, it may have something to do with the quality of your blender? Is it a high powered one? I’ve found Ninja’s specifically not to work too well with fine pureeing…Otherwise, maybe it just needed more liquid to help it go. Either way, glad you enjoyed the flavor!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yeah, ninjas – not sold on them. They’re great for a lot of things but not liquifying cashews. I also don’t like the way they make falafel and hummus.

          • Crystle says

            I had a problem with this due to my lazy ninja, too! Great flavor, poor cheese texture. My cashews soaked for a full day and I still got the runny/gritty texture.

            I’m currently priming my husband for a blender upgrade. Mama needs a vitamix!

    • Mo says

      I had the same issue with my cuisinart… Think it’s work noting my vegan friends all swear by their vitamix or super high speed blenders. My food processor sort of didn’t cut it. I was thinking to add turmeric to make this yellower too… But not sure if that would change the flavor.

  194. Marly says

    I had to come back to tell you something. I made this. It was the bomb! Well, we didn’t have green chiles, but otherwise followed it as written…which is really not like me at all. But there’s a first time for everything. Loved, loved, loved this. I should also tell you that I decided to make this in honor of a friend. She used to tell me stories about Mac & Cheese from her childhood days…and I would laugh. She was the coolest. Now I can’t have Mac & Cheese without thinking about her. She died recently and all of us who knew her are saddened by the loss. And I’m finding that when a friend dies it’s comforting to think about them. So we will be having a lot of Mac & Cheese for awhile. See? Sometimes it’s not just a recipe…it can be so much more.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      This made my day, Marly. Thanks so much for sharing! Especially the sentimental value it held in light of your friend’s passing. If you try it again, be sure to add the green chilies! I think it makes all the difference!

  195. Leslie - Definitely not Martha says

    This looks amazing. I love the idea of adding green chilies – I’m not vegan so I’m often a bit meh on vegan cheese sauce but I think the spice in this would be so good.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yeah, I think you’d like the sauce! i’m not huge on cashew sauces either. Also, I have a cashew-less queso sauce coming soon! Stay tuned :D

  196. Jennifer says

    This was awesome!! Kids (age 4 &6) gobbled it up. Great flavour! Will be adding this to our recipe collection for sure. My son can’t have wheat or dairy, and of course misses Mac and cheese. Thanks! Looking forward to trying your other recipes. :)
    Jennifer

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh that’s great to hear, Jennifer! So glad you and your family enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

  197. cyn says

    I´m wondering what exactly canned chili is? Is is just a plain diced jalapeño can? or is it something less spicy? I´m curious because I´m from Mexico, and that´s the only kind of chili you can find in a can, but I dont know if it sometimes tend to be too spicy.

    • Charles says

      I’m wondering this too. I have a 4oz can of jalapeños, but I want to make sure I’m not making the dish too spicy.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        It’ll make the dish spicy for sure. I’d use green chilis – they’re much milder than canned jalepenos in my experience. But if they’re all you have, use 1/4 to 1/2 the amount recommended.

        • cyn says

          thank you, I have actually never heard of this, I will make sure to look out for them in my next grocery trip…

  198. Laura says

    Dana, Do you have any suggestion on what you can replace the cashews with because of a nut allergy. Do you think sunflower or pumpkin seeds would work? This looks amazing! Thanks Laura

  199. Leigh says

    It’s been done. This graced our table last night it and it was fantastic! I felt my sauce colour was not as beautiful as yours though ~ not sure what I need to do to up the umph?

    I have tried butternut squash and pumpkin sauces but the sweetness changes things. Liquid smoke can help cut the sweetness and bring another level of flavour in case you want to try it!

    Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe it will definitely be made again and again…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! So glad you and your family enjoyed it, Leigh. I think for the slightly brighter color I added a pinch of paprika at the last moment (not for any flavor, mainly for photos). Thanks for sharing your experience! Hope you enjoy it again and again.

  200. Lisa | Je suis alimentageuse says

    OH MY GOD. THIS LOOKS AMAZING. I’m literally so hungry and I made the mistake of going through my blog reader around dinner time. I love how creamy that looks, and the addition of chilis makes my heart sing. I’m definitely going to have to try this. Great photos as usual!

  201. Katie @ Produce on Parade says

    Green chili mac and cheese?! OMG! You’re a genius. I’ve done cashew versions and sweet potato and butternut squash versions of mac and cheese. Have you tried the other two and if so, which is yours? I prefer the sweet potato version! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I haven’t tried other versions! But I was really pleased with this version. I don’t know if I’d like the sweetness of the sweet potato….but if you like it perhaps it’s worth a shot! Email me a recipe!

  202. sara says

    i am so excited to try this! i tried out a sweet potato vegan mac’n’cheeze (not fantastic) + another recipe ohdeardrea’s blog that i loved but this looks amazing too! thanks for sharing :)

  203. Tracy | Pale Yellow says

    Mac and cheese is my weakness and favorite comfort food! This dairy free version couldn’t have come sooner; every grocery trip I pass by the boxes of shells and cheese and will myself not to pick any up; this will be the perfect replacement!

  204. Finn says

    Awesome! I will cook this for sure! It looks amazing!
    Three questions tho. I’ve never heard of nutritional yeast. Do I really need it?
    What kind of broth do you use? Just some “powder” ? By soaking you mean just putting them in water? :D

    Keep up the good stuff :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would say yes, yo do need nutritional yeast. It’s what gives it that cheesy taste. I use a powder veggie broth that’s vegan/GF. And yes, by soaking I mean soaking them in water. Hope that helps!

  205. Shikha @ Shikha la mode says

    By the looks of it, I’d never be able to tell that it’s vegan. I love putting spicy things in anything (including chocolate) so loving the green chiles in it. Maybe some breadcrumbs on top to finish it off?

  206. Eileen says

    Well, this is now officially what I want to eat for lunch today. :) There definitely haven’t been enough green chile and creamy sauces on my plate!

  207. Steph T. says

    Made this last night and it was delicious!!! I definitely don’t think I could pass it off as real cheese to a non-vegan, but it was amazing nonetheless. It was more of a creamy alfredo, in my opinion. I ended up making my veggie broth more concentrated, to add more flavor (Orrington Farms broth base). Also added some frozen peas for some sweetness + an extra protein punch. Next time, we may even top it with a teaspoon of salsa. Great recipe, thank you!

  208. Mary says

    Have your photos always been on the site? I love that you added them/I found them! Prompted me to click and read more about you and I love how genuine your story is. I also am so encouraged to find others who try to live out what’s important in life, all the while being laid back and chill about it. So many people make assumptions about anyone who’s different these days.

    And thanks for always tackling these intimidating vegan recipes! I have never been disappointed and this mac looks awesome! The chili’s are a nice touch :) Can’t wait to try it!

  209. Katherine B says

    Yummm! One of my favorite recipes is for “mac’n’squash,” which uses a sauce from cashews, butternut squash, nooch, and seasonings, tossed with pasta and baked. Now I am sure I need to try this one!!! However, I like to call it something other than “mac’n’cheese” so non-vegans will recognize its true deliciousness instead of being stuck on the fact that it doesn’t taste exactly like cheese.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think this one does taste like cheese! It is notably different, but definitely close. Hope you give it a go, Katherine!

  210. Christina says

    Just made this–love how pantry-friendly it is! I upped the spices and it is extremely creamy and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  211. Maria says

    I just made this sauce without the green chilis because I forgot to buy them and my god, this is delicious!! I’m definitely going to be making this again.

  212. xan says

    Saw this and said to Husband, “Husband, this is what’s for dinner.”

    Followed the recipe, but felt it needed a bit more oomph in the flavor department. Husband said “umame”, I felt maybe some salt, and maybe some more chili … and maybe some chopped tomato. I ended up grinding in some African Smoky Spice mix from Trader Joe’s, and the tomato. Somehow, we have no leftovers (alas!) Next time, I think I’ll salt the pasta water. The pasta diluted the sauce too much, I think. Or maybe boil the pasta in the veggie broth, and then use it to make the sauce. Yeah. Next time could be pretty soon! Thanks for this!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for leaving such a helpful comment! So glad you played around and made it your own.

  213. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says

    Well, I very much enjoyed scrolling through all the beautiful pictures! ;-)
    Genius idea to make a vegan mac and cheese! So I guess it’s the nutritional yeast (UK Marmite? Australian Vegemite?) that makes it taste ‘cheesy’? Nice idea that I’d like to try!

    • VeganPunkgirl says

      Hi Helen – Marmite is not the same as nutritional yeast. It is far more bitter – nutritional yeast flakes have a slightly sweet nutty cheesey flavour. If you put in Marmite it will be more bitter and too salty. It is also not the same as what in the USA is called “brewer’s yeast” but looks a lot like it. Brewer’s yeast. In Australia and New Zealand, nutritional yeast is also called “savory yeast” or “savory yeast flakes”.

  214. Iosune | Minimal Eats says

    Wow! I’m a big fan of vegan cheese sauces, I need to try this recipe! It looks soooo amazing, and I love the idea of adding tortillas to make this mac and cheese more crunchy, yum!

  215. Jessica (bakecetera) says

    this is dinner tonight. thank you! this recipe looks great. and SO FAR AWAY from velvetta.

  216. V. says

    Being from Germany, I didn’t know about Mac’n’Cheese until I traveled to the US in 2006 for the first time. I don’t think I ever tried it either. But I love that there is a vegan take on it. I cannot eat dairy, so if I ever want to try Mac’n’Cheese, I’ll come back to this :)

  217. Medusa says

    Greetings! I just discovered your blog & it’s my new favorite! Looking over your various recipes, it’s evident that you MUST open a restaurant! I am not vegan, but I cannot tolerate dairy & there are very few good options out there. I would also like to eat less gluten & become vegan at some point. Cashews are so wonderful & in fact, I just finished eating some! Pecans are great too & blended (preferably in a Vita-Mix!) with banana, ice cubes & organic raw blue agave makes a most wonderful “ice cream”! Cheers!

  218. Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge) says

    So happy I have all the ingredients for this! Making it as we speak :) Love the idea of green chili in it!

  219. Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa says

    Yum yum yum! I’ve been seeing vegan mac and cheese using cashews everywhere lately but I think this chilli variation might just be the one that gets me to finally give it a try! Looks incredible!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      No, I say in a previous step to all onions, garlic and all remaining ingredients (including the cashews/excluding the tortilla chips) to a blender and blend to make the cashew cheese. So when I say cashew cheese, it’s an actual cheese sauce by that point. Hope that helps!

  220. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says

    This sounds fantastic! I only cook for myself, so I’m wondering if you know how it reheats. Should I just cut the recipe in half instead?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would say halve the recipe if it’s just you, although it does reheat pretty well. It doesn’t reheat like regular mac n cheese in that the sauce loses a bit of its texture/looks, but it still tastes good!

  221. Susan Pantle says

    What timing I am having barbequed ribs tonight & wanted to make mac-n-cheese with it! Cashews are soaking!

  222. Maryea {happy healthy mama} says

    I’m not going to lie, I have very fond memories of macaroni and cheese from my childhood. The Velveeta kind? My favorite. I do kind of cringe when I think about the ingredients now, but man, that stuff was good. I haven’t had it in years so it probably wouldn’t taste as good as I remember it, though. Anyway, this vegan mac and cheese looks lovely. I don’t think you can have too many versions of mac and cheese (real or vegan) in your arsenal!

  223. Kate @Almond Butter Binge says

    Just bought nutritional yeast for the first time yesterday — can’t wait to try this! Pretty sure I love cheese too much to be vegan (and I don’t have an intolerance), but maybe I can cut down with the help of sauces like this one! Thanks for sharing :)

      • Colleen McCauley says

        There are seriously soooo many vegan cheeses (cashew-based, soy-based, everything!) nowadays that at this point, you really don’t have to miss out on anything!

    • Grant Keller says

      Try some nooch toast.

      Toast some bread, butter one side and sprinkle with nutritional yeast (nooch). Put it under a broiler until the butter bubbles and the nooch darkens a little. I use margarine because I’m vegan and usually add a little garlic powder to the mix.

    • Mary says

      Since you’ve already got nutritional yeast in your pantry now… try it on popcorn with sea salt!!! And I used to have kitties, and when I put a spoonful into a bowl they’d lick it, then furiously clean their whiskers and paws, then eat more and furiously groom some more… and then their breath smelled like Cheerios. I always use it to enrich my ramen soup every evening. And it’s good on corn on the cob, after I moisten the corn with water or oil…. or white miso instead of salt entirely. Miso and nutritional yeast both have umami.