WOW. Talk about healthy comfort food! This vegan and gluten free baked mac and cheese tastes like the real deal…you would NEVER know it’s dairy free!
The creamy cauliflower mac and cheese sauce is out of this world, and super easy to make. The crunchy cracker topping is the best addition, making this taste just like the old school, homestyle baked mac and cheese.
I love these almond flour crackers for the crumb topping. They add the best healthy crunch- any of the flavors would be delish!
You can use spiral or penne noodles for this- personally I love the spirals! This baked mac brings out the little kid in me- no shame in my comfort food loving game. You guys know I’m all about the healthier pastas! I used a gluten free pasta, but you can of course use regular if you don’t need gluten free!
The best part about the vegan mac and cheese sauce is that it’s nut free, so no soaking of cashews required! It makes for a more affordable, easier meal to whip up for dinner. Yes please!
An important step is making sure your noodles are cooked to just al dente; for me this was 5 minutes but test your noodles to be sure! This ensures that the noodles don’t get mushy or fall apart, plus they will continue to cook a bit in the oven.
Once the sauce is mixed with the noodles, slowly add almond milk (or milk of choice) to get it thin enough to a mac and cheese consistency; this also helps it to not dry up in the oven.
I swear one bite of this dairy free/gluten free baked mac and cheese and you’ll be in heaven! Its truly one of my favorite recipes to date!
Be sure to leave a rating and comment below if you make this, and tag me on Instagram so I can see! xoPrint
Gluten free and vegan baked mac and cheese with a healthy cauliflower cheese sauce!
For the mac and cheese sauce:
- 2 tbsp ghee, butter, or vegan butter
- 1/2 of a yellow or white onion, finely diced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2–3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Plain unsweetened dairy free milk as needed, up to 1/3 cup
For the pasta:
- 1 lb gluten free spiral or penne pasta (sub regular if gf not necessary)
- ~1/4 cup cracker crumbs (measure after crushing), I use these
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
- Preheat oven to 350°F and set out a medium baking dish.
- Start by making the sauce. Heat a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Once hot, add ghee or butter and stir in onions. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in minced garlic and allow to cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in cauliflower.
- Add the vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and pepper to the pot and give everything a good stir. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is fork tender, about 10-12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook your pasta to al dente; about 3 minutes less than suggested on box, for me this was 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcook!
- When cauliflower is soft, remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Carefully add everything from the pot for the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Mix the sauce with the pasta in your baking dish, adding dairy free milk as needed to thin the sauce to desired consistency, up to 1/3 cup.
- Sprinkle crushed crackers over the top and thyme leaves, then bake for 15 minutes. Broil for 1-3 minutes to crisp the crackers, but be careful not to burn. Serve and enjoy!