Vegan Mac and Cheese
Don't skip the smoked paprika in this vegan mac and cheese - it adds wonderful depth of flavor to the sauce. It's also in the yummy crispy topping, which makes this dish full of satisfying creamy/crunchy texture.
Recipe type: Main dish
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup earth balance vegan butter (or regular butter)
  • ¼ cup flour (I used spelt)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (not regular baking yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • ¼ to 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (to taste), plus a little more on top
  • 8-12 oz elbow pasta, I used this brown rice brand
  • 1 to 2 cups pasta water, use a little at a time
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Sea salt & fresh black pepper
Crusty topping:
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped pine nuts
  • Pinch of cayenne & smoked paprika
  • Drizzle of olive oil on top before baking
  • Sea salt & fresh black pepper
  1. Heat the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions, a few pinches of salt, and simmer until translucent (about 5 minutes). Next, add the flour and whisk to thicken. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes on medium-low.
  2. Squeeze in a good amount of lemon juice and stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, tomato paste, turmeric, paprika, and a few more pinches of salt. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your pasta.
  3. Optional step - transfer the sauce to a blender and blend to make it really creamy.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings. In a large bowl, stir together the cooked pasta, some of the sauce, and the peas. Stir in pasta water as needed to thin the sauce. You can stop here and serve this now if you like, or continue on to bake it.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place everything in a baking dish, add more pasta water and possibly more sauce. This will dry out a little while baking so make sure it's really creamy first. Add the breadcrumbs, panko, a little more salt, cayenne, and paprika on top. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and bake for 8-10 minutes, just until the crust starts to become golden brown. Serve with extra sauce.
Recipe by Love and Lemons at