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Vegan wheels and cheese in a bowl

Nut-Free Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Rich, creamy, and lush, this easy yet decadent Vegan Mac and Cheese is for cheese lovers. This cheese sauce is good on any pasta and nut-free!




  • 1 pound pasta of choice (use Gluten-Free if needed)

Nut-Free Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 14.5 oz can coconut milk (see note 1)
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds (see note 2)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tbsp chickpea miso paste (regular miso OK if you eat soy)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or other, optional)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Cook pasta: So start your pasta water before anything else. I recommend salting your pasta water for better flavor, but that’s up to you. Cook your pasta according to package instructions, and drain when finished but do not rinse.
  2. Blend: So to make the nut-free vegan cheese sauce, literally all you do is throw the ingredients in the blender and blend them until smooth. Taste it and adjust if needed.
  3. Heat: Once the pasta is done and in a colander, throw the sauce into the empty pot you used for the pasta and heat it over medium low until heated through. (Note, if you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix you may be able to just add it straight to the pasta, since you can heat it up in the blender itself.)
  4. Combine: Add the pasta back in, give it a good stir, and serve!
  5. Pairing suggestion: This vegan nut-free mac and cheese goes great with roasted or air-fried broccoli, or any other veggie too. Sometimes I throw in roasted seasoned chickpeas.
  6. Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You can freeze the cheese sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.


  • Note 1: To replace either the coconut milk or the sunflower seeds, you could absolutely use cashews or cashew butter. 
  • Note 2: For a lower fat option, try going half coconut milk, half non-dairy milk (unsweetened) of your choice. For even lower fat, try tofu or white beans and non-dairy milk to blend. Keep in mind the sauce won’t be as rich, but if you’re looking for a lower fat option, this is a good way to go.
  • Note 3: Use any pasta you like. We used this wagon wheel pasta but any will work. Recommend gluten-free if you can’t have gluten. For more protein, try a lentil or bean based pasta like Banza. I really do love Banza.
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Can Be Sugar Free, Nut-Free Vegan Mac and Cheese