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Vegan Baked White Cheddar Bacon Mac in a white baking dish

Vegan White Cheddar Mac Bake with Mushroom Bacon

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This cheesy, creamy Vegan White Cheddar Mac Bake is what dinner dreams are made of! Delicious, rich, satisfying and great for picky eaters.




  • 1 pound pasta of choice, gluten-free if needed
  • 3 tbsp bread crumbs or panko (Use GF versions as need) + 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast, optional for crunchy topping

White Cheddar Cheese Sauce

  • 1.5 16-oz blocks of firm tofu (about 594g total) (see note 1)
  • 1 14-oz can regular coconut milk (see note 2)
  • 1/2 cup unfortified nutritional yeast (see note 3)
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tsp yellow or white miso paste (or sub chickpea miso)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour, optional

Mushroom Bacon, optional

  • 16 oz mushrooms (white, crimini, or portobello)
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (use tamari if gluten-free)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (link) or smoked paprika


  1. Make the pasta, following the instructions on the package of pasta you are using. 
  2. You can make the sauce while your pasta is cooking. Add all the cheese ingredients to your blender and combine until smooth and creamy. TIP: If you’d like to make your cheese extra gooey, add a quarter cup of tapioca starch or flour (same thing) to the blending liquid, and cook it stove-top like I do in my vegan mozzarella recipe. Then just mix it in--this is optional.

Making the Mushroom Bacon

  1. If you’d like to make the mushroom bacon, you can do that now too. Slice your mushrooms and mix the marinade in a small bowl. Toss them in the marinade a few times, and then add the mushrooms and marinade to a preheated nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Now cook them down for 10-15 minutes. Any time the liquid completely evaporates, deglaze the pan with 2-3 tablespoons of water and stir. The mushrooms should shrink to less than half their size and get very brown and delicious. Look at how gorgeous those are--like earthy candy.
  3. You could totally stop right here and enjoy as is. Mix the pasta with the sauce, add the mushroom bacon if using, and serve it up!

Baking the Vegan Mac and Cheese

  1. If you’d like to bake it, pack the mixture into a deep baking dish and sprinkle the top with bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, or a mixture of panko and nutritional yeast like I did. I used 3 tablespoons of panko with 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Bake the mac at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 205 degrees Celsius) for 15-20 minutes or until the top has started to brown. Dig in and enjoy! 
  2. Leftovers--if you have any--should last up to 5 days in an airtight container, stored in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that most pasta is best the first night or two.


  • Note 1: I used firm tofu for this recipe, but other varieties will work. If you go with a firmer tofu, you may need to add a little more liquid. Similarly, if you go with a softer tofu, add less liquid. If you use silken tofu, you probably don’t need to add any liquid (if you want a fat in there, go with solid coconut cream, cashews, or seeds). To replace the tofu completely, you could use white beans, soaked cashews, or soaked sunflower seeds.
  • Note 2: I couldn’t taste the coconut at all in this recipe, probably because the miso and spices are much more flavorful. However, you’re welcome to replace this with nuts or seeds. If you’d like a lower fat option, just replace it with any unsweetened non-dairy milk. Use a little less, until you get the consistency you like. Note that some plant milks like almond are a little thin.
  • Note 3: Like I mentioned above, unfortified nutritional yeast is what I used to keep the white cheddar color but add lots of nice cheesiness. Fortified nutritional yeast will work fine too. If you’d like to omit nutritional yeast completely, increase the seasoning and miso paste a bit. Though if you’re doing this because you didn’t like nutritional yeast, I’d still recommend trying it.  If you happened to try nutritional yeast just sprinkled on something, that’s a stronger flavor that some people don’t like. I prefer to mix it into sauces so that other flavors can work together with it, making it a great overall cheese flavor.
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American