Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese with Peas – one of the most ultimate comfort foods enhanced with sweet, tender green peas!
Creamy, delicious and ready in 30 minutes, this homemade vegan mac and cheese is a perfect recipe for the weeknight meal rotation. And leftovers hold up well when refrigerated, making for great make ahead lunch ideas too!
It’s completely dairy free, well-rounded, and full of wholesome plant-based ingredients. Both comforting and hearty, the whole family will love this mac and cheese!
Ingredients for Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese
The ingredients are simple, you may already have most of the them on hand in your pantry!
Pasta: I used elbow pasta here as it’s a classic mac and cheese pasta, but feel free to use your favorite style pasta – shells, penne, campanelle, rotini, rigatoni or fusilli work well.
Peas: The peas I used here were frozen, but fresh would be great too! They will cook right along with the pasta, making this super easy!
Cheese Sauce: The base of the sauce is raw cashews. You can soak the cashews, but often times I skip this step with no ill effects. A few added spices like garlic and onion powder will add flavor. The addition of either mellow miso paste or dijon mustard will add even more depth and flavor, both are great! You’ll find cornstarch or arrowroot in the ingredients too, which will help maintain an ultra creamy conistency, but if you dont have it on hand it’ll still be great.
How To Make The Cashew Cheese Sauce
Simply add the cashews, miso/dijon, cornstarch, garlic, onion powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper and hot water to a small handheld blender or high speed blender, and puree until creamy, about 1 minute. That’s it, so easy!
I love using my personal blender, NutriBullet, for jobs like this. It’s compact, and does a great job whipping up cashew creams!
How to Make Vegan Mac and Cheese
Making homemade vegan mac and cheese is easy as can be!
- Cook the pasta and peas together.
- While pasta is cooking, make the vegan cashew cheese sauce.
- Add the bechamel sauce to the pasta and peas, stir and enjoy!
How to Re-Heat Mac and Cheese
- Before heating, add a splash of water or milk, which will loosen up the warmed cheese sauce, creating just about the same creamy consistency as when it was freshly made.
- Re-heat mac and cheese over low heat on the stovetop, or in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds.
More Vegan Mac & Cheese Inspiration
Because you can never have too many mac and cheese options. Try these other creamy pasta dishes, some are cashew based and some are made using a roux of oil and flour with non-dairy milk. You just may find a new favorite for the meal rotation!
EASY VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE WITH PEAS
Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese with Peas, one of the most ultimate comfort foods enhanced with sweet, tender green peas! No dairy and ready in 30 minutes!
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6 - 8
- Category: Entree, Pasta
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 16 oz. package (454g) pasta
- 16 oz. package (454g) fresh or frozen peas
Cashew Cheese Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) raw cashews, (see notes *)
- just shy of 2 cups (450ml) very warm/hot water
- 1/4 cup (10g) nutritional yeast, optional
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons white miso paste or 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- juice of 1/2 lemon or 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mineral salt, or to taste
- black pepper, to taste
Pasta & Peas: In a large pot, add water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, add the peas with the pasta to cook. Pasta should be al dente or just fork tender.
Sauce: Add the cashew sauce ingredients to a personal blender or high-speed blender, blend until creamy, about 1 minute.
Assemble: Once pasta and peas have been drained, add back to the pot they were cooked in and add the cashew cheese sauce overtop, stir to combine.
Serves 6 – 8
*Two ways to soak cashews: Soak in cool water for 2 – 3 hours OR soak in very hot water for 5 minutes. Drain cashews and rinse before using. I usually skip this step but it is beneficial for digestion and to aid in better nutrient absorption.
You can omit the cornstartch/arrowroot, but it does help keep the cheese sauce ultra creamy.
Salt – This is more than I would usually call for, but it’s best with a good amount of salt to really bring out the flavors. Feel free to adjust the amount, you can always cut the amount in half, adding more later as needed.