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Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese with Peas

Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese with Peas is one of the best ultimate comfort foods enhanced with sweet, tender green peas!

homemade vegan mac and cheese with peas in a bowl

Why We Love This Recipe!

It’s quick + easy! Creamy, delicious, and ready in 30 minutes, this homemade vegan mac and cheese with peas is a perfect recipe for the weeknight meal rotation. 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 plant-based mac and cheese!

top down, up close view of vegan mac and cheese with peas

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients are simple, and you may already have most of them on hand in your pantry!

  • Pasta: I used elbow pasta here – it’s a classic mac and cheese pasta, but feel free to use your favorite style of 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 I often 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, which will help maintain an ultra-creamy consistency, but if you don’t have it on hand, it’ll still be great.
side by side photos showing the process of making cashew cheese base for mac and cheese.

How To Make Vegan Cheese Sauce

To make the vegan 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 – it’s so easy!

top down view showing the process of making easy vegan mac and cheese with peas.

How to Make Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Making homemade vegan mac and cheese is as easy as can be!

  1. Cook the pasta and peas together.
  2. While pasta is cooking, make the vegan cashew cheese sauce.
  3. Add the bechamel sauce to the pasta and peas, stir, and enjoy!

And that’s it, my mac & cheese-loving friends – no fuss, easy, peasy mac & cheese the whole family will love!

Tips For Success!

  • Equipment: I love using my personal blender NutriBullet, (<affiliate link) for jobs like this. It’s compact and does a great job whipping up cashew creams. Seriously, it’s the best!
  • Soak the cashews before blending. For an ultra-creamy cheese sauce, soak the cashews in hot water for 5 – 10 minutes, then drain. This will help soften them, making them easier to blend into a creamy consistency.

top down view of vegan mac and cheese with peas in a pot with wooden spoon.

How To Store Leftovers

If you manage to have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator for 6 – 7 days in an airtight container. For longer storage, vegan mac and cheese can be kept in the freezer for 2 – 3 months using freezer-safe containers (affiliate link).

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.
  • Reheat mac and cheese over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.

More Cheesy Vegan Recipes!

Because you can never have too many mac and cheese options, try these other creamy pasta dishes. Some are cashew-based, while others use a roux of oil and flour with non-dairy milk. You may find a new favorite for the meal rotation!

top down view of a bowl with a serving of easy vegan mac and cheese with peas.

If you make this easy mac and cheese recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

EASY VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE WITH PEAS

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 12 reviews

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!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 – 8 1x
  • Category: Entree, Pasta
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 16 oz. package pasta (small pasta)
  • 16 oz. package peas (fresh, canned, or frozen)

Cashew Cheese Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (see notes *)
  • just shy of 2 cups very warm/hot water
  • 1/4 cup 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

Instructions

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

Notes

*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.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I used my NutriBullet for making the cashew cheese base (affiliate links). It’s compact, easy to clean and is great for small jobs like this!

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16 Comments

  1. This is such a delicious, easy and simple recipe.






  2. Hi this was so delicious!! I plan to make this more often as an easy yummy weeknight dinner. Does this freeze well?






    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, it does freeze well! When reheating, you may need to add a little non-dairy milk or water to bring back its creaminess as it may dry out from being chilled.

  3. I use to make a creamy, cheesy, buttery pasta with peas before I was vegan. This is almost identical and I’m so pleased to have found a substitute for that old standby.






  4. Loved this recipe, so easy and delicious!






  5. This is the first of your recipes that I’ve tried and we loved it. No faff, quick family dinner. The sauce seemed quite thin at first, and I thought I had added too much water but once stirred through the pasta in the warm pan, it became thicker and creamy. This is going to be a go-to recipe. I loved your helpful recipe notes and the instructions were really clear. Looking forward to exploring more of your recipes.






  6. My favorite vegan Mac and cheese! After the first couple times of making it I ended up replacing half of the cashews with white beans to make it a little less rich. I also use both the miso and Dijon to add a bit more flavor. Thank you for the great recipe!






    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Carroll! I love the idea of using beans to offset the fatty cashews, sounds perfect!

  7. This is a WONDERFUL Recipe the grand girls LOVE it and it is so EASY to make! Thank you it is a real keeper!!
    MAke this over and over again – a go to recipe for sure!






  8. So good! My picky kids loved this. Next time I’m going to try chopped broccoli instead of peas. Thanks for the recipe!






  9. What can I use instead of corn starch?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Oops, I forgot to add that, you can use arrowroot. You can also omit this ingredient, but it does keep it ultra creamy!

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