Creamy Avocado Mac and Cheese (Vegan)

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This creamy vegan avocado mac and cheese recipe is healthy and easy to customize. Made with ingredients like avocado, cashews, and nutritional yeast, this dish works well as a side or dinner entrée.

Avocado Mac and Cheese
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Thanks to this Avocado Mac and Cheese, you can enjoy a classic dish with a dairy-free and vegan twist.

Made with ingredients like avocado, cashews, nutritional yeast, and non-dairy milk, this recipe is nutritious and easy to customize. It’s also a lighter alternative to traditional macaroni and cheese, despite its rich and creamy texture.

To serve Avocado Mac and Cheese as a side, pair it with Vegan Meatloaf or Carrot Hot Dogs. You can also serve it as an entrée topped with Coconut Bacon, Vegan Parmesan, or steamed veggies for a delicious meal.

Key Ingredients

  • Avocado. Ripe avocado makes this sauce creamy and tasty. If you need tips on preparing things ingredient, check out our tutorial on how to cut an avocado.
  • Raw cashews. The fats in cashews also give the sauce a creamy texture. They’re packed with protein and fiber, too.
  • Nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast, also known as “nooch,” gives the sauce a cheesy flavor. I used this nutritional yeast.
  • Non-dairy milk. Be sure to use unflavored milk, rather than sweetened or vanilla milk.
  • Pasta. Use your favorite pasta. If you eat gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free version.

How to Make Avocado Mac and Cheese

Ready in just 30 minutes, this dish is perfect if you’re looking for a quick meal. All you need to do is soak the cashews, blend the sauce, and cook the pasta. For the full, printable recipe, see the recipe card at the end of this post. Here’s how to make Avocado Mac and Cheese:

  1. Place the cashews in a heat-safe container or bowl. Add hot water, completely submerging the nuts. Let soak for at least 15 minutes.
  2. While the cashews are soaking, prepare the pasta according to the package’s directions. If you’d like, save the pasta water for the sauce.
  3. In a blender, combine the soaked cashews, onion, avocado, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and spices. Don’t add the milk or pasta water just yet.
  4. Blend the sauce ingredients, slowly adding the milk or pasta water until smooth. Pause to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  5. Combine the sauce and cooked pasta, gently reheating the mixture over low-medium heat.
  6. Toss until combined, then serve. Garnish with dried parsley, black pepper, or paprika.

Recipe Tips, Variations, and Substitutions

  • Scrape the blender regularly. As you puree the ingredients, pause as needed to scrape down the sides. This ensures all the ingredients are thoroughly and evenly blended.
  • Don’t have non-dairy milk? Use vegetable broth or the leftover water from the cashews or pasta.
  • Add vegetable or protein. To round out this dish, add vegetables or plant protein.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I store leftover Avocado Mac and Cheese?

Yes, but the dish is best eaten immediately. The sauce will eventually brown, as avocado becomes discolored once it’s exposed to air. If you must store leftover Avocado Mac and Cheese, store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Eat it within 1 or 2 days. The dish will still be okay to eat during this time.

Can Avocado Mac and Cheese be frozen?

Avocado Mac and Cheese won’t freeze well. The thawing process will make the sauce watery. Plus, the avocado in the sauce will turn brown, making the pasta discolored.

Can I make Avocado Mac and Cheese in advance?

It’s best to serve this dish once it’s made. The longer it sits, the more the avocado will turn brown.

Serving Suggestions

To elevate the flavor of your Avocado Mac and Cheese, garnish the dish with the following toppings:

  • Coconut Bacon – Turn coconut flakes into crunchy and smoky vegan bacon bits.
  • Shiitake Mushroom Bacon – This bacon option has a delicious meaty texture.
  • Vegan Parmesan – Make vegan grated Parmesan cheese with cashews, walnuts, or hemp seeds.
  • BBQ Sauce – Drizzle homemade vegan BBQ sauce on top for a tangy twist.

Avocado Mac and Cheese

Creamy Avocado Mac and Cheese

This creamy avocado mac and cheese recipe is healthy and easy to customize. Made with ingredients like avocado, cashews, and nutritional yeast, this dish works well as a side or dinner entrée.
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: avocado, macaroni and cheese, vegan, vegan macaroni and cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta of choice
  • 1 cup raw cashews unsalted and unroasted
  • 1/4 cup white onion diced
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/4 cups plain non-dairy milk or pasta water
  • Hot water

Instructions

  • Place the cashews in a heat-safe container. Add hot water, completely submerging the nuts. Let soak for at least 15 minutes.
  • While the cashews are soaking, prepare the pasta according to the package's directions. If you'd like, save the pasta water for the sauce.
  • In a blender, combine the soaked cashews, onion, avocado, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and spices. Don't add the milk or pasta water just yet.
  • Blend the sauce ingredients, slowly adding the milk or pasta water until smooth. Pause to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  • Combine the sauce and cooked pasta, gently reheating the mixture over low-medium heat. Toss until combined, then serve. Garnish with dried parsley, black pepper, or paprika.

Notes

  • To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.
  • You can substitute the non-dairy milk with pasta water, cashew water, or vegetable broth.
  • When blending the sauce, you might need slightly more or less than 1 1/4 cups of milk. This depends on your desired consistency.
  • You can substitute the non-dairy milk with pasta water, cashew water, or vegetable broth.
  • Since avocado browns when it’s exposed to the air, this dish is best enjoyed immediately. Otherwise, the sauce will turn brown over time.
  • Nutritional information for this recipe is a rough estimate automatically calculated by the Spoonacular food database and does not include optional ingredients. 

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Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 924mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 672IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!

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