This is the best dairy free mac and cheese recipe! So creamy and rich, and it's ready in just 5 minutes. This cheese sauce is made with carrots, cashews, coconut milk and nutritional yeast. Not only is this cheese sauce dairy free but it's also gluten free, vegan, paleo and Whole30 compliant.
Why you will love this recipe:
- Move over Amy's, Daiya and Trader Joe's. This is the best dairy free Mac and cheese recipe!
- It's so easy to make and the sauce is ready in less than 5 minutes.
- The dairy free cheese sauce in this recipe is so thick and creamy and delicious.
- Not only is this vegan Mac and cheese dairy free but the sauce is also gluten free, lactose free, paleo, plant based and Whole30 compliant.
- This Mac and cheese makes great leftovers.
- This is a healthy version of the classic dish we all know and love.
- it's made with carrots, cashews, coconut milk and nutritional yeast.
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Carrots - carrots not only add a healthy vegetable to this plant based cheese sauce, but they also help give this Mac and cheese a beautiful orange color, just without any cheese!
- Coconut milk - full fat coconut milk gives this lactose free Mac and cheese such a rich and creamy flavour, while keeping it dairy milk free. Be sure to use full fat and not low fat coconut milk for the best flavour. You could swap this for cashew milk or almond milk.
- Cashews - raw cashews are such a great substitute for milk in dairy free recipes. They blend beautifully to give this milk free cheese sauce the most delicious creamy texture. I have not tried swapping cashews with any other nuts or making this recipe nut free, and I do not recommend trying it.
- Nutritional yeast - nutritional yeast is used to give this sauce a cheesy flavour, without any cheese or dairy.
How to make this recipe:
First, make your pasta as per the instructions on the package.
While the pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce by placing all the ingredients into your high speed blender and blending well until smooth.
Once the pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse it and pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and stir it well to coat the noodles in the sauce. Then serve and enjoy!
Tips and variations:
- Turn this into a complete meal by adding cooked chicken, tofu, pork or beef.
- If you don't have a Vitamix blender you will likely need to soak the cashews for a few hours before blending.
- Add some vegetables such as cooked broccoli or cauliflower for some extra vitamins and minerals!
- If you can't have coconut milk, I would try substituting cashew milk or almond milk instead.
- If you like a thinner sauce, add a bit more water or coconut milk to the recipe.
- The carrots in the sauce are used to give this vegan cheese sauce a nice orange color.
- To make this Mac and cheese paleo: use noodles that are grain free. Some options include zucchini noodles, carrot noodles, sweet potato noodles or these heart of palm noodles.
- To make this into Whole30 Mac and cheese: Use vegetable noodles. Options include carrot noodles, sweet potato noodles, parsnip noodles or zucchini noodles. These noodles made from heart of palm would also work!
How to store:
Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Frequently asked questions:
Instead of dairy milk you can make Mac and cheese with coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk or oat milk. This will give the sauce a nice and creamy texture while keeping it dairy free and lactose free.
No. Velveeta cheese is made with modified milk ingredients as well as cheese so it is not dairy free or lactose free. It is also not vegan as it contain animal products.
No. Kraft Mac and cheese contains whey and milk fat so it is not dairy free or lactose free. Because it contains animals products it is also not vegan.
No. Annie's Mac and cheese contains cheese, milk, whey, butter and cream meaning it is not dairy free or lactose free. It is also not vegan as it is made with animal products.
Yes! As long as you use gluten free noodles this Mac n cheese recipe is gluten free and dairy free.
Other dairy free recipes you will love:
- Paleo Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli
- Mexican Cauliflower Rice with Shrimp
- Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- Whole30 Meatloaf with Blueberries
- Teriyaki Vegetable Stir Fry
Since you made it this far we are basically best friends so be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and Facebook where I share even more recipes and healthy living tips! And don’t forget to leave this recipe a star review before you go!
Dairy Free Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz pasta of choice
- Prepare the pasta as per the instructions on the package (while the pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce).
Cheese Sauce Instructions
- Place all the ingredients into your high speed blender.
- Blend well until smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and stir well to combine and coat all the noodles.
- Serve and enjoy!
- If you like a thinner sauce feel free to add extra water or coconut milk.
- You can substitute cashew milk or almond milk for the coconut milk.
- Nutritional values are an estimate and will vary depending on the exact ingredients used.