Vegan, Gluten-Free Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

vegan macaroni and cheese

I know. Carbs are bad. Pasta? Shame on me, right? But when you take the classic macaroni and cheese recipe and omit the milk, butter and cheese for a much healthier vegan cheese sauce, a few noodles won’t kill you.

The Blue Box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was my absolute favorite as a kid. Strange, because I didn’t really like cheese, butter or milk by themselves. I’m guessing there was some sort of addictive chemical in the artificial coloring.

As a vegan, I never really liked the faux cheese much, either. It smells weird and has a strange texture. But I am a huge fan of nutritional yeast, which just so happens to make the easiest and most delicious vegan macaroni and cheese recipe around. Add in gluten-free noodles and some sautéed kale, and well, like I said, suddenly the noodles don’t seem so indulgent.

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Makes six servings


1 lb gluten-free noodles like Tinkyada brown rice macaroni
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup warm water (take it from your cooking pasta water)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped* optional
1 teaspoon gluten-free Tamari sauce
salt and pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and follow the package instructions for cooking the noodles.

While the noodles are cooking, sauté the kale in one tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook over medium heat until the kale is soft and bright green. Add tamari, mix well and remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix the nutritional yeast with the warm water—adding slowly so that you get the desired consistency you like for your cheese sauce. You can add more than one cup if needed, or less, if you like it thicker. Add the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. (I recommend a lot of fresh pepper.)

Once the noodles are cooked, toss well, adding the chopped kale. Enjoy!

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.