Like most college students, I can be quite a couch potato. But the one thing I love more than lounging around all day in my sweatpants and watching Netflix is comfort food. In order to avoid the dreaded “Freshman 15,” I try to make smarter choices when whipping up carb-loaded, buttery meals. Enter: The Easy Vegan mac and cheese.

This meal is quick and easy for us lazy bones, but it’s also warm and creamy and reminds me of my mom’s cooking. With the addition of veggies and cashews sneakily hidden in this sauce, I feel like I can eat an entire pot of this and not feel guilty (okay, well, maybe a little guilty). Anyways, if you’re looking for a lazy, healthy take on a classic comfort food, here goes!

Vegan Mac and Cheese

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:25 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • Handful cashews
  • 2 potatoes medium-sized
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • Small head broccoli
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Onion and garlic powder to taste
  • Paprika
  • Macaroni noodles
  • Step 1

    Throw a pot of heavily salted water on the stovetop until it boils.

    vegetable, broccoli, cabbage, garlic
    Missy Miller
  • Step 2

    In the meantime, cut your onion, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots into about 1-inch pieces (it doesn’t need to be perfect since you’ll be blending it all up anyway). When the water starts to boil, throw the veggies in.

    vegetable, cheese
    Missy Miller
  • Step 3

    Put your cashews in the blender. In another pot, salt some more water and once it boils, add in your noodles.

    Missy Miller
  • Step 4

    Once the potatoes and carrots are soft (you can test this by poking them with a fork—if it easily stabs through, they’re ready), drain them. Set aside about two cups of the cooking water.

  • Step 5

    Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the water into the blender with your cashews. Once your veggies are cool enough to handle, throw them in as well and blend it up until it reaches a creamy, but not too thick consistency. Here, you might need to add the rest of the cooking water.

    Missy Miller
  • Step 6

    Once your cashew and veggie “cheese” is all blended up, scoop it back into the empty pot and heat it over low heat on the stove. Season to taste with salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder. (Fellow veg-heads, if you have any Earth Balance or nutritional yeast on hand, here’s where you want to throw it in!)

  • Step 7

    Once your sauce is seasoned to taste and your noodles are cooked, toss them in and mix them around to coat the noodles.

  • Step 8

    Sprinkle a light dusting of paprika on top for a little color and extra kick.

    cheese, pasta, macaroni, sauce, bacon
    Photo by Missy Miller
Recipe adapted from Buzzfeed.