Creamy, decadent and topped with a bacon and shallot breadcrumb crust, this is the Best Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese. Ready in less than an hour!
Well the time has come my friends for a brand new, super tasty, amazingly creamy mac and cheese recipe!
It has been almost a full year since I shared the recipe for my White Mac and Cheese.
And to this day it is one of the most popular recipes on TSV.
So today, rather than recreate the wheel, we're going to take the original recipe and just enhance it with new flavors.
Some things you WON'T find in this recipe are:
- nutritional yeast
Nope. The base of this creamy sauce comes from good 'ol vegan butter, non-dairy milk and vegan cream cheese. I have found this to be the best combo to get both a creamy texture AND a great flavor.
TSV TIP: My favorite vegan butter is Earth Balance and my favorite vegan cream cheese brands are Trader Joe's, GoVeggie, Tofutti and Kite Hill.
In the original recipe there was no baking involved. You can literally eat that stuff out of the pan. But since this recipe calls for baking (because how else are we going to get that amazing crunchy crust???) there are a couple of tactical changes we need to make.
- You will want to slightly undercook your pasta. Just by a couple of minutes. This will allow the pasta to continue cooking in the oven without getting overcooked and mushy.
- And since the pasta will continue cooking in the sauce, you want to make sure the sauce is thinned out a bit. This will allow the pasta to absorb some of the sauce but not dry it out.
Now that we have those logistics covered, let's talk about this crunchy topping.
This is a tasty combo of bread crumbs, vegan butter, garlic, shallots and last but not least...bacon bits.
Yes, bacon bits!
And I'm not talking about coconut bacon or rice paper bacon (although you could totally go that route if you have the time and patience to make these from scratch). These are just your run of the mill, find them at every grocery store, bacon bits.
TSV TIP: Some brands of bacon bits are 100% vegan - shocking, I know. Obviously this is just by accident, but they have a great bacon flavor and are super easy to find.
You can find the ones I used here.
The combination of all of these flavors makes this mac and cheese extra delicious and totally different than anything you've ever had.
Get ready for vegan mac and cheese heaven!
The Best Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz dry pasta
- 6 tablespoon vegan butter separated
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup bacon bits separated
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese
- ¼ cup vegan parmesan
- 1 cup veggie broth
- ½ teaspoon turmeric optional*
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ lemon juiced
- fresh parsley for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.** Drain and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots and a pinch of salt & pepper to the pan. Cook until shallots are tender, but not browned (approx. 3-5 minutes). Remove from the heat.
- Combine breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of bacon bits and shallot/butter mixture in a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pan. Add flour and whisk until smooth and bubbly.
- Stir in milk ½ cup at a time, whisking constantly. Once heated through and thickened, add cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Add parmesan, veggie broth, turmeric, garlic salt, ground mustard, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of bacon bits and pepper. Stir to combine and adjust seasoning as needed. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour into a casserole dish and top with breadcrumb topping.
- Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Increase heat to broil and bake until topping is browned. Remove from the oven, top with parsley and serve.
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We made this for Thanksgiving this year and everybody loved it!! They didn't believe me when I told them it was vegan!! Thank you for sharing <3
This is the best vegan Mac and Chz ever. Been using this recipe for yearsss now!
Thank you so much Xotchitl!
Do you think this would work with another flavor of cheese like cheddar instead of Parmesan? I can’t usually find Parmesan on my tiny island, but I did randomly find cream cheese so I would love to try this. I haven’t found a Mac and cheese recipe that I am too crazy about since becoming vegan this year. The cashew ones just never turn out right. Thanks!
If there is a vegan cheddar you know you like, then yes, you can totally use that. Some just have a funky taste, so I would just use something you know you already like!
Made the Best baked Vegan Mac and Cheese My new vegan Grand Daughter Loved it
So glad it was a hit with your granddaughter!
I wish I could share a photo! This recipe was amazing, and I am so happy to have found it! Very creamy, ooey and gooey! I used Earth Balance butter, Tofutti cream cheese, Chobani plain oat milk, and Good Planet mozzarella cheese. Very simple to prepare and I will definitely do this again!
So glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing your exact brands used 🙂
I tried this at a friend's house over Thanksgiving and it was amazing! Would it be possible to make this in a slow cooker? I am bringing mac and cheese to a work party and we don't have an oven.
I am thinking of making this for an early Thanksgiving potluck. Can I make it the night before and then bake it the next day in the oven and serve? Or is it better to prepare, bake and serve all at once? Thanks!
I think I would make it the day of - only because the pasta will continue to absorb the sauce as it sits overnight. Hope you enjoy!
I like some of the information in your article
however the HUGE amount of pop ups and ads
make it so frustrating and virtually impossible to read that I will be unsubscribing today.
I’m so excited to try this tonight! Ive been looking for a Mac and cheese without potatoes, as my poor hubs is allergic! (Maybe it’s poor me, because being vegan, potatoes are a huge delicious staple!) I couldn’t find vegan cream cheese but will try it with veg sour cream, I’m sure it’ll be just as tasty. Thank you!
My family has been enjoying your recipes for about a year now, but this is my first post - because WOW!! I actually combined this recipe with another of our TSV faves, the buffalo cauliflower, and it was fantastic! Our favorite vegan dish so far! I added avocado slices when serving these bowls of yum, and for the breadcrumbs used "Just Crumbs" from Kelly's Croutons (hope it's ok to mention that..they make some great stuff!)). I'm looking forward to lunch today, when I can heat up some leftovers! Thanks again!
Ummmmm...yum! That sounds like an amazing combo! I will have to give that a try sometime - I mean any excuse to add buffalo cauliflower to another meal 🙂
This was so good! I was looking for a baked vegan mac and cheese and found your recipe. So glad I did. Creamy and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
So glad you liked it!
This was the best vegan mac and cheese I've ever made. Definitely adding this to my arsenal of entrees to impress my non-vegan friends with. So creamy and delicious!! Thank you!
Love it - impressing my non-vegan friends is always at the top of my list when I cook for people. They are always shocked that something so tasty could be vegan. But, duh, of course it's tasty 🙂 So glad you liked this recipe!
I made this recipe & brought it over for a family dinner (mind you none of them are vegan). It turned out AMAZING. I added more vegan cheese than it called for because I had to use mozzarella instead of parmesan (I think it could have been a little more cheesy if I had used a different cheese or a better quality cheese). But OVERALL- It was super delicious, very creamy and crunchy. I'm totally making again!
I really tried to like this, but I couldn't. It was dry and not cheesy tasting at all. I'm not sure if you will post this.
Well, you can't please everyone...sorry this didn't work out for you. It sounds like you may have needed some more liquid - mine turned out super creamy.
been using this as a signature party dish for YEARS and it always has peoples jaws dropping, vegan and non vegan alike. i add extra spices - paprika, red pepper flakes, basil, thyme, soy sauce, and cumin.
Yessssss! Love switching up the spices to your liking! So glad it has been a hit for you!
Im going to try this for thanksgiving! I have recently learned of lactic acid (have not yet used or bought any) that it gives a cheesy flavor. I know the cream cheese is used for that purpose, but do you think it would benefit from some lactic acid? Or could it be too over powering?
I honestly have no clue. I've never bought it, never used it. If you try it out, let us know how it goes.
This was absolutely perfect! Great flavors and the bac'n bits in the bread crumb top were amazing. Definitely adding to my rotation.
So glad you liked this!
I NEVER leave comments but this mac was soooo delish! I literally had to tell myself to stop eating it. I added red pepper flakes to my serving, used whole wheat panko breadcrumbs and did add some nooch eventhough the recipe didnt call for it. Job well done, I look forward to trying your other dishes.
Hi Ty - so glad you liked this and can't wait to hear how other TSV recipes turn out for you.
My mouth is actively watering right meow. Can't wait to try this!