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Detoxinista's Vegan Mac 'n Cheese

aka - a Kirsten family staple


We make this at least once a week and it's gone within minutes!  It's remarkably quick and easy to make (and you know that's saying something coming from me.  I love quick and easy!)


Thanks so much to Megan at for this brilliance!


Prep time:  20 mins

Cook time:  20 mins

Total time:  40 mins

Serves: 4-6


A creamy, vegan “cheese” sauce that’s sure to fool even the pickiest of eaters!



  • 1½ cups raw cashews

  • 3 T. fresh lemon juice

  • ¾ cup water

  • 1½ tsp. sea salt

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

  • ½ tsp. chili powder

  • ½ clove garlic

  • pinch of turmeric

  • pinch of cayenne pepper

  • ½ tsp. mustard (dijon or yellow)

  • 8 oz. of elbow or shell pasta of choice

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • paprika, for garnish

  • *optional add-ins: roasted broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, spinach (I highly recommend these!!!)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. (If you are adding roasted broccoli to your dish, this would be a good time to start preparing that, so it can roast in the oven while you work on the rest!) You should also start boiling some water to prepare your pasta.

  2. If you have a Vita-Mix, or other high-powered blender, making this sauce is incredibly easy. Simply throw the first ten ingredients into the blender, and blend until smooth and creamy!

  3. If you do not have a high-powered blender, don’t worry– you can easily use a food processor or blender to process the cashews first, until they are finely ground, or ideally, a nut-butter-like consistency. Once your cashews are thoroughly processed, add the rest of the ingredients and process until thick and smooth.

  4. At this time, you should check your pasta. Once it’s cooked to your liking, drain and rinse it, then return the pasta to the pot to be mixed with the cheese sauce.

  5. If you’re adding any roasted or sauteed veggies, this would be the time to do it. I highly recommend adding roasted broccoli to this dish!

  6. Serve immediately while hot, or move on to the next step for baking.

Baking Instructions: (optional)

  1. Once you’ve mixed everything together, pour the mac n’ cheese into an 8 x 8 square dish and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and black pepper. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

  2. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then serve!

*Note: You could also serve the cheese sauce over cooked spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini noodles for a lower carb option.


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