10 Minute High Protein Vegan Mac and Cheese (no nuts, no potatoes) (vegan, gluten-free, oil free)
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healthy high protein vegan mac and cheese!
I can’t believe I haven’t shared this High Protein Vegan Mac and Cheese sooner! It’s one of the first things I really missed when going vegan myself, and I think this is a common sentiment which is why you’ll find recipes for vegan mac all over the internet. There are usually a few different kinds of recipes for vegan mac and cheese–some are made with cashews, some with a potato, carrot and onion base, and some the classic-but-vegan way with vegan cheese, butter and mylk.
Admittedly, mac and cheese isn’t really something I’d consider a health food, but you know how I like to roll. I love to make things vegan and secretly healthy. A little extra nourishment never hurts, am I right? And with all of the vegan mac and cheese recipes out there, I never wanted to share one for fear of just adding to masses. Until that is, I discovered a super lazy hack of a mac and cheese, and it has been my default recipe for about 2 years now. I’ve decided it’s different enough to share, and can you believe it’s made without nuts, potatoes or vegan cheese and butter? Oh yeah, and it only takes about 10 minutes to make. Seriously.
This high protein vegan mac and cheese is a delicious bowl of undetectably healthy comfort food. Silky smooth cheese sauce packing the plant protein, folded with high protein vegan pasta. Talk about a power bowl.
so what’s in this high protein vegan mac and cheese?
- This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, oil free, nut free, refined sugar free and high in protein. It can be meal prepped, though sauce should be prepared separately until ready to eat and it’s made with just a handful of simple ingredients. X to be exact.
- Silken tofu → is our base ingredient that provides the creaminess, the sneaky plant protein and a beautiful silky texture. Tofu contains all 9 essential amino acids, as well as magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1.
- Nutritional yeast → ah, the classic vegan “cheezy flavour maker”. That’s what I call it anyway. This superb ingredient adds real savoury flavour, cheezyness, and surprisingly, vitamins and protein too. No really, one tablespoon packs 2 grams of protein and fortified nutritional yeast is a great way to get vitamins B6 and B12.
- Carrots → a riff off of the classic potato-carrot-onion sauce, really just for flavour and a subtle sweetness. When carrots are steamed or boiled, they have a natural sweetness to them, and of course, we eat with our eyes so mimicking colour can be really important when veganizing food.
- High protein gluten-free pasta → is an option if you’d like to pump this pasta dish even more. I love using high protein pasta because usually, legume based varieties are gluten-free as well. A win win in my book!
secrets to success
It’s important that you use silken tofu when preparing this recipe. Make sure the package of tofu explicitly reads “silken”. Texture should be something similar to a pudding–difficult to pick up with your hands and super duper soft. You can find tofu at Whole Foods Market, most health food stores and also any Asian grocery store (where you’ll probably also get the best price!).
When it comes to a classic, nostalgic recipe like mac and cheese, I think a big key to success is keeping true to the way you used to enjoy it. I’ve said it before, but visuals matter, and flavours do too! Did you always garnish your mac with chives? Perhaps extra parmesan cheese or bacon? How about truffle? Well, I recommend you do the same to your vegan mac. Throw chives, truffle, vegan parmesan or vegan bacon on top–whatever you need to do to recreate the feeling. For the same reason, we added the carrots to the sauce because colour matters! And finally, I chose to use elbow pasta because it’s the classic macaroni shape.
This sauce is best enjoyed right away. I do recommend meal prepping the sauce, but I would recommend storing sauce and pasta separately because the sauce will get absorbed as it sits. It’s important to use your sauce within a few days as well, because tofu tends to go bad quite quickly and it is our base ingredient.
if you like this recipe, try…
- 10 Min Pumpkin Tahini Pasta
- Herbed Mushroom Carbonara
- Vegan Cheez-Its
- Kale Artichoke Dip
- Cheezy Vegan Broccoli Soup
- Best-o Pesto
- Mushroom Tempeh Bolognese
If you try this High Protein Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too!
10 Minute High Protein Vegan Mac and Cheese (no nuts, no potatoes!) (vegan, gluten-free, oil free)
- 8 ounces pasta of choice I used chickpea based elbow shaped pasta
- 1 1/4 cup silken tofu
- 1/3 cup carrots diced and steamed (more if desired)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp white miso paste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp white pepper optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- cracked black pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra vegan cheese
- In a large pot, prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, start to prepare your sauce.
- To prep sauce, add all ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth, scraping down sides if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning and spices until desired result is achieved.
- When pasta is ready, strain and return to pot over low heat. Add sauce and fold until sauce is heated, and evenly distributed. Add garnish of choice and enjoy immediately.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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